Tag archives: degenerative myelopathy

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 ...

Degenerative Myelopathy- An Owner’s Perspective

Degenerative Myelopathy- An Owner’s Perspective

One of the happiest days of my life was bringing home a German shepherd puppy to join our family. Like many parents, my wife and I wanted our only son Brandon, who was 5 or 6 years old at the time, to grow up around dogs and help us teach him some responsibility. We visited a family with a litter of 7 week old puppies to let Brandon pick the one that was going to be his buddy while he grew up. Brandon decided on the quietest pup in the litter to become our new dog, Griffey. Our journey with Griffey (Griff for short) began with Brandon and his new companion in the back of our convertible in route to the home we were excited to share with our new family member. My wife and I were hopeful that Griff would give Brandon a best friend for 10 to 13 years. Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly how things worked out.

Signs of Trouble

We spent many years loving Griff and giving him the best years of his life. Brandon and Griff were inseparable as they aged. They played together, they napped together, and they got into trouble together. At about 8 ...

The Importance of Testing for Adult-Onset Conditions in Your Dog

The Importance of Testing for Adult-Onset Conditions in Your Dog

An earlier article discussed congenital vs. adult onset conditions.  There seems to be some confusion as to the importance of the timing of disease symptoms.  I wanted to expand on the topic that we refer to as “age of onset”, or the age in which a condition starts to show symptoms.  Breeders may initially only be concerned with conditions that are congenital – present at birth.  While I agree that genetic screening for congenital disorders is important, screening for adult-onset conditions is also important, and should not be ignored.

Testing for congenital genetic conditions is probably a “no-brainer” for most breeders.  Genetic testing gives someone the knowledge to selectively breed dogs in order to reduce (or even eliminate) genetic diseases in the newborn pup.  As you may already know, breeding takes time and considerable resources.  Most breeders are also emotionally invested in the dogs they breed.  For many, it’s not just a hobby; it may be a full-time job or even a way of life.  Congenital diseases may cause a lot of discomfort to the affected pup, and can cause anxiety for everyone involved.  The cost of medical care may ...

Inherited Diseases of the Miniature Schnauzer

Inherited Diseases of the Miniature Schnauzer

Since its origination as a rodent hunter in the late 1800s, the German-bred miniature schnauzer has become one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Believed to originally have been developed by breeding the standard schnauzer with the smaller affenpinscher (and possibly the poodle), the miniature schnauzer is a hardy, tenacious breed with an energetic, playful personality. Often appreciated for their natural aptitude as watch dogs, miniature schnauzers can be great family pets. 

Unfortunately, like most popular dog breeds, the miniature schnauzer is known to develop some inherited diseases that can create difficulties for the breed and the people that love them. Luckily, several inherited diseases in the miniature schnauzer have had their specific genetic mutation identified and can now be prevented in puppies by testing dams and sires and using informed selective breeding techniques. Carriers of recessive genetic diseases (diseases in which the offspring must inherit one copy of the genetic mutation from each parent to show signs of disease) are particularly troublesome for breeders because despite the fact that parents carrying a single copy of a disease causing mutation are not affected by disease, they can still pass the mutation to offspring and produce ...

Philanthropy and Research: Going Beyond Canine Genetics in Our Community

Philanthropy and Research: Going Beyond Canine Genetics in Our Community

Paw Print Genetics is dedicated to bettering canine genetic health by providing the most accurate and reliable genetic screening for disease-causing mutations. We pride ourselves on the customer service given to each client, and even those just curious about genetics or healthy dogs in general. We want to be your definitive resource for canine genetic health. If you have questions about genetics, we’re here to help. If you need your dog screened for genetic mutations, we can do that with 100-percent accuracy.

But canine health isn't our only concern that we support. Several members of the Paw Print Genetics team donate time and money to help create awareness and fundraise for national organizations at the local level that engage in disease-fighting research for humans, too.

As an undergraduate, I was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Now that I’ve returned to my old stomping grounds, I’ve become involved with the local chapter again as the advisor. About two years ago, the chapter decided to take part in the national fraternity’s Iron Phi program, which raises funds for the ALS Association to raise awareness of and research for the disease commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The ALS Association ...

Inherited Diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Inherited Diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

If you already own a German shorthaired pointer (GSP) or if you are currently in the market for one, you likely realize the high level of intelligence and performance of this breed. With proper training, this high energy gundog can become a hunter’s best friend. Whether running long distance across rough terrain or diving into the water to retrieve a bird, the GSP is happy to work hard, please their owner and most of all, to hunt. Though a relatively healthy breed overall, like all dog breeds, sometimes GSPs can be born with inherited conditions that make life difficult for them or prevent them from doing the jobs that they were bred to perform. 

