Tag archives: pra

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 ...

Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

2015 was a big year for Paw Print Genetics. We made improvements to our website for easier account management, launched new disease tests, coat colors and traits, and won our lawsuit over Labrador exercise-induced collapse (EIC), so that you have choice in testing laboratories.

Our account management system is the best in the industry, but we are always looking for new ideas. Some of the website improvements made in 2015 include the ability to hide dogs within your account, share dogs between accounts and move dogs to new accounts.  What would you like to be able to do in your account? We continue to make improvements to our testing, reporting and website, all based on your input.

In early January, we launched several new, important disease tests including hereditary cataracts for Australian shepherds and related breeds and hereditary cataracts for French bulldogs and related breeds.  We also launched two progressive retinal atrophies in the golden retriever and retinal dysplasia/oculoskeletal dysplasia in Labrador retrievers.  We have many additional tests on our list to develop in 2016. We look forward to bringing you those tests throughout the new year.

Paw Print Genetics now offers 10 coat color tests and ...

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- Progressive Retinal Atrophy and the American Eskimo Dog

Prevention Is Smart Breeding- Progressive Retinal Atrophy and the American Eskimo Dog

Despite its name, the roots of the American Eskimo dog can be traced back to Germany where it was known as a white colored, miniature to medium sized variety of the German spitz. This well rounded farm dog came to the United States with German immigrants in the early 20th century and adopted the name American spitz in the World War I era when war related anti-German sentiment and American patriotism were widespread. The breed was first recognized as the American Eskimo dog (AED) by the United Kennel Club in 1919 and was accepted by the American Kennel Club for registration in 1995. Known for its alert demeanor, the AED makes an excellent watchdog that alarms its family of potential danger through warning barks. The AEDs intelligence, fast learning, and desire to please have made it a competitor in the agility ring and obedience trials. Though not universally recognized as three separate varieties, the modern AED is often split into three size groups (toy, miniature, and standard).

Despite its many talents, beautiful physical characteristics, and intelligence, like other pure breeds, the AED has developed some inherited disease concerns over the course of its development that have caused significant issues ...

Breed of the Week: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Breed of the Week: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

An old breed, with records of the Celtics using them dating to 1200 BC, which makes it one of the earliest-known herding dogs, the Cardigan Welsh corgi is one of two corgi breeds – the other being the Pembroke Welsh corgi. The short legs and long, low-slung body of the corgi, along with ample energy, drive and endurance, has served it well in roles as a farm-guard dog, cattle driver and herder, and now commonly as companion animal.

Its small size allowed it to nip the heels of cattle and to drive them further out to pasture, while also keeping it out of harm’s way of kicking bovine. Today, their small size still serves them if employed for farm work, but it also makes them good candidates to live in apartments or houses with small yards. They readily bark at approaching strangers, so make good guard dogs; training can help reduce the barking in apartments where strange noises and passing people are regular occurrences. Because of their working background, they do require daily exercise, and many owners enter their dogs in trials that include sheepdog, agility, obedience and rally obedience, as well as herding events, flyball, tracking and, of course ...

Breed of the Week: Mastiff

Breed of the Week: Mastiff

Large and imposing, the mastiff is a docile giant, despite its use throughout history in warfare, bear baiting and utilization as a guard dog. It’s also an ancient breed that has been a part of the foundation for several breeds of dog.

One of the largest dogs registered by the AKC, the mastiff should stand at least 30-inches tall at the shoulder (females at least 27-½ inches) and can weigh up to 250 pounds without being overweight. The one-time world record for heaviest dog belonged to a mastiff named Zorba, who weighed a massive 343 pounds and stood 35-inches tall.

Large mastiff-like dogs appear in artwork dating to 6th Century BC (and perhaps even earlier), and throughout history the large dogs have been used for fighting and guarding. From lions, tigers, bears and gladiators to use in war by the Britons and Romans, mastiffs fought ferociously. However, as vicious as they were in battle, they were just as gentle with and protective of their owners. It’s been noted that in battle, mastiffs would fight the enemy, but seemingly knew for which side they fought – and when the battle was over, they would return to a docile state. If ...

