Tag archives: health

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud – Advice from the CEO of Paw Print Genetics

Don’t be a Victim of Fraud – Advice from the CEO of Paw Print Genetics

It amazes me that some people would rather risk getting caught than do the right thing. In just the first six months of 2017, we have had three instances of fraud in which a breeder has supplied the puppy buyer with fraudulent documents bearing the Paw Print Genetics (PPG) logo.  In each case, the fraudulent documents were concocted in different ways but when presented to us, we could immediately see that they were not authentic.

Our team has spent considerable time in trying to address the issue of fraud and how to protect PPG. But more important to us is, how do our customers or future customers protect themselves? What should you ask for when buying a pup or considering breeding with another’s dog? How can you tell if the documents given to you are legitimate?

I am not going to show you how these documents were altered, as we do not want to give unethical people ideas about how to create such documents. Rather, it is important that you follow these simple rules when seeking information on a dog or pup that you may purchase or breed.

  1. Only accept complete, original documents. Do not accept written statements, summaries ...

Banfield Pet Hospitals Release Health Report

Banfield Pet Hospitals Release Health Report

With the largest network of veterinary clinics in the country (more than 850), Banfield Pet Hospitals is uniquely positioned to collect data on dogs and the ailments affecting them. Their yearly “State of Pet Health Report” has detailed infectious diseases, common conditions and chronic conditions in canine and felines for at least the last four years.

In the 2014 report, the diseases and conditions are broken down individually, with descriptions, symptoms, common treatments and preventative measures given in an overview. The top-five states for each issue are listed as well.

Individual states can be selected from an interactive map, which details the canine population, most common diagnoses, most common names and breeds (likely differing from AKC’s popularity list, which is comprised strictly of registration statistics). For instance, in Paw Print Genetics’ home state of Washington, the average lifespan of a dog is 11.2 years (compared to 11.0 nationwide); the most common diagnoses are dental tartar, overweightness, ear infections, skin infections and skin tumors; most common names are Bella, Max, Buddy, Lucy and Daisy. The common dog breeds in the state: Labrador retriever, Chihuahua, shih tzu, Yorkshire terrier and dachshund.

The full report breaks down health trends in 2013 ...

Breed of the Week: Boxer

Breed of the Week: Boxer

Athletic and intelligent, the boxer has perhaps one of the most malleable of personalities and range of inherent traits, allowing it to perform in a wide array of roles. From companion and competitor to guard and war dog, the boxer is as fierce and intimidating as he is lovable and laughable.

Good with children, being both affectionate and patient, boxers do best when companions are near – be them human or canine. They enjoy a group setting, and will engage in cuddling, playing or working. They have a protective streak, which in combination with their affectionate nature makes them a popular choice among families. The breed holds strong in the top ten of breeds registered with the AKC, typically averaging as the seventh-most registered dog.

The boxer can trace its origin to 1890s Germany and the now extinct Bullenbeisser dog – a mixture of mastiff and bulldog. Directly descended from these dogs, which were used for fighting and hunting, the boxer was at first employed in a similar manner but performed the duties with more athleticism. While at first used as catch dogs on the hunt, boxers were later used as military dogs during World War I – performing as ...

Breed of the Week: Great Dane

Breed of the Week: Great Dane

Truly great, as much in majesty as in size, the Great Dane is one of the largest dog’s in existence. A gentle giant, the Great Dane possesses a friendly and playful disposition. It’s an ancient breed, with similar-type dogs appearing in frescoes and other artwork from Greece and Egypt dating to more than 5,000 years ago! A 5th Century Danish coin depicts a large hunting dog believe to be a Great Dane.

The most striking feature of the Great Dane is their massive size. Minimum standards dictate that male Danes are not less than 30 inches tall – 32 inches and above is preferable (females can be slightly smaller, standing only 28 inches or more). Their weight ranges from 100 pounds for females to 120 pounds for males – while the AKC no longer states a minimum weight, those are generally accepted standards, however, the tall dogs should appear well muscled and proportionate to its great height.

