The Paw Print Genetics Blog

The Veterinarian's Corner- Beyond von Willebrand Disease: Genetic Testing for Other Canine Platelet Disorders

The Veterinarian's Corner- Beyond von Willebrand Disease: Genetic Testing for Other Canine Platelet Disorders

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is arguably the most well recognized canine blood clotting disorder. A common genetic mutation in the VWF gene (first described in the Doberman pinscher in 2001) has played a significant role in increasing the recognition of vWD as a cause of clotting problems in dogs1. Genetic testing for this mild to moderate platelet disorder, known as vWD type 1 (vWD1 or vWDI), has played an important role in assisting veterinarians in diagnosis and in assisting breeders in identification of non-symptomatic carriers of the mutation prior to breeding. Since that time, dozens of other breeds have also been found to be affected by the same mutation. Thus, solidifying vWD as a potential concern for many dog lovers. In addition, other genetic mutations in the VWF gene have also been associated with more severe forms of von Willebrand disease (type 2 and type 3) in some breeds.

Despite the important role of testing some breeds for the identified vWD1 mutation, it is also important to keep in mind that hemostasis is an incredibly complex process involving multiple physiologic steps and the interaction of many protein clotting factors, various cell types, and endogenous molecules. In some breeds, other ...

The Veterinarian’s Corner- New Canine Genetic Disease Tests to Aid in Clinical Diagnosis

The Veterinarian’s Corner- New Canine Genetic Disease Tests to Aid in Clinical Diagnosis

To usher in 2022, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) has added 12 new canine disease and trait tests to expand upon the largest selection of canine genetic tests in the industry. However, because diseases seen in veterinary practice are not seen with equal frequency, here I will highlight five of the new test offerings for diseases that are among the most likely to be encountered in veterinary practice. 

Ataxia (Norwegian Buhund Type)1- Norwegian Buhund

Ataxia (Norwegian buhund type), also known as cerebellar ataxia, is an early-onset autosomal recessive neurological disease affecting the Norwegian buhund. Dogs inheriting two copies of the associated KCNIP4 gene mutation present between three and five months of age with progressive neurological disease. Initial clinical signs are consistent with cerebellar ataxia, including wide-based stance, hypermetria, head tremors, and truncal sway. As the disease progresses, dogs are eventually unable to stand or walk without falling. Cerebellar degeneration is a common histopathological finding in affected dogs and dramatic reductions in cerebellar KCNIP4 protein have been described. The speed of disease progression is variable, but affected dogs are often euthanized due to quality-of-life concerns.

In one study, 19% out of 146 apparently healthy Norwegian buhunds tested carried one copy ...

Paw Print Genetics Develops 12 New Tests

Paw Print Genetics Develops 12 New Tests

One of the goals at Paw Print Genetics (PPG) is to add to our large menu of tests whenever we can. New genetic changes found in the dog genome for diseases and traits are published periodically in the medical literature. These publications guide us in developing new tests for our customers.

Among the new tests launched this month are three tests for traits. Two of the tests will identify whether a dog carries for polydactyly, which results in having hind dewclaws. One of the polydactyly variants in the LMBR1 gene will cause hind dewclaws in many different breeds, while the mutation in ALX4 only causes polydactyly in the Great Pyrenees. Both variants are dominant, meaning that one or two copies will result in polydactyly. Interestingly, the mutation for the Great Pyrenees causes double dewclaws, whereas the mutation in LMBR1 causes just single dewclaws.

The third trait launched is for another E locus variant. PPG offers several E locus variants, so it is important to read the description of each before choosing your test. Most breeds will produce a yellow or red coat color when there are two copies of the ‘e’ allele from the common E locus variant.  However ...

New Tests Added to Doodle Panels

New Tests Added to Doodle Panels

Paw Print Genetics has a history of supporting genetically healthy breeding no matter the breed. With the rising popularity of various doodles and other mixed breed dogs, we created panels for the diverse poos and doodles that contain the most common and important genetic tests from the founder breeds. These panels have become essential components for many breeders as they strive to produce the healthiest puppies possible.

From time to time, we review all our panels to ensure that they contain the most appropriate tests. Tests are selected for the Essential Panel (or just the Panel if there are only a few tests for a breed) based on (1) the frequency that we are identifying a specific mutation in the founder breeds, (2) the severity of the condition, with more severe conditions that should be avoided included in the Essential Panels and (3) the availability of treatments for the condition. Panels will vary among the doodles and poos based on the founding breeds, so it is important to select the panel that best fits your mixed breed dog.

We recently reviewed the panels for doodles, poos and other mixed breed dogs. You can search your breed by clicking here. You may ...

Direct vs Indirect Genetic Testing

Direct vs Indirect Genetic Testing

By Casey R. Carl, DVM and Blake Ballif, PhD

A topic in veterinary genetic testing currently getting significant attention is the difference between direct and indirect genetic testing for mutations associated with various diseases and traits. Although both types of testing can play a useful role in determining a dog’s genetic health status, the use of indirect genetic testing comes with some additional caveats that need to be considered when selecting the best testing strategy for a particular dog.

