The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Fall Safety for You and Your Pup

Fall Safety for You and Your Pup

Fall brings some wonderful changes; brisk evening walks with your dog, autumn decorations, curling up on the couch to watch your favorite Halloween flicks to name a few. With the changing of the seasons comes some notable adjustments for your dog too. Below are a few things to help you and your dog prepare for the upcoming autumn season.

Keep an Eye Out for Wildlife

Be extra vigilant this time of year of your dog’s off leash whereabouts. If you live in a more rural area where wildlife is prominent, it may be second nature to keep your eyes peeled for deer, moose, coyotes or even bear. Don’t forget about the smaller animals like porcupine and skunks, all very busy with their winter preparations. These animals could pose unwanted threats to your canine.

Cooler Temperatures

Colder temperatures and shorter days often mean less time spent outside, which could decrease the amount of exercise your dog is getting. This could be especially perilous on older dogs with arthritis. Protexin Veterinary recommends short and consistent exercise for arthritic dogs, if possible, such as shorter walks multiple times a day rather than long winter walks. Additionally, moist heat therapy can decrease pain and ...

Feline Genetic Health Screening with the CatScan- Benefits for Veterinary Practice

Feline Genetic Health Screening with the CatScan- Benefits for Veterinary Practice

The popularity of genetic health testing in domestic animals is rapidly increasing for a variety of different applications. Although genetic testing of dogs has been more widely recognized by the public than similar testing in cats, advancements in genetic testing are also becoming increasingly popular among those that have a special feline in their life. In order to address the genetic health concerns of our cat-loving friends and their wonderful felines, the team at Paw Print Genetics has developed the CatScan, a powerful genetic screening tool for inherited diseases and traits. Aside from its important use by feline breeders to make informed breeding decisions and to prevent the production of kittens with certain inherited diseases, the CatScan also has powerful applications in clinical veterinary medicine especially in cases where testing is performed early in a cat’s life or when the cat’s pedigree is unknown.  

Early Screening for Greatest Impact

From a technical perspective, the CatScan can be performed using cheek swabs from kittens of any age as long as it is possible to prevent contamination of their DNA sample with DNA from other cats or mother’s milk. However, testing kittens early (around the beginning of weaning) is a common ...

Stop, Drop & Roll: Keep Your Pets Safe

Stop, Drop & Roll: Keep Your Pets Safe

With wildfire season upon us, it is important to prepare and understand what actions to take in the case of an evacuation, specifically with your pets. Fires can be unpredictable and can be destructive within a matter of minutes. Whether you live in an area that is susceptible to wildfires or not, taking these steps to prepare for an emergency can go a long way in the time of a disaster.

Paw Print Genetics Adds New Canine Genetic Disease Tests to Ever-Expanding Offerings

Paw Print Genetics Adds New Canine Genetic Disease Tests to Ever-Expanding Offerings

With the current, rapid pace of new genetic discoveries, inherited disease testing is quickly becoming a common part of clinical veterinary diagnostics. Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce the release of six new canine genetic disease tests, including highly anticipated tests for three diseases in retriever breeds; macular corneal dystrophy and congenital myasthenic syndrome in the Labrador retriever and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis 5 in the golden retriever.

Macular Corneal Dystrophy

With an estimated mutation carrier rate of 3.3% in a 2015 study of the UK Labrador retrievers, macular corneal dystrophy (MCD) is an inherited eye disease that that is likely to be encountered at some point in a small animal veterinarian’s career1.

Inherited in a recessive manner, Labradors with two copies of the associated CHST6 gene mutation typically present in middle age with MCD-associated vision loss. Affected dogs display decreased activity of an enzyme known as corneal glucosamine N-acetyl-6-sulfotransferase (C-GlcNAc6ST), which results in decreased sulfation of the corneal glycosaminoglycan, keratin sulfate (KS). Decreased sulfation of KS reduces its solubility, thus preventing its full metabolism and allowing for deposition into the extracellular space of the corneal stroma and Desmet’s membrane, and intracellularly in keratinocytes and corneal epithelial cells ...

Does Your Dog Suffer from Noise Anxiety?

Does Your Dog Suffer from Noise Anxiety?

Summertime is usually a very positive time for our pets.  The weather is pleasant, walks are more frequent, and general outside playtime is more regular.  Unfortunately, this is also the time of thunderstorms and increase fireworks use, especially around July 4th.  The loud noises associated with these events can cause fear and anxiety in some pets.  A new behavioral study out of the University of Helsinki suggests that sensitivity to noise, especially fireworks, is the most common form of anxiety in pet dogs.  In this study, 72.5% of all dogs showed some type of anxiety, whereas, 32% displayed a form of noise sensitivity1.

