The Paw Print Genetics Blog

The Veterinarian's Corner- 2021: A Banner Year for Canine Genetic Health

The Veterinarian's Corner- 2021: A Banner Year for Canine Genetic Health

2021 has been an exciting year for Paw Print Genetics (PPG) and canine genetic health. With the addition of 15 new genetic disease and trait tests in July 2021, PPG has now added more than 50 new canine test offerings this year alone! However, when it comes to specific genetic diseases, variability in the population size of affected breeds and the frequency of the associated mutations, means that some diseases are much more likely to be seen in veterinary hospitals than others.

Here we will highlight four new genetic disease tests offered at PPG for canine diseases common enough to be seen in general veterinary practice. In addition, we will briefly discuss PPG’s new web-based disease and coat color probability calculators which assist breeders and veterinarians in selecting ideal parents for producing healthy puppies in the coat colors and patterns desired.

 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (Giant Schnauzer Type)1- Giant Schnauzer, German Spitz, German Spitz Klein, Keeshond, Miniature Smooth and Longhaired Dachshund, Pomeranian

Progressive retinal atrophy (Giant Schauzer Type), also known as generalized PRA or PRA5, is an autosomal recessive form of PRA affecting the giant schnauzer and several other breeds. Dogs inheriting two copies of the associated NECAP1 gene ...

New Coat Color/Trait and Disease Probability Calculators

New Coat Color/Trait and Disease Probability Calculators
Photo: Brendan Gleeson

Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce the release of our new Coat Color/Trait and Disease Genotype Probability Calculators on our website. These new tools allow breeders to calculate the possible outcomes from potential breeding pairs based on their genetic test results. The Coat Color/Trait Calculator can be used by the general public and both the Coat Color/Trait and Disease Calculators can be used by Paw Print Genetics customers specifically for their dogs that have results from PPG testing.

Both calculators can be found on our website at www.pawprintgenetics.com. After you login, under ‘My Account’ scroll down and click on either calculator. The Coat Color/Trait Calculator can also be found at https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/traits/calculator/.

What do the calculators do?

Have you ever wondered what the outcome of a particular breeding might be? Will the puppies be healthy? What will they look like? What if the potential dam and sire are both carriers of a genetic disease? What are their risks of having an affected puppy? What color will the puppies be? Will they have long, short, or curly hair? For some breeders, calculating the outcome from a breeding between two ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches 15 New Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches 15 New Tests

Paw Print Genetics is excited to tell you about 15 new tests that were just launched!  Among these new tests are three new trait tests that cause light colored dogs in various breeds. These new traits are sable in Cocker spaniels, white in Alaskan and Siberian huskies, and cream in Australian cattle dogs. What’s super interesting is that these new tests all involved DNA changes in the E locus.  Most are already familiar with the E (extension) locus, as DNA changes or variation in the MC1R gene inhibits the production of the black pigment, eumelanin, and allows the yellow/red pigment to show (phaeomelanin) and causes the coat color to be light, such as apricot in poodles, yellow in Labradors, and red in Irish Setters.  For the specific breeds mentioned above, you can now test specifically for the Eh variation found in some sable Cocker spaniels, or the e2 variation found in cream colored Australian Cattle dogs, or the e3 variation found in Alaskan and Siberian huskies. For all other breeds, you can just continue to order the common E locus variant to find out if your dog carries for yellow. Remember, white/yellow/red ...

Genetic Consultations for Veterinarians - A Free Service of Paw Print Genetics

Genetic Consultations for Veterinarians - A Free Service of Paw Print Genetics

With the rapid expansion of feline and canine genetic disease testing popularity over the past several years, today it is more common than ever for veterinarians to be asked to interpret genetic test results for their clients and offer recommendations based upon the results. However, the team at Paw Print Genetics (PPG) realizes that genetic counseling has not been a traditional part of veterinary education. For this reason, PPG offers no-cost genetic consultations for veterinarians and veterinary staff to assist their clients with genetic questions. Here we will discuss some of the many factors to be considered when assisting the veterinary team with interpreting genetic test results, assessing disease risk, and making breeding recommendations for the 300+ genetic tests offered at PPG.

Disease Inheritance

Understanding exactly how a specific disease is inherited by offspring can alter your assessment of disease risk and recommendations for breeding. The most common inheritance types discussed in animal genetics are autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, and X-linked recessive inheritance. However, less common inheritance patterns may also be seen for some animal diseases. Disease risk in animals inheriting one copy of a disease-associated mutation varies based upon the specific mode of inheritance. For example, dogs carrying one ...

Identifying A Litter of Puppies

Identifying A Litter of Puppies

The time has come. It is three in the morning and the new litter of eight has arrived! You were planning on doing some genetic testing and you know how important it is to label each puppy with a specific identifier. In all the excitement and clean up, are you prepared to send off these samples for testing? It is apparent that several of these precious pups are similar in size, color and of the same sex. Differentiating puppies is necessary for monitoring purposes and when collecting DNA samples to send to our laboratory. After all, you are anxious to mail in samples and receive those genetic health results! But we need to be able to provide the results to you on the correct puppy. So labeling each puppy sample is imperative!

We recommend health testing each puppy you plan to sell with breeding rights, as health testing will help increase the quality of your puppies and in turn the value of your breeding business. Once you learn who is clear or a carrier, you can then make vital decisions regarding each puppy to prevent inherited diseases and/or certain traits in your future litters. If both the dam and ...

