Tag archives: canine

Canine Safety - Are you prepared for a disaster?

Canine Safety - Are you prepared for a disaster?

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, it is hard not to think about how we can help those affected by the floods. Another common thought is how we would personally prepare to keep our families and pets safe. In the past Paw Print Genetics has attended the Washington State Search and Rescue Conference in Ellensburg, Wash. The conference provides educational classes for civilian search and rescue personnel, including canine teams. Most counties have a search and rescue team ready to accept new trained members. Classes and teams can be found online by performing a google search for “Search and Rescue (SAR) near me”.

While several canine-related classes were offered at the conference we attended in 2013, including tracking, testing and meteorology, a valuable class I would like to share was the first-aid class offered by Dr. Michael Fuller, a 30-plus-year veterinarian at the local Ellensburg Animal Hospital. He covered a lot of material in the hour-and-a-half session, everything from must-have items in a first aid kit to broken bones. And while the class was devoted to SAR teams that are often far removed from help, the suggestions on what to pack make an excellent quick, easy-to-carry kit for travelers ...

Improving Client Experience and Clinical Outcomes with Canine Genetic Disease Testing

Improving Client Experience and Clinical Outcomes with Canine Genetic Disease Testing

The expanding role of the dog over recent decades as an anthropomorphized member of the modern American family has led to an increase in dog owners’ expectations of their veterinarians. With social media, where the old adages about the number of people a dissatisfied client will tell about their experience can be easily multiplied by a factor of hundreds, the pressure to meet client expectations is more intense than ever.

Far more actionable than the commonly used genetic testing for canine breed identification, canine genetic disease testing is an accurate and reliable tool to help veterinarians meet their clients’ expectations in new ways. Genetic testing for a variety of inherited diseases has become commonplace in the dog breeding community to help breeders produce puppies free of particular maladies. However, as we know, not every dog seen in practice is the product of two purebred parents which have been genetically tested and vetted to make sure they are a good genetic match. Having a solution to easily perform canine genetic disease testing for any dog in a clinical setting, no matter the breed, adds a level of sophistication and progressiveness to your practice which can also supplement and improve your overall ...

I thought customer service was dead...Paw Print Genetics proved me wrong. By Justin Riegsecker, JARS Labradoodles

I thought customer service was dead...Paw Print Genetics proved me wrong.  By Justin Riegsecker, JARS Labradoodles

The following is a letter written by a Paw Print Genetics' customer, Justin Riegsecker, posted here with his permission.  Click to find out more about JARS Labradoodles.

I started JARS Labradoodles three years ago when I purchased my first Australian Labradoodle stud.  I am very fortunate in that my father has been a breeder for over 43 years - fortunate because he allowed me to get started by essentially giving me three amazing Moyen Poodle females.  More importantly, I am fortunate because he has taught me many things about raising puppies and how to deal with the unexpected.  I'm sure you know the proverb about the difference between giving a man a fish or teaching a man to fish.  I really feel like I was given the fish AND taught how to fish.  Our business has grown over these three years and I've merged JARS Labradoodles with my father's Goldendoodle breeding program. 

My father is old school - doesn't know much about the internet and the power to reach millions of potential clients across the United States.  I have a Bachelor's degree in business and marketing and had spent several years in sales prior to ...

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

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year from Paw Print Genetics

I like to use this time of year to reflect on the challenges and accomplishments of the past year. Paw Print Genetics (PPG) was founded only a few short years ago, launching our first set of canine disease tests in 2013.  Our commitment to excellence in both testing accuracy and customer service quickly propelled us to the top of the canine testing industry. In no other testing laboratory can you find the highly skilled staff of veterinarians and PhD geneticists eager to help answer your questions and guide you to the useful and informative testing that you need for your breeding program. Aiming to be the best, our web-based ordering system is unparalleled in the industry.  This didn’t happen by chance, as we continuously talked to our customers about how we could improve our systems and deliver a product that was user friendly and met their high standards, comparable to their own breeding principles.

This year was not without its challenges, but overcoming obstacles makes us stronger.  We ended litigation over PRA-prcd and CEA, allowing us to be listed as an approved laboratory with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Fighting for our customers’ rights to have a ...

