Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
Hi there. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. There are a few limitations with the current DNA breed tests out there. They are generally seen as "estimates" of a dog's breed and are usually only worthwhile for curiosity, just to give you an idea of their accuracy.
There are also, unfortunately, some limitations in getting a decent sample at this point in time, as changes to tissue and DNA may have already occurred.
Okay. If that's the case, I think blood is not going to work in terms of sample quality as well as quantity. Tissue such as skin or bone would be better samples. But you should check with your test provider, what samples they are happy to test.
It is likely that most of the veins that can be accessed in life will have collapsed or drained at this point. So in terms of blood, I suspect that the only place left to sample will be directly from the heart.
I have to warn you that it also won't be very nice blood at this point.
No, the blood will not be liquid. It will be clotted and decomposing by three days after your dog's death.
Blood is normally collected specifically from veins which are full when an animal is live. But in a dead animal, there will be no blood in the veins. Drawing from muscles is not going to give you any blood.
I would say the heart, which is between the 3rd and 4th rib.
Yes, you will need to attach a large needle to the end of the syringe.
Hi. I have not heard back from you for a while. Did you end up having any luck collecting a sample?
Yes, the commercially available tests and the science behind them are still fairly basic and they are limited in what methods they can use to extract DNA from samples.
If you are thinking about the methods they might use in forensics or paleontology, bone can be the sample of choice. Or rather, the only sample available. But the extraction process is much more complicated and laborious, which I guess would conflict with company being able to offer you an affordable price. The limitation with those old samples is still the degradation of DNA over time. Strands of DNA becomes damaged and broken with time, and will either cause errors in interpreting the results, or make the DNA completely unreadable. Scientists in the field always need to interpret their results with a grain of salt, but that's the best they have to work with.
I'm sorry that you haven't been successful in finding an answer so far. If it would help you at all, you could upload a photo of Penny here, and I'd be happy to have a look and offer you my professional opinion on what breed(s) I think she might have in her.