Direct Genetic Testing

As the name indicates, direct genetic testing is a general term for any genetic testing technique which looks for the presence of the specific genetic variant (mutation) known to play a causal role in a particular disease or trait. Therefore, regardless of which genotyping technique used, test results obtained from direct testing identify the presence or absence of the specific mutation that has been associated with the disease or trait. Barring differences in quality of laboratory practices and test development, direct testing is therefore the ideal method to detect a specific mutation. Furthermore, identifying the precise causative mutation in a DNA sample from a dog allows one to draw appropriate conclusions about the implications of this mutation in this ...

Tips on Sample Collection

Tips on Sample Collection
Cheek swab

Sample cheek swabs are the easiest and least invasive means of collecting cells containing genetic material from your dog. Although it is a simple process, it is important that you fully understand how to collect a sample using a cheek swab. Follow along with us as we walk you through the swabbing process using one of our sample kits.

Each kit includes a requisition form, a return mailer, a label, and a cheek swab with a biohazard bag. After reviewing the form that came with your kit, you’re ready to start the collection process. If swabbing a puppy, it is best not to take samples from a puppy that hasn’t been weaned because some of the mother’s DNA can be present due to nursing, which can contaminate the sample. Be sure to also wait for at least an hour after the dog eats or plays with shared toys before attempting to swab; excess saliva and food particles can compromise testing and reduce the quality of a sample.

When you are ready to begin swabbing, remove the swab from its protective packaging and be careful to not let anything touch the tip of the sponge. Insert the sponge between your dog's ...

Feeling Grateful

Feeling Grateful

Paw Print Genetics was started in 2012 with the vision of improving the health of dogs through genetic testing, education, and counseling. Since then, we have not only contributed to improving the health of dogs but have provided the largest menu of tests with outstanding customer care, an unparalleled website for managing your dogs, orders and results, with the utmost laboratory standards in the industry.  We offer testing for more than 350 breeds of dogs, including diseases, disease risk factors, coat colors and traits and have launched other genetic testing services including a comprehensive genetic screen for dogs (Canine HealthCheck), the largest genetic screen for cats (CatScan) and sex identification for monomorphic birds (AvianDx). 

I am so grateful for our talented staff of PhD geneticists, veterinarians, biologists, and customer care specialists who have worked so hard to bring you the highest testing accuracy and best customer service available. We even found time this year for research and publishing with the discovery of the first dog identified with an extra chromosome 38, a new mutation causing longhair in Maine coon cats, and further characterization of dapple (merle) mutations in dachshunds.

The greatest compliment a business can receive is a ...

Four things to Consider Before Buying

Four things to Consider Before Buying

Four things to Consider Before Buying

Whether you are looking to adopt from a breeder or a shelter, it is important to thoroughly think the decision over. While we want pups to be adopted, we also want to ensure the dog is a good match for home & lifestyle

If you are thinking about adding a new addition to your family, here are a few thoughts to consider and questions to ask yourself before adopting a dog.

 

1. Your Living Space

 

Do you live in an apartment? Do you have a backyard? Does your home have a lot of stairs? These are all good questions to ask yourself as some dog breeds have different needs when it comes to living spaces. Breeds with long backs and short legs, such as Corgis, can injure themselves by ascending or descending stairs. On the other hand, high energy breeds such as Australian Shepherds, thrive by having a backyard that they can run freely in. By considering these items, you can ensure a successful fit for your home.

 

2. Other Family Members

 

Who lives with you? Do you have small children or other animals? Certain dog breeds do better with ...

Hosting a Health Clinic

Hosting a Health Clinic

We often receive the question from clubs, “Can you send us supplies for collecting samples at our show or health clinic event?” The answer is YES. You may have a cardiac or eye clinic planned and would like to also offer genetic testing at your event. If this is something you and your health committee have discussed or are curious about, read on!

We may not always be available to be on site at your event to facilitate swabbing, but we are happy to provide helpful instructions and materials to make genetic testing at your event as paw-sitive an experience as possible.

What we need from you

Please provide us with your event name and/or club name, the date of your event and whether it is an all-breed show or breed specific. Let us know a general number of how many attendees will be interested in genetic testing their dogs at your clinic or event so we know how many items to send.

We will need your name, email, phone number and an address for shipping supplies.

A volunteer or two who can be present to assist customers in filling out their order form and swabbing their dog ...

Interpreting Risk-Based Genetic Tests Part Two: Examples of Genetic Testing that offer Risk Assessments.

Interpreting Risk-Based Genetic Tests Part Two: Examples of Genetic Testing that offer Risk Assessments.

In the first part of this examination of risk assessment and genetic testing, I dissected the concept of risk.  Although relative risk is incomplete without the perspective provided by absolute risk, logistical constraints within veterinary research often limit this perspective.  There is still value to these tests. In this next entry, I want to look at specific genetic tests where the result is functionally a risk assessment.  Hopefully, you will better understand how to use the information provided by these tests with the goal of producing better dogs with each generation.    

Genetic testing for dermatomyositis (DMS) is a true risk assessment test. Results from this test place a dog in risk categories of low, medium, high, and unknown.  This type of risk assessment is uncomplicated.  For each possible genotype listed in the report, the percentage of affected dogs in that group has been determined. Based on the genotype, the likelihood of an individual dog developing DMS is classified as low (0% - 5%), moderate (33% – 50%), or high (90% – 100%).  These percentages correlate with the absolute risk for these dogs. With this test result, decisions about breeding a dog can be made ...