Tag archives: Labrador Retriever

Paw Print Genetics Launches Twelve New, Highly Desired Disease Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches Twelve New, Highly Desired Disease Tests
Thank you to the many PPG customers who offered photos for this important announcement. The photos in the first two rows were selected from a large number of customers who provided photos for this article.

Paw Print Genetics is excited to announce that it has launched 12 new, very sought-after disease tests.  These tests compliment the breed-specific assays that PPG already offers, and cements our dedication to providing the largest menu of genetic tests for dogs. The following tests can be ordered as individual tests or may be part of one of our breed-specific panels that should be considered for any breeding dog.

Degenerative Myelopathy in the Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog (BMD) has been identified as breed that can inherited degenerative myelopathy (DM). In this particular breed, two different mutations in the SOD1 gene have been identified. Degenerative myelopathy SOD1B is caused by a mutation of the SOD1 gene currently identified only in the Bernese mountain dog that is a different mutation from the common SOD1 mutation causing DM in a large number of breeds.  Bernese mountain dogs are known to develop a more slowly progressive form of degenerative myelopathy associated with the SOD1B mutation.  Both types of DM affect the white matter tissue of the spinal cord and is considered the canine equivalent to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) found in humans. Affected dogs usually present around 8-9 ...

Genetic Disease Testing and the Hunting Labrador- Protecting Your Investment

Genetic Disease Testing and the Hunting Labrador- Protecting Your Investment

You’ve spent a small fortune and an immense amount of time selecting, purchasing, socializing, and training your young Labrador retriever, Charlie, for the big hunt. It’s the first hunt of his career and he’s amped! As you are getting everything out of your truck, you let Charlie out of his crate to run around and explore a little. He disappears for several minutes as you are getting your gear and you call him back to you. However, when he returns, you notice that Charlie seems wobbly in his rear end and eventually his hind limbs collapse. He attempts to keep running, but drags his hind limbs for a short distance before giving up and lying down. Uncharacteristic for Charlie, he won’t get up when you call him and he no longer seems to be as interested in the hunt. After comforting Charlie for several minutes, he gets back up on his feet, though you can still see that he is a little wobbly. After several more minutes, Charlie is back to his jovial self with little indication that anything was wrong.

Unfortunately, the scenario described here is not a terribly uncommon story among Labrador owners and those that hunt with ...

Degenerative Myelopathy and Centronuclear Myopathy in the Labrador Retriever

Degenerative Myelopathy and Centronuclear Myopathy in the Labrador Retriever

It’s not hard to love a Labrador retriever. Their outgoing, family friendly personality, great rapport with children, receptiveness to training, and their ability to hunt both waterfowl and upland game have made them a highly desirable and well-loved breed. This popularity is reflected by their place at the top of the American Kennel Club’s registration statistics for the past 24 consecutive years.

When adopting or purchasing a new canine family member or hunting companion, we would all like to know that our enormous investments in love, time, and money will see a sizable return. For a family dog, we’d like to know that they will be healthy and live as long as possible. For a hunting or working dog, in addition to a long life, we’d also like to know they will be able to have a long, healthy career performing the specific task for which we’ve prepared them. Though we could never eliminate or predict all disease risks for our dogs, genetic testing technologies have made elimination and prediction of some inherited diseases easier than ever before.

This blog is the first of a four part blog series examining preventable inherited diseases of America’s favorite dog, the Labrador retriever. What ...

In the Community: Paw Print Genetics’ Memorial Day Weekend

In the Community: Paw Print Genetics’ Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend Paw Print Genetics attended the Spokane Kennel Club’s all-breed show, where conformation and obedience dogs strutted their stuff. The show, as always, was a great success – approximately a thousand dogs competed for titles. Paw Print Genetics educated attendees about inherited canine diseases, showcased our services and great staff and supported the local club’s efforts and economy. We also met some great dogs, some of which helped with one of our current research projects.

Two groups who were in attendance included the Intermountain Search Dogs and HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response. They were being honored during the Memorial Day weekend for their dedication and service to society.

Intermountain Search Dogs works directly with our local Spokane County Sheriff’s department to perform search-and-rescue work in the area. They have various units that include air-scenting dogs, ground tracking/trailing and human remains detection dogs. These civilians can be called into action day or night, any time of the year and in any weather to find lost or missing people, victims of drowning or natural disasters such as mudslides, avalanches or floods. They’re used to search for the bodies of homicide victims under the direction of law enforcement and emergency service agencies ...

Skeletal Dysplasia 2: A cause of dwarfism in the Labrador retriever

Skeletal Dysplasia 2: A cause of dwarfism in the Labrador retriever

Thanks to human selection and breeding, the physical appearance of dogs varies tremendously. Using only physical attributes as a guide, it’s safe to say that most uninformed biologists would have a hard time believing that a Chihuahua and a great dane were from the same species, let alone that they were capable of producing viable offspring together. In order to facilitate such dynamic intraspecies diversity of canines, people have long used random genetic mutations to their advantage. One example is the selection for various forms of dwarfism. Breeds such as the dachshund, corgi and the Basset hound have been created through selective breeding of individuals with a genetic mutation of the FGF4 gene that when inherited from one of their parents, leads to the characteristic short legs of these breeds. While a mutation for dwarfism is an expected standard for some breeds, it can be particularly undesirable in others.