Some diseases reported in GSPs such as hip dysplasia, entropion, and some cancers, are likely inherited though the specific genetic mutations associated with these disorders are currently unknown. On the other hand, GSPs also can inherit diseases caused by known genetic mutations. Knowledge of specific mutations and how the diseases are inherited, allows for laboratories such as Paw Print Genetics to develop tests to identify dogs that are either genetic carriers or are affected with a particular disease. Paw Print Genetics offers tests for three ...

Seven Serious Diseases that Affect Popular Breeds

Seven Serious Diseases that Affect Popular Breeds

When we bring a new puppy into the home, we often envision years of companionship and adventures. Hiking, swimming, hunting and running are just a few activities our healthy canine companions can join us on – and there’s something to be said for the bonding that takes place when we’re just lounging around the house, too.

For healthy dogs, the financial investment of daily care and routine veterinarian visits is well worth the cost of keeping them a healthy, happy and active member of the family. Unhealthy dogs due to poor breeding practices, however, exact a premium on our pocketbooks, tax our emotions and take a toll on our daily lives – not to mention the quality of life the puppy is condemned to live.

While many unforeseen diseases and health issues can affect a dog throughout its lifetime, there are nearly 200 disease-causing genetic mutations known to science. These mutations can be identified in dogs prior to breeding, which allows breeders to produce healthier puppies. As a new-puppy buyer, make sure you’re purchasing from a breeder that has screened for genetic disorders common to your breed of choice.

Seven of the most common, and potentially deadly, diseases include:

Degenerative ...

Paw Print Genetics Celebrates Its One-year Anniversary

Paw Print Genetics Celebrates Its One-year Anniversary

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since Paw Print Genetics opened its doors and started offering its testing service.  A lot has happened since then.  Prior to offering our testing services for inherited diseases of canines, we had a lot of work to do. We spent many weeks combing the medical literature with the goal of identifying all of the disease mutations associated with medical problems in dogs. After the mutations were identified in the public literature, we developed the tests that showed whether a dog had the normal or mutated DNA sequence. 

For each mutation, two different tests were developed, so that each DNA sequence is examined two times in two different ways. This is how we achieved 100% accuracy and 100% reliability with our testing.  Once the two tests were developed, we then validated the tests. To do this, we enlisted the help from many of our current customers to provide samples on dogs that were known normal, carriers or affected with the diseases for which we developed tests. The results from these samples were submitted to the laboratory directors, PhD geneticists and licensed veterinarians, for review of the data without ...

Breed of the Week: The Doberman

Breed of the Week: The Doberman

One of the most intimidating dogs, the Doberman is also one of the most intelligent. Created in the 1890s as a guard dog, the Doberman has a storied history as protector but is now considered a great family and companion dog in addition to being one of the best guard dogs.

Developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann in Germany, Dobermans were created to protect their owner. Dobermann himself was a tax collector who also ran the town’s dog pound. His access to dogs allowed him to mix and match various breeds to create a dog that was intimidating and aggressive enough to fight off bandits and others that would seek to harm the money-carrying tax man. It’s believed that he used German shepherd, Weimaraner, German shorthaired pointer, Manchester terrier, Great Dane, German pinscher and greyhound, among others. 

The result was an intelligent dog with enough trainability to keep it under control, yet a dog that would aggressively protect its owner on command. It maintained these traits, as well as being athletic, strong, fast, loyal and ferocious, and has been employed as a war dog, police dog and personal protection dog. 

Like many breeds, the war and post-war eras ...

Breed of the Week: Greyhound

Breed of the Week: Greyhound

Another of the ancient breeds, the greyhound has long been associated with nobility and depicted hunting with them in artwork, as well as described in official records. The greyhound, with its long, lean body and legs, has the ability to accelerate quickly and maintain some of the fastest sprinting speeds of any land mammal on the planet. While their original use was for hunting, in more modern times they’ve been used for lure chasing and other forms of racing. With the rise of adoption centers, many retired racing greyhounds are now finding popularity as pets in the home.

Records of greyhounds date to the Celtics in Europe, although some contend that they originated in ancient Egypt, with modern lines tracing first to private 18th Century studbooks and then public kennel club records in the 19th Century. They arrived in America with Spanish explorers in the 1500s.

With incredible sprinting speeds, strength and acceleration, greyhounds can chase down just about anything that runs. Throughout history they’ve been used to hunt a wide variety of game, from deer, foxes, rabbits and hares to antelope, gazelles and wolves. In America today, they’re still used for small-game hunting of rabbits, as well as coyote ...