Category archives: All Things Dog

Resources and information for the dog owner or breeder.

Knowledge Sharing: Find Your Puppy’s Littermates

Knowledge Sharing: Find Your Puppy’s Littermates

A novel service has launched that aims to connect dog owners with other owners who have a puppy from the same litter. The free online service, r-u-mylitter.com, is in its infancy, but it could serve as an excellent source of information for future puppy buyers, current dog owners and in genetic research and canine healthcare.

Spurred by a co-founder Wendy Margolis’ experience picking a puppy, r-u-mylitter.com seeks to unite curious dog owners who wonder what happened to their dog’s littermates. The site has received quite a bit of press, including registration by reality star Khloe Kardashian, who made headlines when she began searching for the littermates of her new boxer puppy.

Besides offering novelty information, like where in the world littermates have dispersed and personality traits of each puppy, the site has the potential to offer more important and useful knowledge.

As Dr. Steven Suter, the Medical Director of North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine Canine Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, explains on their site, connecting with the owners of littermates could help your dog if it were to need a bone marrow transplant or other similar procedure.

“My impression is that using …cells harvested from a ...

Fireworks and Fido: How to Make It Through the July 4th Holiday

Fireworks and Fido: How to Make It Through the July 4th Holiday

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, you need to be mindful of how your dog reacts to fireworks and take this into consideration when planning Independence Day activities.

For some dogs, fireworks are a non-issue. For others, including hunting dogs that are used to loud noises, the thunderous booms that accompany the flash and sparkle of pyrotechnics can be a tumultuous experience.

The stress experienced by dogs during fireworks often triggers the fight-or-flight response. The loud noises usually make the dog want to leave the situation – animal-control services see a 30-percent increase in lost pets during July 4-6. While you need to take the appropriate steps to keep your pet safe and secure, you have to realize that the stress also increases the chance that your normally lovable dog might bite.

To keep your dog protected, make sure you provide a safe place for it during the holiday season – their crate is an excellent spot that is very secure both physically and psychologically. Always leash your dog before going outside to reduce the chance of losing them should they bolt because fireworks. Also, try to find them as quiet of a place as possible to spend time ...

Dog Bites Cost Homeowners $489 Million in 2012

Dog Bites Cost Homeowners $489 Million in 2012

According to a recent report, dog bites account for one-third of all monies paid out to homeowners’ insurance claims – nearly half a billion dollars in 2012. 

While the $489 million paid out for dog bites pales in comparison to the estimated $2 billion spent on canine reconstructive-knee surgery (TPLO operations), it underscores the burden of responsibility every dog owner shares.

If you think a dog won’t bite, you’re wrong. No matter how small, cute or friendly a dog appears, if has teeth, it can bite; and all dogs have approximately 42 adult teeth that evolved to slash, tear, grip and kill. Or as the U.S Post Office puts it: “There are 70 million good dogs … but any dog can bite.”

The postal service released the slogan on a poster in support of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which was May 19-25. Postal workers are the third most-bit victims, behind the elderly and toddlers.

Young children, with their jerky, unstable motions, uncanny ability to surprise and eye-level height with canines, suffer the most and worst bites. The disfigurement of a child takes only a moment, but can last a lifetime. Those lasting bites are also the ones ...

Helping Our Local K-9 Heroes

Helping Our Local K-9 Heroes

The Spokane Police Department’s K-9 Unit is highly trained to fight crime and help keep our city safe. When highly trained canines used in police work are prematurely retired due to health issues, it costs the department extra resources and manpower to get new canines up to speed. German shepherds and Belgian malinois, two of the most popular breeds used for tracking, suspect apprehension, building and vehicle searches, as well as search and rescue, can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Even if the dog comes with a financial or replacement-dog guarantee, the weeks of specialized and intense training with officers represent an un-recoupable monetary loss in man-hours.

To that end, Paw Print Genetics recently collaborated with our hometown police force, the Spokane Police Department, and their K-9 Unit to genetically screen the six dogs patrolling our streets. While none of the hardworking dogs have displayed any sort of symptom related to genetic disease, the information gathered from the screening will give the department a baseline reading of each dog’s genetic health, which could be useful in future health screenings, any medical issues and treatments.

Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the Spokane Police Department conducts a small breeding ...

Tornados: Helping the Animal Victims

Tornados: Helping the Animal Victims

As yet another storm front that ravaged the Midwest with severe weather and deadly tornados moves east, the cleanup and rebuilding of communities, such as the devastated Moore, Okla., takes precedence.

A television special by Blake Shelton raised $6 million for the United Way, the Red Cross has a text-based donations system set up and there are several other local and national organizations mobilizing to help victims left homeless and injured by the lethal tornados.

The outpouring of emotion extends to pets too, such as this video that went viral after a woman found her missing dog among the rubble during a live television interview.

When it comes to helping animals impacted by the tornados however, no national organization is donating financial support or other needed supplies on a grand and prioritized scale. If you want to help support the animals displaced or injured by the series of tornados that have ravaged Oklahoma, it’s always best, as well as more efficient, to give directly to local organizations. This was true after the explosion that ripped apart the small town of West, Texas, and after other natural and manmade disasters – local organizations can put donations (money or supplies) to better ...