National DNA Day 2021

National DNA Day 2021
DNA Day

I founded this company in 2012 with a single vision, to raise the bar regarding canine genetic testing. Since then, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) has tested more than 200,000 dogs and has provided the most comprehensive menu of tests for inherited diseases and traits across more than 350 breeds of dog. We have helped more than 34,000 customers gain access to genetic knowledge to help them improve their breeding program.

Today is National DNA Day – the day we celebrate the successes of the human genome project. The human genome was completed in 2003 and this opened the door to the sequencing of other animal genomes. With knowledge of the dog genome, which was published in 2005, researchers are now able to identify the DNA changes (called mutations or variants) that contribute to hundreds of traits and diseases in dogs.  Once these variants have been identified, we can use this knowledge to develop tests to identify these DNA changes in your dogs.

The unraveling of the dog genome has not only allowed discoveries of single gene mutations but has offered the opportunity to identify and better understand the complexities that exist for some traits and diseases. No ...

The Biology of Cleft Palate Defects

The Biology of Cleft Palate Defects

One thing a veterinarian does when either assisting a dog during whelping, or in the immediate follow up to a cesarean section is examine the puppies.  Included in this examination is an oral exam to check both suckle reflex and for any congenital defect which may compromise the puppy’s quality of life.  In effect, the vet is looking for any sign of a cleft lip/palate (CL/P).  A CL/P is a relatively common congenital defect of the craniofacial region.  The development of the palate includes the soft palate, the rostral (frontal) hard palate, the premaxilla section of the skull and the lips1.  This defect creates an opening between the oral and nasal cavities.  This opening is concerning because the puppy will have difficulties nursing leading to malnutrition and may inhale milk into the respiratory system which can lead to a sinus infection or pneumonia11.  Some dog breeds more commonly present with cleft defects than others suggesting a genetic component to this condition1.  Genetics do play a role in the formation of this defect, but they are not the only cause of a cleft lip/palate.  Genetic ...

National Pet Day!

National Pet Day!
Dog and Cat

Our dogs, our cats, our birds. They are more than just pets – they are our family members! Today, April 11th, we celebrate National Pet Day. The ones who bring us joy, laughter, and even snuggles. What would we do without our pets? Although they may not be able to live forever, we can do our best to give them long and healthy lives. At Genetic Veterinary Sciences, Inc. (GVS), we provide resources to achieve optimal canine, feline and avian genetic health to do just this. We do this through the genetic testing that we have developed for dogs, cats and birds.

What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing allows us to look into the DNA of your pets to learn about the inherited diseases they may have. We can also genetically test to learn about traits your animal may carry for such as coat colors. Our company differs from others as we follow the standards and guidelines for canine clinical testing laboratories, based on human diagnostic standards. This means all of our testing is of the highest quality and accuracy possible.

Why should I test my pet?

A common response we receive when discussing the benefits of genetic health testing is ...

The Veterinarian’s Corner: New Canine Genetic Disease Tests at Paw Print Genetics

The Veterinarian’s Corner: New Canine Genetic Disease Tests at Paw Print Genetics

As of January 2021, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) is proud to offer 44 new inherited disease tests for the canine health and breeding community. While these new tests are associated with diseases identified in dozens of breeds, the population size of each breed and the relative frequency of these mutations in those populations mean that some of these diseases are much more likely to be seen in clinical veterinary practice than others. Here we will highlight five diseases from the recent PPG test additions that are among those most likely to be diagnosed in the veterinary hospital setting.

Cerebellar Degeneration- Old English Sheepdog and Gordon Setter1

A genetic mutation in the canine RAB24 gene is associated with a juvenile-onset, autosomal recessive form of cerebellar degeneration (CD) in two seemingly disparate breeds, the Old English Sheepdog (OES) and Gordon Setter (GS). Also referred to as hereditary ataxia or cerebellar abiotrophy (CA), CD presents between 6 months and 4 years of age with progressive neurological dysfunction due to degeneration of cerebellar neurons, especially Purkinje neurons. Coordinated movement becomes progressively more difficult as the disease progresses and can include intention tremors, ataxia, and a stiff, high-stepping gait (hypermetria). Affected dogs are often ...

Testing for Dermatomyositis Risk

Testing for Dermatomyositis Risk

Dermatomyositis (DMS), also known as Juvenile Dermatomyositis or Canine Familial Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease of the skin and muscles caused by an over reactive immune system1. This disease has consistently plagued Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies of all varieties.  What makes this condition truly insidious is that although it mostly affects immature dogs, it can flare up seemingly out of nowhere to create issues in dogs of any age2.  Although testing for the genetic mutations that pre-dispose certain dogs for this disease has been around for some time, interpreting the results can be complicated often leaving owners confused about the results of this test.  Misunderstanding genetic results may lead to poor breeding decisions.  Let us look closer at DMS, how the disease presents, the complexity of genetic testing, and how to best utilize the results of this test.   

 

What is Dermatomyositis?

DMS is an inherited disease that causes dramatic inflammation of the skin, blood vessels and muscles in affected dogs.  Lesions often originate and are limited to the skin of the face with the lips with the area around the eyes particularly affected3.  Although the mechanisms of the ...