An Intro to Pet Genetic Preservation
Pet Genetic Preservation (GP) is the storing of an individual pet’s genetic material for later use. This is typically accomplished by freezing tissue, individual cells or germ plasma in liquid nitrogen (-186oC). Once stored in liquid nitrogen the sample will remain viable and can be stored indefinitely.
At ViaGen Pets genetic preservation is available for dogs and cats and is often the first step towards cloning. Genetic preservation costs $1,600 and assures you that the genetic material or DNA of your pet is preserved in a viable and usable form.
Start With A Biopsy Kit and Your Veterinarian
Once you contact ViaGen Pets to begin the genetic preservation process, a ViaGen Pets Biopsy Kit will be sent to you in order for your veterinarian to take a small biopsy from your pet. The Biopsy Kit includes instructions on how to take the biopsy.
Taking the biopsy is a simple and straight-forward process; however, we do recommend using your veterinarian. The process is safe for your pet and you can expect them to heal within a few days. The Biopsy Kit containing the tissue sample is then sent back to the ViaGen Pets cell culture center located in Cedar Park, TX. Upon arrival, the sample is sterilized and processed and cell growth is established. Following cell growth the cells will be counted and cryopreserved utilizing ViaGen Pet’s proprietary freezing process. Approximately 4 weeks from the start of the genetic preservation process the client will be contacted and informed of the overall number of cells frozen for the long-term storage of their pet’s DNA.
Long-Term, Secure Genetic Material Storage
The cryopreserved genetic material is then stored safely and securely at ViaGen Pets facilities; each is kept under lock and key and stored at two separate facilities. Throughout the process of genetic preservation, and as long as the genetic material is in storage at ViaGen Pets, the client remains the owner of their pet’s genetic material. The client makes all decisions about the cloning, transfer, culture or disposal of their pet’s genetic material. They may choose to go ahead with the cloning process or they may choose to wait until they feel the time is right.
Once you have taken advantage of genetic preservation for your pet you can be confident that your pet’s DNA is safely stored in a viable form for you to use now — or anytime in the future. Cryopreserved material has been used successfully after decades of storage.
Preserving DNA of Deceased Pets
In the unfortunate event your pet dies prior to doing a genetic preservation, timing and proper storage of tissue are key to successful cell growth for the genetic preservation process. It is essential that the tissue is kept refrigerated–not frozen–prior to taking the biopsy, and the biopsy should be taken as soon as possible by your pet’s veterinarian. Contact ViaGen Pets right away for more information and proper guidance.
Express Tissue Banking
Express Tissue Banking (ETB) is another cryopreservation service offered by ViaGen Pets for your dog or cat. Once you contact ViaGen Pets for Express Tissue Bank services, a Biopsy Kit will be sent with the instructions and tools necessary for your pet’s veterinarian to take a biopsy. As with Genetic Preservation, the biopsy is a safe and simple process and your pet will fully heal in a short time. Express Tissue Bank differs from genetic preservation in that the tissue biopsy itself is cryopreserved, but the cells are not cultured from the biopsy for cryopreservation. Because cells are not cultured from the original biopsy prior to cryopreservation, it is not guaranteed that viable cells for cloning can be produced. However, you can feel secure that your pet’s genetic material is preserved.