At Paw Print Genetics, we’re seeking to raise the standard of canine genetic diagnostic and carrier screening testing from start to finish. We strive to provide the best customer service in the industry and have implemented procedures that are above and beyond those currently used in the marketplace. Here’s just a quick look at what we’re doing to help serve you and your dog better:
Postal Standards: The U.S. Postal Service has outlined how animal specimens may be shipped, and that includes cheek swab samples tested in labs all across the country. Among those requirements: triple-packaging of samples, a rigid fiberboard or equivalent container to protect the samples, the use of the international biohazard symbol on the second packaging and the words “exempt animal specimen” on the outside of the shipping package. Because these standards are necessary and exact, we provide the kits to you with each order that conforms to the USPS standards.
Reports: Our detailed reports will clearly state the results of every test you ordered and will give actionable information that you can use. These interpretations and recommendations give you the knowledge to breed your dog more conscientiously, information about any known genetic risks and are written so that you can fully understand what the diagnosis means for the health of your dog or for breeding the dog.
Genetic Counseling: If at any time you have questions about tests or results, our geneticists and veterinarian are available to assist you and provide genetic counseling. We’ll answer those questions, make recommendations, interpret any point of confusion and do our best to help you understand the impact to your dog and any future actions, from breeding decisions to treatment options, which you may need. Sometimes the genetics can be quite confusing; as many as 15 percent of dogs tested in our lab had mutations in two different genes. Knowledge of these two genes in both parents would be essential for avoiding puppies with the inherited disease.
Education: Through our genetic counseling services, the blogs on our website and in-person seminars, we want to keep you informed about canine genetics in general, and the impact to you and your dog, specifically. The more you understand canine genetics and its role in producing healthier, happier dogs, the better off both of you will be.
Collection Kits: We provide you with DNA-collection kits, complete with a postage-paid self-addressed return mailer, as well as detailed written instructions on how to successfully obtain a cheek-swab sample. There are even explanatory videos on our website and YouTube to further assist you in obtaining that cheek cell specimen with the swabs we provide.
Testing Process: Every disease gene is tested using a primary approach, designed specifically for the particular mutation known to affect certain breeds of dogs. After this preliminary test, a secondary, confirmatory test, with a different technology, is used to demonstrate the same results as the primary test. This approach is what is used in the human genetic testing industry and insures that the results you are given truly reflect the genetics of your dog.
CLIA’88 Standards: In human genetic testing, all laboratories have oversight by a governmental regulation called CLIA’88. In this regulation, laboratories must conform to a set of standards and are inspected by agencies such as the College of American Pathologists. Unfortunately, in veterinarian genetic testing, such oversight does not exist. Nevertheless, Paw Print Genetics has established its laboratory, with the necessary test validation and documentation as if it had oversight through CLIA’88.
We hope that by providing the best customer service, education and support in the industry, we can help you better understand the genetics of your dog and make wise decisions when it comes to selecting, breeding and buying your dog.