To Anyone Dedicated to Breeding Better Dogs, an open letter by Cheryl Hass

To Anyone Dedicated to Breeding Better Dogs, an open letter by Cheryl Hass

Brief personal history as credentials . . .

In the world of dog breeding, I started long before any genetic testing was readily available, with Chesapeakes, more than 25 years ago now. We performed OFA Hips and that was about it. Then I went back to my herding dog roots with Australian Shepherds, Miniature Australian Shepherds and now Miniature American Shepherds. What I have to say about genetic testing however, applies regardless of breed.

Some of you that have been in this for a while, may remember a company that offered a slew of testing, all in one package, for $25. It was the hottest item on the market. I remember feeling very virtuous about being able to test all my dogs, for a reasonable price, for a whole bunch of things that I didn't understand at the time. But as breeders we educated ourselves, found out that testing really DOES matter and learned how to breed away from some of the unfortunate genetics that our dogs carried. It really was an exciting time in breeding because it gave us such powerful, valuable information that increased the overall health of the dogs we produced. The problem was that this company was not all ...

Does the same mutation always cause disease?

Does the same mutation always cause disease?

Paw Print Genetics is often asked if the same mutation always causes genetic disease, especially when the mutation is identified in a breed different from that originally investigated.  The answer is not simple.  For many of these types of genetic questions, I go back to my ‘human’ roots as a human geneticist.  Because more than 4,500 diseases and their genetic causes are known, human genetics can shed considerable light on problems just beginning to be investigated in dogs.

Currently, there are about 185 known mutations in dogs, with about 150 that cause disease and another 30 or so that cause traits such as coat color or coat length.  In dogs, these disease-causing mutations have been narrowly defined to certain breeds or certain clinical features (phenotypes), but is this always the case?

In human genetics, anything imaginable has been described. Certainly, there are diseases that are caused by single mutations; in this case, one mutation causes one disease.  But there are many examples of multiple mutations in one gene causing one disease and examples of multiple mutations in multiple genes causing one phenotype (one disease).  Likewise, there are many examples of the same exact mutation ...

Genetics 101: Dominant and recessive traits in your dogs

Genetics 101: Dominant and recessive traits in your dogs

The field of genetics has progressed rapidly in recent years.  Perhaps you’ve seen headlines about these top genetic topics in 2013. These stories show the importance of genetics and how it affects us as individuals and as a society.  To understand the impact, though, one may need a review of Genetics 101: dominant vs. recessive disease traits.

In order for our bodies to work properly, our DNA must be coded in specific sequences.  DNA sequences are grouped into units called genes, which tell our bodies what to make to build cells and metabolize nutrients.  We are all a unique combination of re-shuffled genes from previous generations.  Everything from eye, hair and skin color, muscle, bone, etc. is coded by genes.  A mutation in a gene usually causes something to change and many of these changes can lead to disease. There are thousands of genes, and in humans, thousands of genetic disorders that result from mutations. 

One way to classify genetic disorders is to group them by how they are inherited.  With the exception of the sex chromosomes, X and Y, each of us has two copies of our genes.  One comes from ...

The Chronic Disease That is Killing Our Dogs

The Chronic Disease That is Killing Our Dogs

If your dog is an average American canine, there is approximately 50% likelihood that your dog has a chronic disease that increases chances of osteoarthritis, heart disease, respiratory disease, kidney disease, chronic pain, cancer, high blood pressure, and endocrine disease. In addition, this disease is also known to significantly decrease life expectancy. The most unfortunate aspect of this condition is that it is completely preventable, yet only a small fraction of dog owners take the necessary precautions to prevent this disease of malnutrition in their dogs. This disease is canine obesity.

Unless you avoid all news and cultural commentaries, you are likely aware of the human obesity epidemic in America and other countries around the world. According to the report, “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future”, a collaborative work by Trust for America’s Health (www.healthyamericans.org) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as of 2010, 68.7% of American adults over 19 years of age were overweight or obese (“Overweight” is defined as a body mass index, or BMI, over 25 and “Obese” is defined as a BMI over 30 - BMI Calculator). In addition, the rapidity at which the increase in human obesity has occurred is ...