Breed of the Week: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Breed of the Week: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

A medium-sized retriever, the Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever is a hunting dog that is used in a most unique manner. Instead of sitting steady in the duck blind and waiting for the gunner to drop birds, the toller is an active participant in the hunt.

While the hunter remains hidden in the blind, tollers work the shoreline, darting in and out of the brush. Waterfowl, their curiosity piqued by the motion and the flashing white patches on the toller’s reddish coat, come closer to investigate. At that point, the hunter rises from his hiding spot, causing the ducks to flush. After the gunner drops the birds, the toller swims out and retrieves the waterfowl and delivers them to the hunter’s hand.

Originating, not surprisingly, in Nova Scotia, Canada, the toller was developed in the early 19th Century. It’s the smallest of the retriever breeds and is often mistaken for the more common golden retriever. The origins are unknown, but likely consist of a red decoy dog of some sort brought to the new world by settlers and then mixed with spaniel, setter and retrievers, as well as perhaps some type of collie, according to the AKC. It was originally known ...

Breed of the Week: American Eskimo Dog

Breed of the Week: American Eskimo Dog

Sometimes politics and patriotism combine to influence the development of a canine breed. Such is the case with the American Eskimo dog, which originated in Germany (where it was known as the German spitz) and was brought to America in the early 1900s as a companion and watchdog. However, with the rise of World War I and anti-German sentiment, the name was changed from German spitz to American Eskimo dog (and nicknamed the “Eskie”).

The name wasn’t the only thing that changed. The American version of the breed, separated from the German, and perhaps mixed at some point with the Japanese spitz, developed into its own, primarily white, breed.

Eskies were originally used as watchdogs, and as such still retain a tendency to bark at strangers that approach or encroach upon their territory. In America, they became popular as performing animals in circuses, walking on balls, tightropes and performing other tricks. Marketing gurus of the day sold puppies after the show and, as such, many families went home with their very own Eskie.

Because they evolved as alert watchdogs and performing animals, Eskies are intelligent, affectionate, playful and biddable – they love to please. These personality traits make them perfect ...

Are There Risks for Genetic Disease with Cross-breeding?

Are There Risks for Genetic Disease with Cross-breeding?

Some people will say that there is little or no risk for genetic disease in crossbreeding and no need for genetic testing by virtue of the fact that the dogs are crossbred. I use Progressive Retinal Atrophy as an example to illustrate the potential genetic consequences of such breeding, but the premise and the potential risk for disease holds true for any possible genetic condition that affects dogs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited progressive eye disease that affects the part of the eye called the retina.  Light striking special cells of the retina (primarily photoreceptor cells called rods and cones) leads to the creation of the picture that is seen by the brain.  The retina is often compared to the film of a camera.  PRAs can progress from vision impairment, to night blindness or to hesitancy in certain situations and lead ultimately to total blindness.  Total blindness in a PRA affected dog may not be recognized until they are taken to an unfamiliar environment while other dogs may be recognized far earlier due to dilated pupils, an attempt by the eye to let in more light, and eye shine that occurs when the retina ...

Ask the Vet: “I’m confused about the different types of PRAs."

Ask the Vet: “I’m confused about the different types of PRAs."

As most canine breeders can tell you, some of the diseases most commonly tested for in pure bred dogs are the eye diseases falling under the general term, Progressive Retinal Atrophies (PRA).  However, because the various types of PRA can present very similarly, many people are unaware that PRA is not just one disease, but is a general category of disease known to be caused by a number of different genetic mutations in several different genes.  The prevalence of each type of PRA varies by breed and some forms have only been identified in a single breed.  In addition to confusion regarding the variety of disorders grouped under the PRA label, there is often confusion regarding the method used to name the individual types of PRA seen.  A good place to start in understanding the common names of these diseases would be to look at the general types of the disease and how they manifest.  In order to understand the various types however, we must first learn a little about how the eye works.

The retina is a light-sensitive layer of sensory tissue that lines the inner surface of the eye.  Light that shines ...

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 ...