People who own pets with noise sensitivity usually recognize the classic display of anxiety behaviors such as trembling, panting, drooling, pacing, vocalizing, hiding, and trying to escape.  Often, dogs are confused about the source of the noise and therefore try to escape to the outside, or just the opposite, scratch at the door to come inside.  Because some rooms are better at dampening sound, these dogs may run to the basement or hide under or behind furniture. There are some displays of anxiety that owners may not pick ...

Separation Anxiety and the Myth of the Spiteful Dog

Separation Anxiety and the Myth of the Spiteful Dog

Your dog is not spiteful. In fact, I would dare to say that NO dog is spiteful. However, it’s pretty easy to feel like this might be the case if your dog predictably takes their own trip to Destruction Town nearly every time you leave them alone. The urine and feces on the floor, chewed up furnishings, carpet, doors, and other personal items are all the evidence you need to convince you that your dog was bent on revenge for leaving them in solitude. Even though it may feel personal, in actuality, this destruction might just be a sign that your dog suffers from a treatable disorder known as separation anxiety (SA), which happens to be most common in dogs which are highly bonded to their owners.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Suzanne Hetts, lists SA among the most common of 12 common causes of destructive canine behavior. It has been described as a “behavioral disorder of dogs when left alone or separated from their owner” (2). Though not exclusive to dogs with SA, many affected dogs are also described as being “hyperattached” to the owner. Affected dogs are often found to follow their owner from ...

National DNA Day

National DNA Day

Today, April 25th, is National DNA Day. This day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of the DNA double helix, our blueprint of life, in 1953.  The first sequence of the Canine Genome was published only a couple of years later in 2005.  Since then, more than 3,500 species have had some of their genomes sequenced, with about 100 species having their genomes sequenced at a ‘reference quality’ meaning that they can be used to see differences among individuals and used to find genes that are responsible for certain diseases or traits.  Having the dog genome sequence has allowed researchers to identify genetic variants that make some dog breeds unique and have provided the ability to find mutations or genetic changes that are responsible for common and rare diseases.

Currently, more than 300 genetic changes in dogs are known that lead to phenotypic differences (the way a dog looks) or lead to inherited diseases.  Knowing these DNA changes or mutations allows laboratories like Paw Print Genetics to develop tests for these so that dogs can be tested to see if they are at-risk for a disease or to ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches Six New, Highly Anticipated Disease Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches Six New, Highly Anticipated Disease Tests

Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce that it has launched six new, very desired disease tests.  These tests compliment the breed-specific assays that PPG already offers and shows our dedication to providing the largest menu of genetic tests for dogs. The following tests can be ordered as individual tests or may be found as part of one of our breed-specific panels. The breed-specific panels represent the most common and/or severe conditions in your breed and these tests should be considered for any breeding dog.

 

Acral Mutilation Syndrome

Acral Mutilation Syndrome, or AMS, is a neurologic disease affecting Cocker Spaniels, English Cocker Spaniels, English Spring Spaniels, French Spaniels, German Shorthaired Pointers, Old English Sheepdogs and the Pointer. This inherited disease can present around 4 months of age with insensitivity to pain in the lower limbs, repetitive licking and biting of the paws, which eventually can result in self-mutilation. Because affected dogs are unable to feel pain in their feet, they will continue to walk without obvious discomfort. This is an autosomal recessive condition that requires two copies of the mutation to be affected. Screening for carriers will allow breeders to avoid producing puppies with this condition.

Craniomandibular ...

New information regarding pet transmission of COVID-19

New information regarding pet transmission of COVID-19

By Robert Westra

Researchers at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China have pre-released a study that indicates the virus SARS-CoV-2, responsible for the COVID-19 disease, can infect and replicate efficiently in cats.  They have also found that cats can transmit the virus to other cats via respiratory droplets.  There is still little evidence to suggest that cats can be a source of viral transmission to humans.  This study also found that dogs appear to have low susceptibility to the virus. 

Accordingly, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) makes these recommendations when it comes to COVID-19 and your pets.

- If you are not ill with COVID-19, you can interact with your pet as you normally would, including walking, feeding, and playing. You should continue to practice good hygiene during those interactions (e.g., wash hands before and after interacting with your pet; ensure your pet is kept well-groomed; regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding material, and toys).

- Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking ...

COVID 19 and Your Pets

COVID 19 and Your Pets

By Robert Westra

With the COVID -19 Pandemic creating many challenges today, we thought we would provide information to help you understand the condition and reduce any risk to you or your furry family members.

A novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong reported on March 4th, 2020 a pet dog had repeatedly tested weak positive for SARS-CoV-2.  This is consistent with a low level of infection.  The transmission was most likely human to animal, as the dog lived with a human that tested positive for the virus.  The pet was quarantined for 14 days and never developed clinical signs. Sadly, the pet passed away shortly after its quarantine from unrelated causes. 

Although this case is concerning, we don’t really know if SARS-CoV-2 can infect dogs, cats and other animals.  The World Health Organization stated there is no evidence at present that dogs and cats can be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 ...