Tag archives: DNA testing

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

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 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 ...

Canine Genetic Testing is Serious Business

Canine Genetic Testing is Serious Business

On April 30th, you will be able to order genetic testing for your dogs from Paw Print GeneticsTM. Before we could open our doors for clinical testing, we had a lot of work to do, work that involved my entire family and our extraordinary staff.  We had to build an entire laboratory from the ground up. Part of that process was validating our tests, which, as I’ll explain, is an important and necessary step – and one that involved many of you. 

After more than 20 years of working in human genetic diagnostic testing, I decided to use these skills to improve genetic testing for inherited canine diseases. We are so grateful for the support of the community of dog owners and breeders who participated in our validation studies from December 2012 through March 2013. As unknowns in this industry, we appreciate your trust that we were doing the right thing with your dog’s DNA.

We set up our laboratory, designed our tests and conducted our validation as if Paw Print Genetics were a human diagnostic laboratory. This means that we have all of the validation documentation that would be required if we were regulated by ...

Why Canine Genetic Testing is so Valuable

Why Canine Genetic Testing is so Valuable

As a continuation of my last blog related to reasons that breeders give for not needing to do genetic testing, I felt that one of these deserved an entire blog of its own. Some breeders will say, "no problem has ever occurred in this family of dogs and I have been breeding this line for 20, 30, 40 years. I don't need to do genetic testing." From my perspective, these breeders either have not been looking very hard, aren't being particularly forthcoming, or denial is a wonderful thing (and a river in Egypt). When I started getting involved in what was referred to as a "very healthy breed" (per the people who had been breeding them for 20, 30, 40 years), I recognized 3 problems in my first 2 dogs that I would consider "genetic". I had not been told to look out for or ask about any of these issues in my extensive research on the health of the breed. In fact as I was at the breeder's home being told of this issue in my new puppy's mother and grandmother I was thinking, "Gee, that is a genetic problem that no one ever told ...

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 ...