Tag archives: DNA testing for my dog

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

The Complexity of the Canine Genome

The Complexity of the Canine Genome

Genetic testing may seem simple on the surface.  Order a test.  If it’s positive, the dog will have symptoms.  If it’s negative, there is no risk for the disease.  Open and shut.  However, there are many molecular details that can make genetic testing extremely complicated.  Today’s topic is reviewing these facts and how they impact the diagnosis of a genetic condition and the chance it may happen again.  My goal isn’t to bestow upon you an honorary degree in genetics, but to help you understand how these diseases are diagnosed and how genetic testing for those diseases is designed and interpreted.

Although genetic testing is expanding at an extremely fast pace, it is not perfect.  Genetic testing can allow you eliminate certain conditions but, unfortunately, nobody has a crystal ball and can therefore, not exclude all possible diseases in any dog. Genetic tests are designed after a mutation causing a disease has been described in the medical literature. It may be a mutation common in a particular breed or it may be very rare. In addition, it may not be the only mutation in that gene, or there may be other genes ...

The Variability of Certain Canine Diseases

The Variability of Certain Canine Diseases

In my last blog, I defined words that described when symptoms may present themselves in a dog affected with a genetic condition.  Today’s topic of discussion is how those symptoms show up (or not show up).  These terms are easily confused with each other.  I’ve even heard some geneticists can get these definitions mixed up.  Let me introduce two terms: Incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity.

Incomplete penetrance is a term that describes symptoms, which may or may not be present in a dog with an at-risk or affected genotype.  The dog has the mutated gene in the right number of copies to cause the disease, but the dog may not show physical symptoms of the disease.  As you can imagine, this can cause some confusion when examining the pedigrees of your dogs and this is when genetic testing becomes an important tool.  If genetic testing is positive, we know the dog has the mutation that causes the disease. Regardless if there are symptoms, this dog can pass this mutation on to its offspring.  Knowing this information may impact breeding practices, as discussed in previous blogs.  The concept of incomplete penetrance is an ...

Understanding the Genetics of Disease in Your Dog

Understanding the Genetics of Disease in Your Dog

Many people have misconceptions about genetic terms and what these terms mean related to the inheritance of a health issue in a dog, a family of dogs or a breed. I wanted to take a moment to step back and discuss some of these commonly used terms to help people understand them more clearly.

Most genes (and the genes that will be tested for at Paw Print Genetics ) are located on the chromosomes contained in the nucleus found in most cells. Chromosomes come in 39 pairs (and thus, the genes come in pairs). One through 38 are the numbered pairs (called autosomes) the 39th pair are the sex chromosomes; females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y chromosome. The X is larger and has more genes. Because males have only one copy of the X chromosome (and therefore only one copy of many genes found on the X chromosome), they are at risk of having certain diseases that are unlikely to affect females.
Autosomal conditions are found on one of the numbered chromosomes and X-linked conditions are found on the X chromosome. Each gene has a particular location on the chromosome called a locus. Different ...

Tips on Collecting a Swab Sample

Tips on Collecting a Swab Sample

Tips on Collecting a Swab Sample Cheek swabs are the easiest, least invasive means of collecting cells containing genetic material from your dog (see this post). It’s a simple process that we cover in the instructions sent with your kit, but here’s a little more information. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at askus@pawprintgenetics.com or 855-202-4889. After reviewing the form that came with your kit, you’re ready to start the collection process. It’s best not to take samples from a puppy that hasn’t been weaned because some of the mother’s DNA can be present due to nursing, which can contaminate the sample. Also, it’s best to wait for at least an hour after the dog eats before attempting to swab; excess saliva and food particles can compromise testing and reduce the quality of a sample. Each swab in the kit comes in a hard-plastic tube. This is to protect the sample during shipping and to minimize contamination. Do not discard the tubes after removing the swab. As you use each swab, put the tube aside in a clean place where it’s unlikely to come into contact with pollutants, especially another dog’s ...