The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Road Trips for #K9health

Road Trips for #K9health

Meeting our customers face to face and personally answering their questions is a high priority for Paw Print Genetics. In the last month, several members from our team have hit the road to attend dog shows. We had the pleasure to meet hundreds of dogs and their owners to talk about the value of inherited disease testing when breeding and buying a puppy.

In late September, Casey, our DVM and Assistant Medical Director and I travelled to Salem, Oregon for The Poodle Club of America’s Regional Specialty. We met poodles of all sizes and colors from all over the region. The poodle owners spent hours grooming and attending to their canines, but when they had a moment they stopped by our booth to talk about their concerns regarding genetic diseases.  Our Poodle Panel  includes six inherited diseases found in the breed. After discussing health concerns with these owners, most indicated that they always test for PRA-PRCD and neonatal encephalopathy. Many people were unaware that several breeds, including poodles, are possible carriers for degenerative myelopathy, a devastating disease with onset later in life.

Before returning to Spokane, we had one more show to attend in Kennewick, Washington for the 80th annual Richland Kennel Club Fall Dog Show. It is one of the biggest events of the year for the area; over 1,000 dogs and 3,000 fans gathered in the beautiful Columbia Park to watch and participate. However, this year the weather was a cold and very wet!  The dogs did not seem to mind the weather, as they were happy and playful like usual! The humans on the other hand tried to stay dry and a good place to do so was under the Paw Print Genetics tent! We spoke with a variety of owners representing different breeds. Many of these folks recognized us from other local shows and catalog advertisements. We filled them in on what makes us different from other laboratories and how we do genetic testing the right way!

After the show, I returned to Spokane for one week and then packed up everything including Lisa Shaffer, PhD, our founder and CEO. This time the destination was Olympia, Washington for the Labrador Retriever Club Inc. National Specialty Week. At this outdoor show Mother Nature displayed all types of weather patterns. There was wind, rain, thunder, lightning, hail, and even some sunshine! Of course the Labradors were happy, as they did not seem to mind the crazy weather!  Attendees from all over the US and Canada traveled to the Pacific Northwest with their talented dogs who competed in the ring and in the field.

Our Labrador Retriever Panel consists of 11 genetic tests including exercise-induced collapse, PRA-PRCD and centronuclear myopathy. The show attendees were very interested to learn about our panel testing option. These owners realized that they could get a great deal on the panel tests and in return get more information about the genetic health of their dog.  They also appreciated the method of cheek swabs to obtain DNA.

Next on the agenda for Paw Print Genetics is a convention in our hometown, Spokane, Washington! We will be exhibiting this week at the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. We hope to connect with dog trainers, veterinarians and other canine professionals to spread the word about optimal canine genetic health and inherited disease testing.

As you can tell, we are busy educating and connecting with dog lovers about the importance of canine genetic health. If your club or organization has an interest in Paw Print Genetics coming to your next dog show, meeting or event, please get in touch with us! Email your inquires with details to