What We Do Right! Not Your Ordinary Canine Genetics Lab

What We Do Right! Not Your Ordinary Canine Genetics Lab

At Paw Print Genetics, we’re seeking to raise the standard of canine genetic diagnostic and carrier screening testing from start to finish. We strive to provide the best customer service in the industry and have implemented procedures that are above and beyond those currently used in the marketplace. Here’s just a quick look at what we’re doing to help serve you and your dog better:

Postal Standards: The U.S. Postal Service has outlined how animal specimens may be shipped, and that includes cheek swab samples tested in labs all across the country. Among those requirements: triple-packaging of samples, a rigid fiberboard or equivalent container to protect the samples, the use of the international biohazard symbol on the second packaging and the words “exempt animal specimen” on the outside of the shipping package. Because these standards are necessary and exact, we provide the kits to you with each order that conforms to the USPS standards.

Reports: Our detailed reports will clearly state the results of every test you ordered and will give actionable information that you can use. These interpretations and recommendations give you the knowledge to breed your dog more conscientiously, information about any known genetic ...

Shades of Gray: What Your Dog Really Sees

Shades of Gray: What Your Dog Really Sees

It’s often thought that dogs see in black and white – or shades of gray. That common thought isn’t completely true. While dogs do see shades of gray, they also see hues of blues and yellows. In humans, they’re somewhat comparable to a male who is red-green color blind.

In an article by Dr. Donna Spector, the vision of both dogs and cats is broken down and explained very well. In short, dogs and cats both see better in low-light conditions than humans, with cats taking the crown as night stalkers, by picking up on motion and contrast.

Dogs have better peripheral vision than both humans and cats, with some breeds that have short faces and wide-set eyes, such as the English bulldog and pug, able to see in excess of 240-degrees around themselves. Canines also have better overall vision than cats – about 20/75 as compared to felines that score somewhere between 20/100 and 20/200.

Both cats and dogs pick up on motion in low light better than humans. They also see contrast between shades of gray better – which combine to both help and hinder dogs, depending upon the task at hand.

A hunting dog ...

Choose the Right Breed: Know What You’re Buying

Choose the Right Breed: Know What You’re Buying

Every breed of dog comes with drawbacks that we must accept as owners. It could be their size, how much they shed, physical requirements or limitations, or even the likelihood of developing genetic disorders. Knowing what you’re getting into, before you get into it however, can save you thousands of dollars and tons of heartache.

While you might love the looks and personality of a specific breed, you have to be honest with yourself as to whether or not you are capable of providing the dog with its required maintenance and if they honestly fit into your lifestyle.

Perhaps the best example of this honest assessment that I’ve read can be found in an article by Dr. Patty Khuly entitled "This Veterinarian’s Love-Hate Relationship with French Bulldogs."

In the article, Khuly outlines why she loves the French bulldog so much – their personality, looks and cuddle-ability among them. She’s also honest about how she’s come to own several over the course of more than a decade – primarily, owners that couldn’t afford the upkeep on dogs with severe issues, including cleft palate, dermatological problems and an emergency c-sections.

Before you blame the high-cost of veterinary care ...

The Best Vet Schools

The Best Vet Schools

At some point in time, almost all animal-loving children want to be a veterinarian when they grow up. When they grow older and the reality that being a veterinarian isn’t just about loving animals (although most vets do), and more about years and years of schooling, which includes biology, chemistry, physiology and anatomy, as well as steep financial debts, they usually find a new line of work to study.

For those that continue on their quest to provide care, comfort and cures for pets and their owners, selecting the best vet school they can get accepted to (and afford) is of utmost importance. To that end, U.S. News and World Report ranks the best veterinarian schools in the country each year.

Consistently among the best-ranked vet schools are: Cornell University, University of California – Davis, Colorado State University, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University and University of Pennsylvania.

Not only do these schools provide cutting-edge education to future generations of veterinarians, they also offer local residents a plethora of information and consultation when it comes to identifying and treating animals that carry debilitating disorders.

Washington State University, another consistently top-ranked vet school, which is near Paw Print Genetics ...

A New Way to Neuter Dogs

A New Way to Neuter Dogs

A new procedure called Zeuterin offers an alternative to the standard method of neutering male dogs. It’s a non-surgical, chemical treatment that calls for the injection of a zinc gluconate solution into the testicles. The chemical reaction that occurs sterilizes a male dog by destroying already-present sperm and creating scar tissue throughout the tubes that sperm use to travel during reproduction. The injection is about as non-invasive as possible, consisting of a single injection into each testicle.

The ramifications of this innovation are huge: it could be healthier for our pets because they don’t have to undergo the rigors of surgery or anesthesia, which eases both physical and psychological stressors. It also holds the potential of an affordable means of quickly and easily sterilizing shelter animals, as well as still allowing the testes to produce hormones at about half the rate of an untreated dog (old-fashioned castration obliterates any hormone production).

Beyond those benefits, and because Zeuterin leaves the testicles of the animal intact, it also allows responsible dog owners and breeders to compete in the show ring with an animal that might meet conformation standards but otherwise not be ideal for breeding.

While developing a bloodline of ...