The Paw Print Genetics Blog

Prevention is Smart Breeding- Cystine Bladder Stones in the Newfoundland Dog

Prevention is Smart Breeding- Cystine Bladder Stones in the Newfoundland Dog
'Scout' courtesy of Brad Geddes via Flickr, Creative Commons license

From its early history as a North American working dog used to retrieve fishing nets and perform human water rescues, the beautiful and intelligent Newfoundland dog has carved out a well-deserved place in the heart of dog lovers around the world. Their characteristic large size, marked by heavy bones, powerful musculature, webbed feet, and thick hair coat make the Newfoundland particularly adept at tasks involving swimming. However, they are just as capable and content pulling carts on land and performing other land-based tasks. In addition, their generally calm, loyal, and affable temperament have helped establish them as great family dogs.  

Over the years, Newfoundland breeders have selectively bred dogs that have displayed the most desirable characteristics in an effort to improve their breed. Unfortunately, alongside these desirable traits, sometimes the predisposition to produce offspring with certain inherited diseases are also silently passed from generation to generation in the form of genetic mutations. Such a genetic mutation found in the canine SLC3A1 gene (first described in 2000) is responsible for a potentially life-threatening condition in the Newfoundland known as cystinuria. Luckily for Newfoundlands and those that love them, cystinuria can be eliminated from most blood lines through the incorporation of ...

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Mixed Breed or Pure Bred Pet Dogs

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Mixed Breed or Pure Bred Pet Dogs

For many years, an extensive physical exam, fecal sample testing, vaccinations, and deworming have been the mainstays of new puppy veterinary visits. While all of these tried and true steps are crucial in making sure that a puppy is healthy and stays that way, advances in genetic testing technologies are now revolutionizing the veterinarian’s approach to addressing and anticipating potential health issues in young dogs. Though inherited diseases are seen by veterinarians on a frequent basis, many veterinarians do not realize that genetic testing for diseases is available or understand how clinically helpful testing puppies at their first visit can be. How often do you discuss puppy genetic testing with your clients?

How Can Genetic Testing Improve Veterinary Practice?

The implications that genetic testing results can have for a dog’s veterinary care vary by a specific disease’s age of onset, progression, and clinical signs. Early diagnosis of late-onset inherited diseases allows for your clients to become educated about what to expect and in some cases, take preventative measures and plan for life changes. Knowledge that a dog is at-risk for a particular late-onset disease also allows for early diagnosis and implementation of early treatment when possible. In some cases, clients ...

A Letter from our CEO

A Letter from our CEO

Since the announcement that we ended our litigation over the gene patents for  progressive retinal atrophy (prcd), collie eye anomaly, congenital stationary night blindness in Briards, and retinal dysplasia/oculoskeletal dysplasia in Labradors, there has been a huge outpouring of encouragement and congratulations from our customers. At Paw Print Genetics, we are all very touched by this support.

I have also received a number of emails from customers worried that we may raise our prices because of this new sublicense. I have even seen this question debated on Facebook and understand the concern.  As you can imagine, the lawsuits from the past couple of years were expensive. We paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to support our cases.  Last year, we won our case in Federal court and the patent for exercise-induced collapse (EIC) was invalidated. This allowed our customers to register their EIC results with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), but also cleared the way for other laboratories to offer this test without fear of litigation, even though they did not participate in the lawsuits or help fund our cause. As we are recovering from these huge litigation costs, we are doing all ...

How to Order Genetic Testing on an Upcoming Litter of Puppies

How to Order Genetic Testing on an Upcoming Litter of Puppies

The most common question that I receive goes something like this…”I have an upcoming litter.  How do I take advantage of this great sale before the pups have names and registration numbers?”

Paw Print Genetics provides a lot of services ‘behind the scenes’ that you may not know about.  Here we review our most popular services – all at no extra charge to you!

You can order tests for your pups before they are born!  Place an order with Paw Print Genetics anticipating the number of pups you are expecting. Name each pup a separate name, such as pup1, pup2, etc. Once they are born, you can update each pup with their birth date and sex. You can edit their name and add a collar color or some other identifier like coat color. Now you are ready to send in your samples!

Review all of our samples types because some samples, like dewclaws and umbilical cords will get you results much sooner than waiting on the best time to do cheek swabs in a puppy.

If you over estimated your litter size or just wanted to order extra tests to take advantage of the savings, you ...

The Von Willebrand Disease Type II Mutation and the Boykin Spaniel

The Von Willebrand Disease Type II Mutation and the Boykin Spaniel

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is a group of relatively common, inherited disorders of blood clotting in dogs. First described in humans in the 1920’s, vWD is now known to be caused by various mutations in the vWF gene which serves as a blueprint for a protein known as von Willebrand factor (vWF). The vWF protein plays an important role in the cessation of bleeding by binding and adhering platelets to wound sites. VWD is categorized into three main classifications (I, II, and III) based upon the quantity and structure of vWF protein present in affected dogs.

In 2004, a scientific paper was published by Kramer and others which described a specific mutation in the canine VWF gene associated with vWD in the German shorthaired pointer (around the same time, the same mutation was also identified as a cause of excessive bleeding in the German wirehaired pointer). Classified by clinical presentation as von Willebrand disease type II (vWDII), the discovered vWDII mutation has only been described in the scientific literature for the two German pointer breeds. However, the Paw Print Genetics laboratory identified the same mutation in several other breeds including the Boykin Spaniel. To our surprise, the mutation has been ...

