Tag archives: canine genetic testing

Paw Print Genetics Launches 15 New Tests

Paw Print Genetics Launches 15 New Tests

Paw Print Genetics is excited to tell you about 15 new tests that were just launched!  Among these new tests are three new trait tests that cause light colored dogs in various breeds. These new traits are sable in Cocker spaniels, white in Alaskan and Siberian huskies, and cream in Australian cattle dogs. What’s super interesting is that these new tests all involved DNA changes in the E locus.  Most are already familiar with the E (extension) locus, as DNA changes or variation in the MC1R gene inhibits the production of the black pigment, eumelanin, and allows the yellow/red pigment to show (phaeomelanin) and causes the coat color to be light, such as apricot in poodles, yellow in Labradors, and red in Irish Setters.  For the specific breeds mentioned above, you can now test specifically for the Eh variation found in some sable Cocker spaniels, or the e2 variation found in cream colored Australian Cattle dogs, or the e3 variation found in Alaskan and Siberian huskies. For all other breeds, you can just continue to order the common E locus variant to find out if your dog carries for yellow. Remember, white/yellow/red ...

The Veterinarian’s Corner: New Canine Genetic Disease Tests at Paw Print Genetics

The Veterinarian’s Corner: New Canine Genetic Disease Tests at Paw Print Genetics

As of January 2021, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) is proud to offer 44 new inherited disease tests for the canine health and breeding community. While these new tests are associated with diseases identified in dozens of breeds, the population size of each breed and the relative frequency of these mutations in those populations mean that some of these diseases are much more likely to be seen in clinical veterinary practice than others. Here we will highlight five diseases from the recent PPG test additions that are among those most likely to be diagnosed in the veterinary hospital setting.

Cerebellar Degeneration- Old English Sheepdog and Gordon Setter1

A genetic mutation in the canine RAB24 gene is associated with a juvenile-onset, autosomal recessive form of cerebellar degeneration (CD) in two seemingly disparate breeds, the Old English Sheepdog (OES) and Gordon Setter (GS). Also referred to as hereditary ataxia or cerebellar abiotrophy (CA), CD presents between 6 months and 4 years of age with progressive neurological dysfunction due to degeneration of cerebellar neurons, especially Purkinje neurons. Coordinated movement becomes progressively more difficult as the disease progresses and can include intention tremors, ataxia, and a stiff, high-stepping gait (hypermetria). Affected dogs are often ...

Happy, Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Happy, Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

If you are like me, 2021 is a welcomed sight. As you all experienced, 2020 was full of challenges related to COVID-19. At Paw Print Genetics, some of us have been working from home since March and really miss being able to get together with our colleagues. The laboratory needed to go to different shifts to allow for social distancing, which really put a strain on our turn-around times. We have experienced delays in getting laboratory reagents that allow us to do our testing, as they are being used by other laboratories for COVID testing, and the US Postal Service has been struggling even before the holidays to deliver our kits and your samples in a timely manner.

Even with these challenges, I have kept track of what I like to call the COVID silver linings. First, in Washington State, veterinary services were deemed essential business so although many restaurants and gyms were forced to close, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) remained open. This meant that we were able to serve our customers and keep our staff employed. Even with social distancing and shift work, we were able to meet our published turnaround times for more than 90% of cases! In ...

The Veterinarian’s Corner: Variable Disease Presentation and How Genetic Testing Can Help

The Veterinarian’s Corner: Variable Disease Presentation and How Genetic Testing Can Help

Every veterinarian leaves veterinary school with a mental laundry list of animal diseases and their textbook presentations. While this knowledge serves the young graduate well in most circumstances, with clinical experience and mentorship comes the ability for veterinarians to expand their mental notes about the various ways some diseases can present in the real world. For some inherited canine diseases, genetic testing has allowed the practitioner to correlate a broader set of clinical signs for dogs affected by identical underlying genetic mutations. This variability in disease phenotype, known as variable expressivity, is a result of the combined effect of all genetic and environmental factors influencing each individual and can add significant challenge to some diagnoses. However, supplementing a disease workup with genetic test results can prove invaluable in diagnosing inherited diseases that have the frustrating attribute of rarely presenting the same way twice.

Collie Eye Anomaly

Now known to occur in well over a dozen breeds, the recessively inherited collie eye anomaly or CEA (also known as choroidal hypoplasia) is a relatively common eye disease of dogs and a good example of a disorder which can have diagnostic challenges due to its phenotypic variability. CEA is caused by a deletion ...

The Complexities of Genetic Testing and Counseling: Accuracy, Penetrance and Validity, Oh My!

The Complexities of Genetic Testing and Counseling: Accuracy, Penetrance and Validity, Oh My!
Photo showing the diversity of coat colors and patterns within the Australian Shepherd.

As a laboratory that works directly with breeders and dog owners, Paw Print Genetics (PPG) is often asked to reassure the customer that our tests accurately determine whether a dog will get a disease.  The customer is actually asking a couple of different questions; one involving the accuracy of the test itself and one regarding the clinical validity of the test. It is important to understand the questions being asked so that the answers make sense.

