The Paw Print Genetics Blog

What’s the Deal with von Willebrand Disease II? - An Important Update for the Boykin Spaniel

What’s the Deal with von Willebrand Disease II? - An Important Update for the Boykin Spaniel

The clotting disorder known as von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a relatively common and potentially lethal disease of dogs. Three general types of vWD (types I, II, and III) have been described based upon the specific genetic cause and level of deficiency in a protein known as von Willebrand factor (vWF), which plays an important role in blood coagulation. Dogs deficient in vWF protein are at risk of potentially life-threatening bleeding episodes when undergoing surgical procedures or as a result of traumatic injury. Therefore, when a relatively high frequency of Boykin spaniels was identified in the Paw Print Genetics (PPG) laboratory to carry a mutation in the VWF gene previously associated with vWDII in German shorthaired and wirehaired pointers (Kramer and colleagues), Boykin spaniel lovers and our team at Paw Print Genetics (PPG) were understandably concerned.

Concern turned to confusion as Boykins expected to be at risk for vWDII (based upon their genetic testing results) failed to show any signs of a clinical clotting disorder. In addition, results of additional blood tests looking at the product produced by the gene on several “at-risk” dogs showed no deficiency in vWF protein and no increase in blood clotting times. At that time ...

What To Test? - Selecting Sample Types for Genetic Testing

What To Test? - Selecting Sample Types for Genetic Testing

With canine genetic disease testing becoming an increasingly common practice in both pets and breeding dogs, more and more veterinarians are being tasked with assisting their clients with sample collection for genetic testing. Paw Print Genetics (PPG) accepts a large variety of sample types that can be used for DNA extraction. In some cases, certain sample types may be much more convenient or logical to submit for testing than others.

I thought customer service was dead...Paw Print Genetics proved me wrong. By Justin Riegsecker, JARS Labradoodles

I thought customer service was dead...Paw Print Genetics proved me wrong.  By Justin Riegsecker, JARS Labradoodles

The following is a letter written by a Paw Print Genetics' customer, Justin Riegsecker, posted here with his permission.  Click to find out more about JARS Labradoodles.

I started JARS Labradoodles three years ago when I purchased my first Australian Labradoodle stud.  I am very fortunate in that my father has been a breeder for over 43 years - fortunate because he allowed me to get started by essentially giving me three amazing Moyen Poodle females.  More importantly, I am fortunate because he has taught me many things about raising puppies and how to deal with the unexpected.  I'm sure you know the proverb about the difference between giving a man a fish or teaching a man to fish.  I really feel like I was given the fish AND taught how to fish.  Our business has grown over these three years and I've merged JARS Labradoodles with my father's Goldendoodle breeding program. 

My father is old school - doesn't know much about the internet and the power to reach millions of potential clients across the United States.  I have a Bachelor's degree in business and marketing and had spent several years in sales prior to ...

A Thank You From Our CEO

A Thank You From Our CEO

As we head into 2017, I want to thank you for using Paw Print Genetics. Our goal is to exceed your expectations every time you use us, from our concierge level of service, our uncompromising commitment to quality, and our highly accurate testing. We are passionate about bringing you the tests that you need to enhance your breeding program and to be a partner with you to help you breed the healthiest dogs possible.  We know that you have a lot of choices in genetic testing laboratories and are grateful that you continue to choose Paw Print Genetics. 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year,

Lisa G. Shaffer, PhD

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

I like to use this time of year to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the past year. Paw Print Genetics (PPG) was founded only a few short years ago, launching our first set of canine disease tests in 2013.  Our commitment to excellence in both testing accuracy and customer service quickly propelled us to the top of the canine testing industry. In no other testing laboratory can you find the highly skilled staff of veterinarians and PhD geneticists eager to help answer your questions and guide you to the useful and informative testing that you need for your breeding program. Aiming to be the best, our web-based ordering system is unparalleled in the industry.  This didn’t happen by chance, as we continuously talked to our customers about how we could improve our systems and deliver a product that was user friendly and met their high standards, comparable to their own breeding principles.

This year was not without its challenges, but overcoming obstacles makes us stronger.  We ended litigation over PRA-prcd and CEA, allowing us to be listed as an approved laboratory with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Fighting for our customers’ rights to have a ...

Paw Print Genetics uses the Latest Technologies to bring Customers Enhanced DNA Profiles and Paternity

Paw Print Genetics uses the Latest Technologies to bring Customers Enhanced DNA Profiles and Paternity

Providing a unique DNA profile to identify a dog or performing paternity to qualify a sire is not new. In both humans and canines, these services have been around for decades, but so has the technology.  The use of microsatellite markers has been the mainstream technology for identifying people and dogs since the early 1980’s.  However, these particular markers are best used to exclude a suspect or exclude a sire, but trying to prove identity or prove that a sample is from the one and only possible sire is much more difficult.

