Tag archives: dog DNA testing

If a cavalier King Charles spaniel falls in the woods and no one’s around, is it episodic falling syndrome?

If a cavalier King Charles spaniel falls in the woods and no one’s around, is it episodic falling syndrome?

There aren’t many things sweeter in life than a cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS). From their friendly, outgoing demeanor to their adorable, pouty eyes, they have definitely become one of my favorite breeds over the years. It appears that others understand my enthusiasm for the breed as well. In the fifteen years from 2002 to 2017, CKCS have moved up from 40th place to 19th place on the AKC’s registration statistics and are one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, like other popular dog breeds, cavaliers have their share of inherited diseases that can potentially reduce their quality and quantity of life. At Paw Print Genetics, we strive to control these diseases for our canine companions.

One interesting yet, debilitating disease unique to the CKCS is an inherited neurological condition first reported in 19831, known as episodic falling syndrome (EFS). Affected dogs begin showing signs of spastic muscle contractions of the limbs and trunk between 14 weeks and 4 years of age particularly during exertion, excitement, or frustration. As an episode starts, affected dogs most commonly develop rigid hind limb extension, a convex bending of the spine (“roach backed”), and hold their head near the floor ...

Canine Genetics In Practice- A Veterinarian’s Role in Preventing Adult-onset Inherited Disease

Canine Genetics In Practice- A Veterinarian’s Role in Preventing Adult-onset Inherited Disease

Veterinarians examine, treat, and diagnose dogs with inherited diseases daily. Though treatments to fix some inherited disorders such as cryptorchidism and umbilical hernias are relatively safe and effective, rarely are the inherited disorders seen in practice remedied with a simple, relatively low-cost solution. In fact, in many cases of inherited disease, treatment options are extremely limited or non-existent. Therefore, an option to prevent these diseases before they occur would be preferable in most circumstances. Genetic disease testing made possible by the discovery of the causal mutations has become the best medicine to combat many inherited conditions.

Genetic testing of dams and sires has become commonplace in many dog breeds as breeders have recognized the power of identifying those dogs at risk of producing puppies with inherited diseases. Unfortunately, however, some breeders have been slow to adopt the routine use of genetic testing as they continue to rely on traditional selective breeding techniques. Limited by the inability to identify unaffected carriers of disease, selective breeding has historically proven relatively ineffective in the pursuit of large reductions in disease incidence.

Adult and late-onset inherited diseases pose an extra challenge in selective breeding because dogs become sexually mature before signs of the disease ...

A Letter from our CEO

A Letter from our CEO

Since the announcement that we ended our litigation over the gene patents for  progressive retinal atrophy (prcd), collie eye anomaly, congenital stationary night blindness in Briards, and retinal dysplasia/oculoskeletal dysplasia in Labradors, there has been a huge outpouring of encouragement and congratulations from our customers. At Paw Print Genetics, we are all very touched by this support.

I have also received a number of emails from customers worried that we may raise our prices because of this new sublicense. I have even seen this question debated on Facebook and understand the concern.  As you can imagine, the lawsuits from the past couple of years were expensive. We paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to support our cases.  Last year, we won our case in Federal court and the patent for exercise-induced collapse (EIC) was invalidated. This allowed our customers to register their EIC results with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), but also cleared the way for other laboratories to offer this test without fear of litigation, even though they did not participate in the lawsuits or help fund our cause. As we are recovering from these huge litigation costs, we are doing all ...

How to Order Genetic Testing on an Upcoming Litter of Puppies

How to Order Genetic Testing on an Upcoming Litter of Puppies

The most common question that I receive goes something like this…”I have an upcoming litter.  How do I take advantage of this great sale before the pups have names and registration numbers?”

Paw Print Genetics provides a lot of services ‘behind the scenes’ that you may not know about.  Here we review our most popular services – all at no extra charge to you!

You can order tests for your pups before they are born!  Place an order with Paw Print Genetics anticipating the number of pups you are expecting. Name each pup a separate name, such as pup1, pup2, etc. Once they are born, you can update each pup with their birth date and sex. You can edit their name and add a collar color or some other identifier like coat color. Now you are ready to send in your samples!

Review all of our samples types because some samples, like dewclaws and umbilical cords will get you results much sooner than waiting on the best time to do cheek swabs in a puppy.

If you over estimated your litter size or just wanted to order extra tests to take advantage of the savings, you ...

Paw Print Genetics Can Help You Better Integrate Genetic Testing Into Your Veterinary Practice

Paw Print Genetics Can Help You Better Integrate Genetic Testing Into Your Veterinary Practice

Paw Print Genetics has begun a new series of blogs aimed at helping veterinarians integrate genetics into their practice. These blogs help illustrate how the veterinarian might include discussions about genetics during new puppy visits, while helping a breeder with their breeding program, or considering genetic causes in developing a differential diagnosis for symptomatic dogs.

Veterinarians can assist clients in receiving genetic services in several ways. First, the vet may simply provide the dog owner information about testing options and clarify any questions that they might have.  Second, the veterinary staff assists the owner in setting up an individual account and performs the blood draw or cheek swabbing for the customer.  In this case, the genetic results would be uploaded to the customer’s account and the customer would have direct access to the information. Third, the veterinary clinic can set up a master account on the Paw Print Genetics website. Each customer’s dog is entered into the master account as orders are placed. For each dog, there is a field that allows the clinic staff to enter the dog owner’s name and contact information. After testing, the genetic results are uploaded to the clinic’s master account and the ...

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 ...

The Complexity of the Canine Genome

The Complexity of the Canine Genome

Genetic testing may seem simple on the surface.  Order a test.  If it’s positive, the dog will have symptoms.  If it’s negative, there is no risk for the disease.  Open and shut.  However, there are many molecular details that can make genetic testing extremely complicated.  Today’s topic is reviewing these facts and how they impact the diagnosis of a genetic condition and the chance it may happen again.  My goal isn’t to bestow upon you an honorary degree in genetics, but to help you understand how these diseases are diagnosed and how genetic testing for those diseases is designed and interpreted.

Although genetic testing is expanding at an extremely fast pace, it is not perfect.  Genetic testing can allow you eliminate certain conditions but, unfortunately, nobody has a crystal ball and can therefore, not exclude all possible diseases in any dog. Genetic tests are designed after a mutation causing a disease has been described in the medical literature. It may be a mutation common in a particular breed or it may be very rare. In addition, it may not be the only mutation in that gene, or there may be other genes ...

Friend Referrals are a Company's Best Compliment

Friend Referrals are a Company's Best Compliment

One of the best compliments that a company can receive is when a customer places another order after experiencing that company’s service. An even better compliment is when a customer refers that business to a friend or colleague. When we refer a friend to a business, we are putting our ‘stamp of approval’ on that business and putting our reputation on the line too. We hope that the company will provide that excellent customer service every time so that our friend doesn’t blame us if things go wrong. That is why referrals are so valuable to a company and why excellent customer service should be every company’s number one priority.

What constitutes excellent customer service? This may include an informative and easy to use website interface, a friendly human voice when the company answers the phone, the outstanding quality of the service they provide, and its caring interactions with the customer long after the service has been completed. When was the last time you ordered something and didn’t receive an email confirmation or reply that your precious purchase was on its way? The communication that a company has with its customer says a lot about the way it conducts its ...