The vets at Mountain Animal Hospital attended a continuing education lecture offered through the Hamilton Academy of Veterinary Medicine on Tuesday night. The lecture focused on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing. This type of test uses DNA to diagnose for many different types of diseases. Basically small amounts of DNA in a samples are copied until there is a large enough quantity to show up on the test. Over the years PCR testing has become more perfected to allow us get results quite quickly. The other benefit of PCR testing is that we can test sick animals right away. Traditionally we test animals for antibodies, but it takes time for a sick patient to produce enough antibodies to detect on a test. This means we have to wait until at least 2 weeks after seeing a sick pet to test it for certain diseases. We also learned a lot about the growing number of PCR tests available now. Shorty there is even going to be a test available to screen for genetic hip dysplasia in labs. It was a great learning experience and we look forward to offering more PCR testing to better and more rapidly diagnose our patients.