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Obesity risk (POMC)

A number of factors can affect appetite and risk of obesity. This particular test detects a mutation in the POMC gene, known to regulate appetite, that has been associated with increased appetite and obesity in dogs. The associated genetic variant has been identified in the Labrador Retriever and Flat-Coated Retriever. The clinical significance of this variant in dogs of other ancestry is not yet clear.

Found in

1 in 53 dogs

in our testing

Key Signs

Hunger, Increased appetite, Obesity

Age of Onset

At birth

Present at birth


Autosomal Dominant

For autosomal dominant disorders, dogs with one or two copies of the disease variant are at risk of developing the condition. Inheriting two copies of the risk variant may make the risk higher or the condition more severe. They may produce puppies affected with the disorder if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

Moderate likelihood

At risk dogs may show signs of this disease in their lifetime, although some will not develop the condition due to absence of additional risk factors.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with Obesity risk

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your dog’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about Obesity risk

Key signs include increased appetite compared to dogs without the mutation, hunger even after being fed, and obesity. The effect is more notable in dogs with two copies of the POMC mutation.

To ensure dogs with the mutation remain a healthy weight, lifelong careful management of diet may be required. A balance of correct food intake and appropriate levels of exercise will be needed. Specialized satiety diets may help affected dogs to maintain a healthy weight.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a dog with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding dogs. Regardless of test results it is important that your dog is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the puppies if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most kennel club websites.

This disease is autosomal dominant meaning that one copy of the mutation is needed for disease signs to develop. As a healthy weight can be maintained for dogs with this mutation through appropriate diet and exercise, dogs with the POMC mutation can be considered for breeding purposes. This will also help to maintain diversity in breeds such as the Labrador Retriever and Flat-Coated Retriever where the mutation is very common.

Technical Details

Variant Deletion
Chromosome 17
Coordinate Start 19,431,807
Coordinate End 19,431,820

All coordinates reference CanFam3.1

References & Credit

Credit to our scientific colleagues:

Raffan, E., Dennis, R. J., O’Donovan, C. J., Becker, J. M., Scott, R. A., Smith, S. P., … O’Rahilly, S. (2016). A Deletion in the Canine POMC Gene Is Associated with Weight and Appetite in Obesity-Prone Labrador Retriever Dogs. Cell Metabolism, 23(5), 893–900. View the article