Note that truly inherited defects are much rarer than commonly perceived and reported: Genetic predisposition is much less likely to be the cause of any sickness you or your dog may experience in your lifetime.
This is because:
- Most DNA changes are acquired during lifetime and not heritable: all cells are subject to mutations, all the time, and the likelihood of acquiring any of an unlimited number of possible defects is of course higher than the likelihood of repair of an existing defect.
- Over the millions of years evolution has developed a significant arsenal of safeguards that work to:
- prevent that an acquired mutation is passed on to offspring
- deactivate defective genes that nonetheless made it to be passed on to offspring
- activate other genes that compensate for some or all of the effect caused by defective genes that could not be deactivated.
This is important to keep in mind because radiation, some chemical substances (in medication, "food", household, or environment), and some pathogens are known to cause an acquired mutation in the genetic code that results in a defect.
Indeed, understanding cause vs symptom vs trigger is vital.
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