The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Why do we do this?

Why do we do this?

Why? For the love of dogs. There is nothing more heartbreaking than when a dog that is loved and has been invested in dies. This is heart breaking when that dog has lived a long full life beyond the expectancy for his size and breed and when that dog has fulfilled many hopes and dreams planned for them. It is far more devastating when that loss is premature due to genetic disease. It is devastating when a much anticipated and planned for litter results in a puppy or puppies that die at a day or weeks old. It is worse still when serious problems occur at a year or two years of age, when that puppy is already a part of their owners' life, plans or family. Whether a beloved companion, part of the family, a beautiful show prospect full of potential, a working dog where hours upon hours have been spent in developing their inborn skills to serve an important purpose, or a performance dog trained to (or not quite to) perfection (as the case may be for many of us) it is tragic when this time, energy, love, hope, money, potential is dashed due to premature death or disability caused by genetic disease.
No one hopes to produce a puppy with mucopolysaccharidosis, Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), blindness, seizures or any of the over 100 genetic disorders that will be tested for at Paw Print Genetics. When these problems occur, people often do not know how to react, why the problem occurred, what to do or who to blame.
Sadly, to some degree more or less, disease, including genetic disease, is an inevitable part of life. Genetic disease occurs in much wanted and planned for human children and genetic disease occurs in puppies and dogs. Each breed of dog is like a large extended family and because of this, most breeds are known specifically to be at risk for certain diseases. Unfortunately, we cannot anticipate the occurrence of all genetic disease, but by knowing our breed of dog, we can attempt to anticipate the possibility of certain disorders and do testing to eliminate the chance of our dogs or our breedings developing or producing these particular conditions, disorders or diseases. Just as you may know that your own family has an increased risk for cystic fibrosis, heart disease or certain types of early onset cancer--many dogs of many breeds have a higher risk for certain disorders (and actually a decreased risk for others).
Helping people test for the diseases that their dogs may be at risk for (and not the diseases they are not at risk for) and understand the implication of the results is the goal, mission and purpose of Paw Print Genetics. As the Definitive Resource for Canine Genetic Health©, Paw Print Genetics is committed to the genetic health and well-being of dogs using state-of-the -art equipment in a laboratory environment equivalent to that used in human diagnostics to insure test results are accurate.
As quoted from Paw Print Genetic founder and CEO, Lisa Shaffer, PhD: "Very few people consider the genetic health of their dogs, even though there are over 150 known genetic mutations in canines. Our Canine Genetic Health Certificate© is a major step towards improving the health and longevity of man's best friend."

So the reason we all breed, buy, train, exhibit, work and share our lives with our dogs is the same reason that we at Paw Print Genetics want to offer them accurate, comprehensive, state-of-the-art genetic testing---for the LOVE of dogs. Our best friends, our protectors, our service animals, our furry heads to cry on, our loves us when it seems like no one else does, our partners, our sniffers, chasers, herders, hunters and racers, our champions and our companions deserve nothing less.


  • Martine Huslig on 03/27/2013 11:18 a.m. #

    Thank you very much Jo Ann!!! We truly hope for our blogs to be helpful, educational and informative and hope you continue to enjoy them. Feel free to ask questions or to contact me with topics that may specifically be curious to you that you might like to see addressed.

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