Category archives: All Things Dog

Resources and information for the dog owner or breeder.

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 ...

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 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 ...

Is a Puppy the Right Holiday Gift?

Is a Puppy the Right Holiday Gift?

Happy Holidays!

As we enter this season of giving, it is best to keep in mind the level of commitment you and others have for specific gifts, such as a new puppy. While getting a puppy on Christmas may be fun and can bring people joy, once the holiday magic is gone, the responsibility may be too much for some people. Here are a few things to keep in mind while deciding if a puppy is the right gift choice for this holiday season.

Cost of Caring for a Dog

While gifting a dog to someone eliminates the initial cost, there are still many other costs that the new owner must think about. Food, vet appointments, toys, and other essential items start to add up. If you are gifting this pup to your family or kids, please note that the cost of a dog is around the cost of another child for 10-15 years. If you are unsure of the financial situation of the person you are gifting to, it is probably a good idea not to gift them something that requires a financial commitment.

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Another question to ask yourself is, “Does the person I’m gifting this puppy to ...

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Early Onset Risk Modifier

Pembroke Welsh Corgi  Early Onset Risk Modifier

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a chronic, progressive neurologic condition that typically develops in the latter third of a dog’s life. DM starts in the central portion of the spinal cord then gradually progresses to involve all spinal cord segments. 1 Although DM is unique to the dog, it is a natural-occurring model of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.3,4 In dogs, the common form of DM results from a DNA change (mutation) in the SOD1 gene. This is a recessive condition, meaning that dogs with two copies of the mutation are at risk for developing DM. For most affected dogs this condition develops late in life, however a change in the DNA at a different gene than the SOD1 gene has been identified in some dogs that modifies the risk for DM in the Pembroke Welsh corgi. In dogs that have two copies of the at-risk DM mutation and have one or two copies of a mutation found in the SP110 gene, will reduce the age of onset for DM.   

Typical DM presents with dysfunctional and abnormal movements of the pelvic limbs around 8 years of age or later. Dogs may ...

Canine Halloween Hazards

Canine Halloween Hazards

The leaves are falling and the pumpkins are reaching their proper jack ‘o lantern size. Soon children everywhere will be dining on a steady diet of Halloween candy while many of us adults relive our youth by taking full advantage of the one day every year we can pretend to be someone (or something) else. Though many dogs also enjoy the excitement that Halloween brings, this time of year can present additional hazards and stressors for our canine friends.

 

Alcohol and Junk Food

Although Halloween parties in 2020 are likely to be much different than in years past, our opportunistic dogs are still likely to find themselves around more potentially dangerous food and drink than is typical in their daily lives. A cocktail placed at dog height or a single plate of carelessly placed food have been known to ruin more than one celebratory day.

Alcoholic beverages are a particular concern for dogs during holidays and celebrations. Dogs under the influence of alcohol tend to suffer the same consequences as their overindulgent human counterparts including drowsiness, vomiting, lack of coordination, and slow reflexes. Dogs consuming toxic levels of alcohol may experience depression, breathing and heart rate abnormalities, collapse, low ...

Fall Safety for You and Your Pup

Fall Safety for You and Your Pup

Fall brings some wonderful changes; brisk evening walks with your dog, autumn decorations, curling up on the couch to watch your favorite Halloween flicks to name a few. With the changing of the seasons comes some notable adjustments for your dog too. Below are a few things to help you and your dog prepare for the upcoming autumn season.

Keep an Eye Out for Wildlife

Be extra vigilant this time of year of your dog’s off leash whereabouts. If you live in a more rural area where wildlife is prominent, it may be second nature to keep your eyes peeled for deer, moose, coyotes or even bear. Don’t forget about the smaller animals like porcupine and skunks, all very busy with their winter preparations. These animals could pose unwanted threats to your canine.

Cooler Temperatures

Colder temperatures and shorter days often mean less time spent outside, which could decrease the amount of exercise your dog is getting. This could be especially perilous on older dogs with arthritis. Protexin Veterinary recommends short and consistent exercise for arthritic dogs, if possible, such as shorter walks multiple times a day rather than long winter walks. Additionally, moist heat therapy can decrease pain and ...

COVID 19 and Your Pets

COVID 19 and Your Pets

With the COVID -19 Pandemic creating many challenges today, we thought we would provide information to help you understand the condition and reduce any risk to you or your furry family members.

A novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong reported on March 4th, 2020 a pet dog had repeatedly tested weak positive for SARS-CoV-2.  This is consistent with a low level of infection.  The transmission was most likely human to animal, as the dog lived with a human that tested positive for the virus.  The pet was quarantined for 14 days and never developed clinical signs. Sadly, the pet passed away shortly after its quarantine from unrelated causes. 

Although this case is concerning, we don’t really know if SARS-CoV-2 can infect dogs, cats and other animals.  The World Health Organization stated there is no evidence at present that dogs and cats can be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or develop ...

The Genetics of Shortened Limbs and the Association with Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

The Genetics of Shortened Limbs and the Association with Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Shortened legs are a major defining feature for some of today’s most popular domestic dog breeds. Although dogs with extreme shortening of the limbs likely come to mind when pondering this trait (such as dachshunds or basset hounds), many other breeds also display a more subtle or moderate limb shortening (e.g. West Highland white terrier, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, beagle). Unfortunately, in some breeds, dogs with shortened legs have also been found to be at an increased risk for early-onset intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). However, over the past several years, genetic discoveries and development of genetic testing have made it possible to better understand the short-legged appearance of some dog breeds and the genetic underpinnings which make some of these dogs more likely to develop IVDD.

Intervertebral Discs and the Spinal Cord

In order to understand IVDD, we must first understand the role, location, and structure of the intervertebral discs (IVDs) and their anatomical relationship to the spinal cord. IVDs play a crucial role as cartilaginous ‘shock absorbers’ for the spine and allow for spinal flexibility. IVDs are often compared to a ‘jelly doughnut’ sitting between the vertebrae as they are composed of an outer ring of tough ...

Genetic Health Screening, the Canine HealthCheck, and Benefits for Veterinary Practice

Genetic Health Screening, the Canine HealthCheck, and Benefits for Veterinary Practice

The impact of canine genetic testing on veterinary medicine continues to grow as dog owners become increasingly interested in the genetic factors underlying their dogs’ health and how knowledge of these factors may improve the lives of their furry companions. Genetic screening tools which test for large numbers of deleterious genetic mutations, such as the Canine HealthCheck (CHC) developed by Paw Print Genetics (PPG), are particularly useful when performed on a young dog to identify specific inherited health concerns; especially in cases where the lineage of the dog is unknown.

Early Screening, Faster Diagnosis

Among the tests performed on the CHC are disease tests which may prove invaluable in decreasing client costs associated with diagnosis, increasing speed of diagnosis, or improving medical outcomes. For example, many tests included on the CHC, such as the test for the neurological disease, degenerative myelopathy (DM) are adult-onset conditions which may not be observed in a dog until it has reached late adulthood. DM is a progressive disease caused by a genetic mutation in the canine SOD1 gene which can only be definitively diagnosed after death through histologic examination of the spinal cord because antemortem diagnostic methods fail to yield pathognomonic results. In addition ...