Start Preparing for those Spring Babies Now

Start Preparing for those Spring Babies Now

Do you have an upcoming litter? Have you thought about the genetic testing that you will need?  It is important to plan ahead to save time and money, but also to ensure that you get results in time for sending your puppies off to their new home, each with a Canine Genetic Health CertificateTM.

By testing your dams and sires before they are bred, you will be able to avoid genetic disease in your puppies. As you plan your breeding, you can select to breed any carriers for a particular disease to a clear (normal) dog for that same disease. Although you are likely to produce carriers, for recessive conditions you will not produce pups at-risk for these diseases.  Now that your dams and sires have been fully tested with a Paw Print Genetics breed-specific panel, you are in great shape to select Mr. Right for each of your dams.

After carefully selecting your breeding pair, you now know what disease mutations your pups might carry.  This is when you should start planning genetic testing for your new litters. Paw Print Genetics has litter discounts every day to help you save money while being a responsible ...

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Breeding Dogs

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Breeding Dogs

Most veterinarians are well aware that canine hip and elbow radiographs, echocardiograms, and eye examinations have become routine veterinary health clearances requested by dog breeders. The goal of these diagnostics is to help breeders to improve their blood lines and produce healthy puppies. However, unless you work in a practice with a heavy canine reproduction case load, it is likely that you are less familiar with the genetic testing employed by breeders, what genetic tests are available, and how the results of genetic testing can help your dog-breeding clients attain their goals. Now that genetic testing has become a common addition to other pre-breeding canine health testing, gaining an understanding of available genetic testing and offering a service to help your clients complete their genetic testing through Paw Print Genetics (PPG), may increase the value of your customer relationships and build client loyalty, while at the same time, fulfilling your veterinary goal to improve the quality and length of puppies’ lives. How often do you discuss genetic testing with your dog breeder clients?

Dog Breeding and Genetic Testing

Though vet school curriculums have historically addressed canine inherited diseases and treatments for these conditions, much less emphasis has been placed on ...

Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

2015 was a big year for Paw Print Genetics. We made improvements to our website for easier account management, launched new disease tests, coat colors and traits, and won our lawsuit over Labrador exercise-induced collapse (EIC), so that you have choice in testing laboratories.

Our account management system is the best in the industry, but we are always looking for new ideas. Some of the website improvements made in 2015 include the ability to hide dogs within your account, share dogs between accounts and move dogs to new accounts.  What would you like to be able to do in your account? We continue to make improvements to our testing, reporting and website, all based on your input.

In early January, we launched several new, important disease tests including hereditary cataracts for Australian shepherds and related breeds and hereditary cataracts for French bulldogs and related breeds.  We also launched two progressive retinal atrophies in the golden retriever and retinal dysplasia/oculoskeletal dysplasia in Labrador retrievers.  We have many additional tests on our list to develop in 2016. We look forward to bringing you those tests throughout the new year.

Paw Print Genetics now offers 10 coat color tests and ...

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- Urate Bladder Stones in the Spanish Water Dog

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- Urate Bladder Stones in the Spanish Water Dog

Though reliable accounts marking the early origins of the Spanish water dog (SWD) are lost to history, likely ancestors of the SWD (and probably the Portuguese water dog) were described in the Iberian Peninsula around the 12th century. Primarily used as a herding breed, the Spanish water dog has also been trained to perform tasks for fishermen and hunters including towing boats to shore, gathering fishing nets, and retrieving game from waterways. Though still used as working dogs in modern day Spain and other countries, the demand for Spanish water dogs dropped precipitously during the industrial revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries when machines took over many tasks historically performed by the SWD and other breeds. This decrease in demand led to a decline in the world Spanish water dog population which still remains relatively small today.

In general, dog breeds with smaller population sizes tend to also have a smaller amount of genetic diversity within the breed. This means that any two individual dogs from a small breed population are more likely to share the exact same genetic information at any given location in their genome, including disease associated genetic mutations. This is ...

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- Progressive Retinal Atrophy and the American Eskimo Dog

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- Progressive Retinal Atrophy and the American Eskimo Dog

Despite its name, the roots of the American Eskimo dog can be traced back to Germany where it was known as a white colored, miniature to medium sized variety of the German spitz. This well rounded farm dog came to the United States with German immigrants in the early 20th century and adopted the name American spitz in the World War I era when war related anti-German sentiment and American patriotism were widespread. The breed was first recognized as the American Eskimo dog (AED) by the United Kennel Club in 1919 and was accepted by the American Kennel Club for registration in 1995. Known for its alert demeanor, the AED makes an excellent watchdog that alarms its family of potential danger through warning barks. The AEDs intelligence, fast learning, and desire to please have made it a competitor in the agility ring and obedience trials. Though not universally recognized as three separate varieties, the modern AED is often split into three size groups (toy, miniature, and standard).

Despite its many talents, beautiful physical characteristics, and intelligence, like other pure breeds, the AED has developed some inherited disease concerns over the course of its development that have caused significant issues ...