The first question being asked is: Does the test perform accurately to determine if a dog is normal/clear, a carrier of one copy of the mutation or at risk, having two copies of the mutation. At PPG, our tests are extensively validated and must show 99.9% specificity and sensitivity before being available for ordering. Sensitivity is defined as the proportion of samples with a known mutation that are correctly classified/identified as carrier or at risk by their genotypes. Specificity is defined as the proportion of samples with no known mutation that are correctly classified/identified with the wildtype (normal) genotype for the disease.  This all refers to whether the test result accurately reflects the true genotype of the individual. At ...

Why is a Dam’s Sample Needed for Parentage Testing?

Why is a Dam’s Sample Needed for Parentage Testing?
Example for marker “A”: Pup is 1,3, Mother is 1,1 and Father is 2,3. The pup inherited allele 1 from the mother and allele 3 from the father.

At Paw Print Genetics, we are often asked this question: “Why do I need to send in a sample on the dam if I just want to know the father of my pups?”. The simple answer is because we need to compare the DNA of the pup to both parents in order to confidently confirm or exclude a potential sire.  Here is an example that helps explain why we need both parents for parentage testing. Keep in mind that a pup receives half of its DNA from its mom and half of its DNA from its dad, so for every marker that we examine, the pup has one allele (gene copy) from mom and one allele (gene copy) from dad.

For parentage (paternity) testing, we use a set of 99 informative markers to confirm or exclude a potential sire. For each marker, we get two results because the pup has two sets of DNA, one from the mom and one from the dad. The two alleles are each assigned a number based on their DNA sequence.  For example, for marker “A”, the pup might be 1,3; one allele has sequence 1 and the other allele has ...

Paw Print Genetics Launches Clear by Parentage Certificate Program

Paw Print Genetics Launches Clear by Parentage Certificate Program

Paw Print Genetics customers can now receive Clear by Parentage certificates for their puppies. Responsible breeders work hard to ensure that their dogs are clear of inherited diseases found in their breed. Breeders also want the ability to show potential buyers that the puppy they are about to purchase is also clear of disease, but testing an entire litter can be expensive.

Our new Clear by Parentage certificate program provides breeders with an alternative to testing their entire litter. Breeders can now clear their puppies for the diseases already found clear in the dam and sire. This program is for those breeders that used Paw Print Genetics for their disease testing. 

Follow these easy steps to get your certificates.

  1. Order and complete disease testing on prospective parents through Paw Print Genetics.
  2. Once pups are born, do parentage testing through Paw Print Genetics using the parents and any pup for which you want a certificate.
  3. When the parentage has been completed proving the parents, order Clear by Parentage certificates for those tests that are clear in both parents.

In some cases, one or both of the parents are carriers of a genetic mutation.  Breeders can order testing on one or more pups ...

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Border Collie

What You Need to Know Before Breeding or Training Your Border Collie

Paw Print Genetics is a proud sponsor of the US Border Collie Handlers Association. With their Sheepdog Finals next month, it is a good time to think about genetic issues and whether to breed your dog.

Although generally considered a relatively healthy breed, like other purebred dogs, the border collie is at risk to inherit several genetic diseases. Testing your dog prior to breeding prevents the disease through avoidance of producing puppies at-risk. This brief article describes a few of the diseases that can currently be tested for in border collies.  Click here to find a complete list of tests for border collies.

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) can vary from mild to severe; mild cases have normal vision, while severely affected dogs can have retinal detachments, malformation of the eye, and blindness. Unfortunately it is not possible to predict the severity of clinical signs based upon the severity of an affected parent. About 2% of border collies tested at Paw Print Genetics are affected with this disorder.

Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS) is a disease of the immune system that prevents affected dogs from producing an adequate amount of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell).  Affected dogs commonly present at ...

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." That famous quote by William Shakespeare conjures up images that any name will do. But will it?  How do you choose names for your dogs?

In our household, we all participate in thinking up names for our new dogs. However, when it comes to decision time, my husband or myself usually make the final determination.  Otherwise, we would have more than just a pygmy goat named Princess Ariel Diamond!

At Paw Print Genetics, our online account management system allows you to put all of your dogs into your account, keeping your information and genetic testing results all in one place.  We see some fantastic and imaginative names come through our laboratory.  We thought it would be fun to see what names are most commonly used.

The top ten call names that we have seen in the laboratory across all breeds are:

10th     Duke

9th       Maggie

8th       Lily

7th       Lucy

6th       Max

5th       Gracie

4th           Penny

3rd           Sadie

2nd           Bella

1st       Annie

Some ...

Why Should I Test with a Breed-specific Panel?

Why Should I Test with a Breed-specific Panel?

At Paw Print Genetics, we offer nearly 200 different breed-specific panels. We are often asked "why choose a breed-specific panel?".  Choosing a breed-specific panel will help you avoid introducing a new genetic disease into your breeding program while saving you time, money and anguish in the future.  Here's why:

1. Test your dam and sire with the breed-specific panel before you breed. 

Performing a complete, breed-specific panel on your dam and sire will help you make an informed decision to breed or not to breed.

Testing first the dam and sire with an entire panel also saves money in the long run by reducing the need to test their future puppies. This is because puppies will be clear for a disease if both tested parents are also clear for that disease. Therefore, the puppies sold as future breeding stock will only need to be tested for any disease-causing mutations found in the parents. If both parents are clear of all disease-causing mutations, no testing of the puppies is necessary.

2. Test your new puppy with the entire breed-specific panel before you buy.

Introducing a new dog into your breeding program is always a little risky. Although you can’t exclude ...