I got Mina’s health results and breed analysis results back from her Embark test (someone sent me a refer-a-friend code for $50 off ours so there’s one here if anyone else wants to use one too)! I have no idea how accurate any of this stuff is proven to be but I will say that they were pretty fast and the customer service was good.
Her health results didn’t really return anything significant. She’s a carrier for Progressive Retinal Atrophy but since it’s recessive she isn’t affected herself, and she’s not a breeding animal so that doesn’t really matter. She also has one copy of the variant for Alanine Aminotransferase Activity, which on their paperwork says “Mina has one copy of a variant associated with reduced ALT activity as measured on veterinary blood chemistry panels. Please inform your veterinarian that Mina has this genotype, as ALT is often used as an indicator of liver health and Mina is likely to have a lower than average resting ALT activity.”. So, more of an informational type thing.
Her breed results were a little more interesting. I was guessing she had some Pit for sure, maybe with some pointer or something. I wasn’t totally wrong.
I admit that I definitely didn’t see all that Cattle Dog coming though. That one threw me a bit. I mean… just looking at her I didn’t really see it.
My friend Megan (Luxe EQ owner Megan, not Presto Megan… there are too many Megan’s in my life including myself) is a big Cattle Dog aficionado and has them herself, and she said she wasn’t surprised by it at all. She gave me a crash course in the origins of ACD’s and sent me some info so I could do some more research. ACD’s basically descend from a mix of Border Collie, Dingo, Dalmatian, and Kelpie. Apparently it’s not that uncommon when you get a lot of mixing and intermingling with ACD/Border Collie/other similar breeds to get kind of a throwback look with the phenotype taking on more of the Dingo/Kelpie look than what we typically think of when we picture an ACD.
I was kind of amused by this, because I’ve been jokingly calling her a dingo for weeks now, thinking she looked like one especially in her posture and how she moves. Turns out I wasn’t far off.
Once Megan and I started talking characteristics and personality traits, Mina does seem to have a whole lot in common with the ACD’s. Apparently they like to perform high surveillance, the higher the better, which explains a lot about Mina’s couch-climbing habits. The dog sleeps on the arms of the couch like a gargoyle and more than once has considered trying to hop up on the counter.
They like to sleep upside down a lot for some reason (check), are energetic (check), mouthy but generally not destructive (check), loyal (check)… I mean there was a whole lot in common.
I definitely learned something new here, and having done a little research and talking to ACD people, the results are 100% believable, even if not quite what I was expecting. One thing we know for sure – she isn’t the “lab mix” the shelter had her down as LOL. We knew that already, but it’s cool to be able to put together some puzzle pieces about her ancestry!