VetGen - The leader in veterinary genetic disease research and genetic disease detection services for purebred animals

Breeds Serviced

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Drentsche Patrijschond
  • German Pinscher
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Papillion
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Poodle
  • Stabyhoun

vWD Type I

In 1996 VetGen scientists, in collaboration with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, proudly announced the discovery of the mutation that causes Type I von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) and the offering of a DNA test to detect vWD in the above breeds.

Unlike other vWD test methods, the VetGen vWD test offers:
  • Definitive results: The VetGen test will unambiguously classify dogs of the above breeds into CLEAR, CARRIER or AFFECTED categories.
  • One time testing: Since VetGen directly detects the vWD DNA mutation, each dog needs to be tested only once in its lifetime. This is a significant improvement over the vWD factor assay, which can vary over time in the same dog.
  • Ease of use: Simply swab the inside of the dog's mouth using the soft-bristle brushes supplied in a VetGen test kit. Then return the brushes to VetGen by standard mail.
  • Quick results: Test results are provided within 2 weeks of VetGen's receipt of the DNA sample.
  • Information You Can Use: VetGen's DNA test results enable you to make informed breeding decisions to eradicate the vWD gene from your dogs.

Von Willebrand's Disease and the DNA Test

Type I von Willebrand's disease in the above breeds occurs as the mild form, as distinguished from the severe form, which occurs in Scottish Terriers and Shetland Sheep Dogs. It is characterized by the abnormally low production of a protein found in the blood called von Willebrand's factor which plays a key role in the complex process of clotting a damaged blood vessel. Breeds with the severe form produce no von Willebrand's factor. More details about the disease may be found in the documents below. These documents were written about Doberman Pinchers, but as the other breeds above have the same mutation, the molecular biology and clinical manifestations will be the same in these breeds and therefore these documents apply to the other breeds as well.

The Mutation
von Willebrand's Disease, Doberman Pinscher

FAQ's about vWD in Doberman Pinschers
Correspondence between Dr. Patrick Venta and James Anable Jr.

vWD Type I
E-mail response to Questions raised on various mailing lists, regarding von Willebrand's Disease (vWD Type I)

For Barrett
In memory of my beloved Dobermann April, 1997 Breeding Strategies

Before the DNA test was discovered by VetGen and the Universities, an Elisa factor assay blood test was used to attempt to diagnose vWD. This test produced results which were highly variable and the test fell into disfavor. The following paper addresses these highly variable results and demonstrates the variability of vWf production in Doberman Pinchers.
Temporal Variation and Factors affecting measurement of Canine von Willebrand Factor©

VetGen has performed a cross correlation study comparing the results of the DNA test to the Factor Assay results in the Doberman Pincher and the Poodle. To view a summary of this study see the following page:
Correlation of DNA and Factor Assay test for vWD in Doberman Pinschers and Poodles

Disease Gene Frequency in Breeds Tested

VetGen has been asked by the respective breed clubs to post, from time to time, the statistical results of the vWD tests by breed. The table below contains the results as of January 26, 2005.

vWD Genotype
Clear Carrier Affected
Bernese Mountain Dog 83% 16% 1%
Doberman 25% 49% 26%
Manchester Terrier 59% 37% 4%
Pembroke Welsh Corgi 57% 37% 6%
Poodle 90% 9% 1%

Canine: vWD Patents
US Patent No. 6,040,143 and 6,074,832
Canadian Patent No. CA 2261015
European Patent No. EP 0961836
Licensed Exclusively by The Board of Regents of the
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) System to VetGen LLC