The Paw Print Genetics Blog

New Tests Added to the Canine HealthCheck

New Tests Added to the Canine HealthCheck

The Canine HealthCheck has added six new tests  Customers who purchase a new Canine HealthCheck or have yet to use their Comprehensive Canine HealthCheck purchased from our website will automatically receive these six new tests for their dog when samples are received after August 9th, 2022.  However, for dogs that have already been tested or for samples that are currently being processed by our laboratory, we are unable to add these new tests to your dog’s testing. Luckily, all of these tests except one are also offered at Paw Print Genetics and we may be able to use the DNA sample that we have on file in the laboratory to do this testing for you if desired. If your dog was previously tested with the Canine HealthCheck and you now want one or more of these new tests, please give us a call at 855-202-4889 (US and Canada only), 509-483-5950 or reach out to us via email at and we will help you place a new order.  

The six new tests include Golden Retriever Ichthyosis Type 2, Norwegian Buhund Ataxia, Cerebellar Ataxia of Belgian Shepherds, Spanish Water Dog Progressive Retinal Atrophy and two new traits for French Bulldogs, the Cocoa coat color and the Lh4 mutation for longhair.

Golden Retrievers are known to be at risk for ichthyosis, an inherited skin condition. But did you know that there are two types of ichthyosis caused by mutations in two different genes? Commonly found in Golden Retrievers, two copies of a mutation in the PNPLA1 gene can cause a highly variable ichthyosis characterized by scaly dry skin (Ichthyosis Type 1). A second mutation, found in the ABHD5 gene, causes a similar condition when inherited in two doses (Ichthyosis Type 2). Because these skin conditions can lead to higher susceptibility to skin infections, testing your dogs for these genetic mutations will identify those at risk and the information can be used to avoid producing affected puppies in future generations.

Ataxia is a neurologic condition that can present in the first month of life with difficulties in balance and controlling movements and may progress rapidly. The ataxia found in the Norwegian Buhund is an early onset, recessive condition and genetic testing will be helpful to identify carriers or affected pups. Breeds such as the Belgian Malinois, Tervuren, Laekenois and Belgian sheepdog are at risk for developing a cerebellar ataxia (SDCA1) that can also present in the first month of life.  Testing breeding dogs for this mutation will identify carriers and allow breeders to avoid producing puppies with this condition.

The Spanish Water Dog is at risk for an early onset progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-EO). This inherited eye disease is known to only affect Spanish Water Dogs and has an early onset around 1.5 years of age with significant loss of vision by about 4 or 5 years of age. Testing for the mutation causing PRA-EO can allow breeders to avoid this recessive condition.  

French Bulldogs may have a brown coat color due to two copies of a DNA change in the Cocoa gene or from two copies of a DNA change in the B locus. Because a brown coat color is now known to be caused by DNA changes in two different genes, French Bulldogs with or without a Cocoa mutation, may still carry for the common B locus mutations found in many breeds. Therefore, the Canine HealthCheck now tests for both mutations to help French Bulldog owners and breeders understand their dog’s coat color and the colors that they can produce in breeding.
Longhair in dogs is complex. There are five known variants in the FGF5 gene that are associated with long coat lengths and the Canine HealthCheck offers tests for three of these (Lh1, Lh2, Lh4). All are inherited in a recessive fashion, meaning that dogs with longhair will have two of these possible five mutations. For most breeds, longhaired dogs will have two copies of the same mutation. However, for French Bulldogs, fluffy Frenchies can have two copies of either of two variants, Lh1 or Lh4.  While the Lh4 variant seems to be found in only French Bulldogs, the Afghan Hound and Eurasier, the Lh1 variant can be found in many breeds. By testing with the Canine HealthCheck, breeders and dog owners will know if their dog carries for longhair or if longhaired, which mutations are contributing to this trait.             
These updates demonstrate our continued commitment to provide the most comprehensive genetic screen for dogs. With over 250 different diseases and traits in the Canine HealthCheck, no other panel on the market will provide you the information that you need to breed with confidence. Backed by the highest accuracy, outstanding customer service and genetic counseling of Paw Print Genetics, you can trust and understand the results from the Canine HealthCheck to help you with your breeding goals.  If you should have any questions, please contact us. You can find all of the tests included in the Comprehensive Canine HealthCheck by clicking here