Author archives: Lisa Shaffer

Genetic screening in Beagles helps to select dogs for training

Genetic screening in Beagles helps to select dogs for training

All dogs are special, but Beagles play an important role as working dogs, especially in the areas of airport security and customs/immigration. In these roles, Beagles are trained to use their keen noses to identify agricultural items and substances, such as drugs, that are forbidden to be brought into the U.S. Estimates are difficult to come by, but there may be as many as 1,250 dogs being used for customs and border patrol at U.S. airports and borders. More difficult to obtain are the estimates for the costs associated with training a Beagle for these important functions. Some estimate the costs to be $16,000 to $20,000 per dog. Therefore, it is imperative that these dogs are physically fit to perform their duties once trained. In the breeding of Beagles, their top-notch sniffing abilities, desire to learn, and loyalty to humans were desired traits that were retained during their evolution. However, along with these desired traits, Beagles have a particularly high burden of genetic diseases. Many of these diseases to not manifest until the dog is mature and will impair the animal and prevent it from performing its work. Diseases such as degenerative myelopathy, Musladin-Lueke ...

Inherited disease in Poodles may cause neurological problems

Inherited disease in Poodles may cause neurological problems

Neonatal encephalopathy with seizures (NEWS) is an inherited neurologic condition known to affect all types of Poodles. Affected dogs appear small at birth and begin to develop abnormal neurologic symptoms around 3 weeks of life. Symptoms include muscle weakness, tremors, and abnormal body movement and affected dogs tend not to interact with their littermates. The disease quickly progresses with the onset of seizures and affected dogs typically die or are euthanized by 7 or 8 weeks of age. Genetic testing of the ATF2 gene that causes NEWS is available. Possible testing outcomes of this recessive disease include normal (clear), carrier and affected. Carrier dogs have one copy of the gene and although they do not have any features of the disease, when bred with another dog that also is a carrier of the same condition, there is 25% risk of having affected puppies that have two copies of the mutated gene. Genetic testing should be implemented PRIOR to breeding. Paw Print Genetics can provide you with Genetic Counseling to help eliminate this disease from your breeding lines. If testing has not been performed, genetic testing should be used PRIOR to buying that new puppy to avoid this devastating disease.