IISc lab opens doors for testing pet diseases

Picture for representation only

Unable to find out your pet’s precise illness despite going to the vet and taking numerous lab tests?

There is now another place you could visit to determine the animal’s disease: the Department of Biochemistry at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which opened the doors of its research wing to pet owners. Though the department has been testing selective samples sent by veterinarians from across the city, it now wants to do more to ensure healthy life for small animals, too.

Prof Utpal S Tatu, the brain behind the institute’s social entrepreneurship initiative called ‘Pet Biotech’, says they want more people to use their lab.“Treatment of animals is going through a paradigm shift as veterinarians take technology’s help to understand the ailments among pets,” Prof Tatu said. “Vets hesitate to send samples to us due to the high cost, but we now want pet owners to insist that they send the samples to us. We have the best technology and the expertise to test and determine the health issue of an animal.”

Animal disease diagnosis is in its nascent stage, with an increasing need for affordable and reliable diagnostics.

With an aim to create an infection-free India and a vision of “One Health” for all, the lab works to find the scientific reasons behind infectious diseases by detecting, treating and preventing zoonosis.

Pet Biotech offers international gold standard diagnostics. Its accurate diagnosis for diseases like tick-borne diseases or feline respiratory diseases empower veterinarians, while also improving animal health and doubling the joy of pet parents. Additionally, the lab also undertakes genetic fingerprinting studies by identifying the molecular markers.

The research also encompasses genotypic and phenotypic parentage, lineage identification and breed conservation. The lab will be conducting fingerprinting and DNA testing of felines as part of the Feline Club of India initiative to certify all pet cats.

Prof Tatu said no research lab has hitherto tested the country’s indigenous animals despite having some of the best breeds like the Marwari horses, Gir cows and Mongreal (mix-breed) dogs, which are infection resistant. “Our Indian cows produce A2 protein, which is good for health and is otherwise not produced by the Jersey cows. Our laboratory is also equipped to undertake the genome sequencing to identify the origin of the breeds and the percentage inbreeding in a mix-bred animal,” he said.

(Prof Utpal S Tatu can be contacted at: 9945567901)

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IISc lab opens doors for testing pet diseases

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