Tag archives: dog genetic disease testing

Preventing Inherited L-2-HGA in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Preventing Inherited L-2-HGA in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Despite its 19th century reputation as a ferocious and fearless competitor in the cruel sport of dog fighting, the modern, well-bred Staffordshire bull terrier (SBT) is an affectionate, friendly, and loyal companion. At only 24 to 38 pounds, the SBT’s impressive, muscular frame is now a relic from a distant time when dogs slept in the backyard instead of the bedroom and often proved their worth through the use of their agility, strength, tenacity, and teeth. Through nearly a century of careful selective breeding for temperament, the SBT has become as suitable for the family as they once were for the fighting ring. As with other purebred dogs, along the path of breed improvement, the SBT has developed some inherited diseases that have caused problems for SBT owners and breeders alike. One of the most concerning inherited diseases in the SBT is the neurometabolic disorder commonly referred to by the acronym L-2-HGA; short for L-2 hydroxyglutaric aciduria.

What is L-2-HGA?

Dogs affected with L-2-HGA lack functional copies of a protein important in eliminating L-2 hydroxyglutaric acid (a normal product of metabolism) from the body. As a result, L-2 hydroxyglutaric acid accumulates in the urine, blood, and cerebrospinal fluid. Though ...

Why do genetic testing in your dog?

Why do genetic testing in your dog?

Bringing a new puppy into the family is a financial and emotional investment.  Once the kids fall in love with that new puppy, there is no turning back, no matter what might happen.  Whether you are a professional dog breeder or simply a careful buyer, genetic testing can help you understand the potential genetic threats to your dog’s health. It will also inform you of potential inherited diseases that may get passed on if you decide to breed. By testing both the dam and sire, this information will help you select the proper mate to produce the healthiest puppies thereby increasing the value of your breeding program.  If both the dam and sire are clear, all of the puppies will be clear by parentage. Thus, those that are diligent about testing will save money over time. However, every time a new dog is brought into a breeding program, that dog should be screened for all known disease mutations to make sure you are not introducing new mutations into your lines.

Paw Print Genetics was founded by geneticists and veterinarians committed to quality genetic testing and outstanding customer service. Paw Print Genetics offers the largest selection of tests ...

Mitochondrial Inheritance is Responsible for Canine Disease

Mitochondrial Inheritance is Responsible for Canine Disease

My last two articles on dominant and recessive inheritance and X-linked inheritance have built upon each other and discussed different types of inheritance: dominant, recessive and X-linked.  These three modes of genetic transmission are fairly straightforward compared with the topic of today’s post, which is mitochondrial inheritance.  Maybe you’ve never heard of the word “mitochondria” before.  Or perhaps just reading the word brings you back to high school cell biology.  While this may be a rare form of inheritance, diagnosing a dog with a mitochondrial disorder may impact how breeders choose to breed their animals.

Before we discuss the mitochondrial inheritance, let’s talk about mitochondria. Just like our bodies need organs to function (kidneys, heart, liver, etc.), cells have organelles too.  One of the organelles is called a mitochondrion or mitochondria (plural).  Mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of the cell.  They create energy through a series of biochemical reactions.  The number of mitochondria can change depending on the type of cell (muscle, nerve, skin, etc.). 

The neat thing about mitochondria is that they have their own set of DNA, called mtDNA, separate from the DNA found in the nucleus; mtDNA is ...

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 ...

A New Year’s Tip: Sampling a new litter for genetic testing

A New Year’s Tip:  Sampling a new litter for genetic testing

Paw Print Genetics often gets asked about an optimal time to swab a new litter of puppies. When reviewing these tips, please keep in mind that it can take up to two weeks to obtain results once Paw Print Genetics has received the swabs.  Therefore, allow plenty of time for the laboratory to process your samples before promising a specific date that the puppy can join its new home.

Puppies and dogs can be tested at any age. However, it is a good idea to allow the puppies to stabilize after birth, bond with their mother, and demonstrate that they can feed and grow before testing.  You do not have to wait until the puppies are weaned; once the puppies are stable and thriving, they can be swabbed.  For puppies that are not weaned, the puppies should be separated from their mother for at least two hours prior to swabbing. This is to ensure we get the DNA of the puppy instead of the mom's DNA. During this time, they should have plenty of water and should not be allowed food to avoid contamination of samples. Once the swabbing is completed, the pups can rejoin their ...