A prime example of an undesirable mutation (especially for working dogs) is a mutation in the COL11A2 gene that causes a generally mild disproportionate dwarfism in the Labrador retriever known as skeletal dysplasia 2 (SD2). Disproportionate dwarfism is characterized by one or more body parts being smaller in comparison to overall ...

On the Front Lines of K9 Genetic Health

On the Front Lines of K9 Genetic Health

During the last week of April, the Paw Print Genetics team again paired up with the Spokane Police and Sheriff's Department, our hometown law enforcement agencies, to work toward better genetic health for service dogs such as the patrol and detection dogs found in K9 units across the country.

Spokane hosted the Washington State Police Canine Association’s Spring Seminar, which ran April 28-30, and which featured training scenarios that consisted of obstacle courses, canine first aid and building searches for patrol dogs, and scent detection of vehicles and training on a scent wall for detection dogs.

Paw Print Genetics was on hand to work with the various law enforcement agencies from across the state to educate them on some of the genetic diseases their breeds of choice are prone to inherit, and what they can do to protect themselves as an agency investing taxpayer money. The participating K9 teams were also kind enough to let us take cheek-cell samples of their dogs (or were nice enough to do so for us if their dogs weren’t fond of strangers fiddling with their mouths).

Most of the dogs were German shepherds, Belgian malinois and Labrador retrievers, although there were a couple ...

I've heard about cystinuria in Labradors. Should I be concerned?

I've heard about cystinuria in Labradors. Should I be concerned?

It is a very exciting time in canine genetics. Every month, new discoveries are making their way out of the laboratory and into scientific journals, thus disseminating new information to the scientific community. Some of these discoveries are newly identified, disease associated genetic mutations. Knowledge of a specific mutation and the way a condition is inherited allows for diagnostic laboratories such as Paw Print Genetics to develop new genetic tests for a particular disease. It has been the goal of Paw Print Genetics to offer a comprehensive menu of tests for our clients. This helps our client breeders improve their bloodlines and also assists prospective puppy buyers in purchasing a dog free of known inherited diseases. Therefore, Paw Print Genetics makes every effort to stay current with new mutation discoveries and medical updates in order to offer testing that will help improve overall canine health.

One such test that has recently been added to our expansive menu of test offerings is for a condition in Labrador retrievers known as cystinuria. Cystinuria in the Labrador is a condition caused by a mutation of the SLC3A1 gene. This gene functions as a blueprint for a protein that allows the kidneys to transport ...

Puppy Power: Dogs a Hit in Super Bowl Ads

There are few sure bets in the NFL or the Super Bowl. Calls are blown, favorites lose or the national anthem can be flubbed. When it comes to the biggest bets however, Super Bowl commercials are the riskiest around. But the power of a puppy is undeniable, as was clearly illustrated during this year’s championship game.

At around $4 million per 30-second commercial spot, an advertiser’s big gamble can vault their branding into the stratosphere (at least in the short term) with a winning commercial. On the other end of the spectrum, with that much money spent just on air time (and not counting production costs), heads can (and probably do) roll when a commercial misses its mark.

While it’s anyone’s guess as to what will resound with the Super Bowl audience from year to year, and in turn be fodder for water-cooler talk on Monday and go viral online (imprinting that branding, if done correctly, for days after the game), there seems to be no denying that puppies are a safe bet to at least garner the “awww” factor and vote and to keep a media buyer’s head from being kicked across the marketing department’s floor.

This year, Budweiser ...

Breed of the Week: Labrador Retriever

Breed of the Week: Labrador Retriever

The quintessential hunting, service and family dog, the Labrador retriever has been the most popular dog in the United States since 1991, according to AKC registration statistics. It’s also the most registered breed of dog in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The affable and even-tempered Labrador is an intelligent dog that’s quick to mature – in the sense that it can begin advanced training and understand concepts at a fairly young age – and willing to please its owner.

Originating on the island of Newfoundland in Canada, modern-day Labs descend from a now-extinct breed known as the St. John’s water dog; similar to but smaller and with shorter hair than the Newfoundland breed of dog. St. John’s water dogs were used by fishermen to retrieve nets and haul lines between vessels, as well as for waterfowl hunting. The dogs were brought back to Poole, England, then a hub of new-world fishing and were developed into the modern Labrador. They were then returned to North America and have been a mainstay ever since.

Medium to large in size, weighing between 60 and 80 pounds on average, Labs should have a broad, somewhat blocky head with hazel or brown ...

You offer 12 genetic tests for the Labrador retriever. Why does this breed have so many tests?

You offer 12 genetic tests for the Labrador retriever. Why does this breed have so many tests?

Interactions with our clients are valuable to Paw Print Genetics. It helps us understand their concerns when it comes to genetic testing. One question that we have been asked on occasion is about the number of genetic tests we have available for a particular breed as compared to a different breed and what that number means for the health of that breed as a whole. For example, Paw Print Genetics currently offers 12 genetic tests for the Labrador retriever, which is more than any other breed. For some of our clients, the natural follow-up question after this discovery has been, “Are Labradors more unhealthy than other breeds?” Though there are many diseases that have been identified in the Labrador retriever, we cannot make the assumption that they are more unhealthy or carry more genetic problems as a whole than other breeds without doing some statistical evaluation of the entire dog population. However, to my knowledge, this potentially expensive and time-intensive evaluation has not been performed. Despite the fact that veterinarians may sometimes get the impression that certain breeds are overrepresented in regards to disease, there are many factors that must be considered when objectively evaluating the number of genetic ...