The Paw Print Genetics Blog

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Australian Cattle Dog

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Australian Cattle Dog

Paw Print Genetics is celebrating the Australian Cattle Dog this week. Although generally considered a relatively healthy breed, like other purebred dogs, the Australian Cattle Dog is known to inherit several genetic diseases. Testing your dog prior to breeding prevents the disease through avoidance of producing puppies at-risk. This brief article describes a few of the diseases that can currently be tested for in Australian Cattle Dogs.  You can find a complete list and more information at  All of these tests performed by Paw Print Genetics are accepted by the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals

Cystinuria is an inherited disease that is known to affect amino acid absorption by the kidneys. This abnormality leads to cysteine crystals and/or stones in the bladder that can block the ureters or urethra and stop the normal flow of urine. If not treated, urinary stones can cause urinary tract infections, kidney failure and even death.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a late-onset neurological disease found in over 100 breeds of dog.  Known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in humans, affected dogs typically begin to show signs of neurological weakness in the hind limbs around 7-10 years of age. Dogs then lose the ability to walk 6 months to 2 years after first clinical signs.

Myotonia Congenita is an inherited muscle disorder found in puppies. They are frequently uncoordinated and have a ‘bunny hop’ type of gait.  Dogs with this disorder typically have a normal lifespan.

Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) is characterized by dislocation of the eye lens and can occur typically after 2 years of age. If the dislocated lens is not treated, a secondary glaucoma and vision loss may result.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, prcd (PRA-prcd) is a late onset, inherited eye disease affecting the retina. Affected dogs will show signs of vision loss later in life, typically after 3 to 5 years of age. The disease may start with loss of night vision, progressing to loss of day vision and eventually progresses to complete blindness.

Based on testing at Paw Print Genetics, Australian Cattle Dogs are at the greatest risk of DM, PLL and PRA-prcd. Paw Print Genetics offers a breed-specific disease panel for the Australian Cattle Dog for these five diseases.  Regularly $275, owners can get this panel for 50% off from September 19 – 30, 2016 with code  ACDSPECIAL

Paw Print Genetics is the leader in canine genetic testing. Built on diagnostic standards set in human genetic testing, we employ PhD geneticists and veterinarians that oversee the testing and are available to you to answer any questions prior to testing or after you’ve received your results.  All mutation regions are examined twice, with two independent methods to ensure the highest accuracy in the industry. Our online account management system is just one of our concierge level of services provided and lets you keep all of your dogs and results in one place. If you have any questions, please contact us at or (509) 483-5950 and we would be happy to assist you.