Welcome to the 21st century!  The old microsatellite markers were just not good enough, in some cases, to distinguish a sire from his sons or brothers from one another.  And in true Paw Print Genetics fashion, we are just compelled to do everything better than anyone else! Introducing single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. These are small changes in the DNA that tend to be different between individuals, including relatives.  Paw Print Genetics is using a proprietary set of 99 distinct SNPs found in different locations throughout the canine genome to uniquely identify individuals and better qualify sires.

Take a look at the ‘heat map’ ...

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Inherited Disease - Preventing Blindness Through Genetic Testing

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Inherited Disease - Preventing Blindness Through Genetic Testing

Since we started working with the Boykin Spaniel Society (BSS), both Paw Print Genetics (PPG) and the BSS have learned much about the genetic disease concerns of these wonderful, little brown dogs. By using the founder breeds of the Boykin as a guide, PPG developed the first Boykin spaniel inherited disease testing panel in 2014. Based upon the results collected over two years of testing Boykins, in September 2016, the original disease testing panel was split into two panels; the Boykin spaniel essential panel (containing the most clinically important and/or common diseases) and the supplemental panel (containing diseases of less clinical importance and/or lower incidence).

Two of the four diseases on the Boykin spaniel essential panel are inherited diseases of the eye. Diseases resulting in vision loss or blindness are among some of the most life-altering and troublesome non-lethal diseases of dogs. However, with knowledge of a specific genetic mutation resulting in blindness as well as an understanding of how that specific eye disease is inherited, blindness caused by the mutation can be prevented through the use of genetic testing and informed selective breeding practices based upon test results. Two eye diseases known to be inherited in the ...

We have a lot to be thankful for!

We have a lot to be thankful for!

At Paw Print Genetics, we are so thankful for our customers. Without you, we simply wouldn't exist. Without your input, we wouldn't have some of our recently launched programs such as Veterinary Verification reporting, Paw Print Pedigrees and Clear by Parentage certificates, as these, and many other features and tests that we offer have been suggested by our customers.  We see our customers as our partners, suggesting changes, tests and features that enhance your testing experience with us.  

After a report has been issued, I send each customer an email thanking them for their business and for their commitment to healthy dogs.  These take time, but I feel that these emails are important to send. The emails remind me of how important it is to connect with our customers, to reach out to see if there is anything else that we can do for them, to ask if there are ways we can improve our service, and to provide a little reward for being a responsible breeder with a discount on their next order.  Will I be able to keep this up as we grow?  I hope so.  It provides such a great opportunity to get feedback from our customers and I receive ...

Who To Test? - Canine Autosomal Recessive Genetic Diseases

Who To Test? - Canine Autosomal Recessive Genetic Diseases

Genetics play an enormous role in the health of dogs walking through the doors of any veterinary hospital. However, the treatment of an animal with an inherited disease rather than proactive testing of the genetic mutations responsible for disease has been the traditional role of the veterinarian. With an increase in the availability of canine genetic disease testing and great improvements in the ease and convenience of ordering genetic testing through Paw Print Genetics, more and more dog breeders and their clients are having genetic testing performed prior to being symptomatic and learning the benefits of these powerful technologies. As a veterinarian, understanding the basics of genetic testing and how genetic test results can be used to prevent and diagnose disease will keep you current and prepared for your clients as these technologies inevitably become a more significant part of clinical veterinary practice.

One of the more challenging but important aspects of canine genetic testing is deciding what recommendations to make when a dog or one of its relatives are found to be at risk for (or affected with) a particular inherited disease. Appropriate testing recommendations for the relatives of affected dogs may be crucial for prevention of additional affected ...

Genetic Disease Testing and the Hunting Labrador- Protecting Your Investment

Genetic Disease Testing and the Hunting Labrador- Protecting Your Investment

You’ve spent a small fortune and an immense amount of time selecting, purchasing, socializing, and training your young Labrador retriever, Charlie, for the big hunt. It’s the first hunt of his career and he’s amped! As you are getting everything out of your truck, you let Charlie out of his crate to run around and explore a little. He disappears for several minutes as you are getting your gear and you call him back to you. However, when he returns, you notice that Charlie seems wobbly in his rear end and eventually his hind limbs collapse. He attempts to keep running, but drags his hind limbs for a short distance before giving up and lying down. Uncharacteristic for Charlie, he won’t get up when you call him and he no longer seems to be as interested in the hunt. After comforting Charlie for several minutes, he gets back up on his feet, though you can still see that he is a little wobbly. After several more minutes, Charlie is back to his jovial self with little indication that anything was wrong.

Unfortunately, the scenario described here is not a terribly uncommon story among Labrador owners and those that hunt with ...