Their large size makes Great Danes easily identified, and their presence will draw attention from everyone in the immediate vicinity. The largest living dogs are usually Danes – currently the Guinness Book of World’s Records recognizes a black Great Dane named Zeus ...

The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership: Conventional Wisdom or Conventional Hogwash?

The Health Benefits of Pet Ownership: Conventional Wisdom or Conventional Hogwash?

Like many scientists, I despise conventional wisdom. Given that I’m a veterinarian, this is especially true when it comes to medical conventional wisdom; the type of beliefs I remember many adults from my childhood relaying as fact that, I too, held as true for many years. Despite what my family told me in youth, I’ve since learned that shaving my body hair didn’t actually make it thicker, that reading in low light didn’t hurt my eyesight, and that vitamin C didn’t cure my cold. Nearly every day you can find postings on social media that appear to be based on fact, but are actually pieces of 21st century conventional wisdom. One such Facebook posting recently struck near and dear to my veterinary heart. The posting was a link to an article discussing the ways dog ownership can improve our health. After reading the story, I decided to do some digging to see if there was science behind the claims being made. Since childhood, I had heard that pet ownership was good for our health. I heard it lowered blood pressure, prevented heart attacks, and otherwise improved our quality of life. But is it true?

Finding good evidence to support ...

Canine Care When Arctic Temps Hit

Canine Care When Arctic Temps Hit

The first week of December saw an arctic front blanket much of the country with subzero temperatures, snow and ice. Travelers were stranded in airports for days, household pipes were frozen and children left the house in multi-hued layers of clothing. It’s only December, and there’s a high likelihood of another arctic blast or two hitting before the end of February.

While it’s natural to protect our children from the discomfort of freezing temperatures, our dogs feel the temperature change, too. When it comes to canines, there are a few simple precautions you can take to protect them at home and in the field.

Provide proper shelter: If your dog spends his day outside (and hunting dogs should spend some time outdoors to acclimate to dropping temps), he needs shelter from the elements – snow, rain, wind, sun, heat and cold. A dog house with insulation of some sort is all that’s required. Canines have evolved to keep themselves warm, so just giving them a spot to get off the cold ground, some blankets or hay to nest in and a roof over their head is all that is required.

You can augment the basics with heat sources such as mats ...

Breed of the Week: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Breed of the Week: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The only retriever developed exclusively in the United States, the Chesapeake Bay retriever embodies the work ethic and hardiness of the American spirit at a time when the new country was first being settled.

Developed from two Newfoundlands (or perhaps St. Johns water dogs) rescued from a sinking brigantine off the coast of Maryland, Chessie ancestry likely includes flat- and curly-coated retrievers, perhaps spaniels and probably hounds from the local area. This combination of water-loving breeds with strong scenting ability produced a thick-coated and persistent working dog. And work they did.

The Chessie’s primary duty in the early 1800s was that of waterfowl retriever – which remains true today. They were used extensively by market hunters, who with their large punt guns could decimate flocks of ducks and geese, which the retrievers picked up – sometimes hundreds in a single day. Legend has it that Chesapeake Bay retrievers were dual-use dogs – they retrieved waterfowl by day and guarded the boats, guns and day’s haul at night while the market hunters caroused in waterfront saloons – and this is what has led to stereotyped traits in the modern breed (one-man dogs, strong guarding instincts, apt to bite, etc.). While market ...

Breed of the Week: Poodle

Breed of the Week: Poodle

Perhaps no other breed epitomizes a show dog as much as a poodle in a Continental or Scandinavian clip, but lumping the poodle into a single venue would be to ignore more than 500 years of breeding and working history.

The poodle originated in Germany (where it was known as the pudelhund) and was popular throughout Europe – it’s even the national dog of France.  It became popular as a pet during the 18th Century, but has a storied history of service. From the battlefield to the duck marsh, the poodle has worked closely with man for hundreds of years – which is probably a reason why it often ranks as one of the most intelligent breeds.

Poodles were originally used for retrieving downed waterfowl for hunters. Their dense, tightly curled and water resistant coat helped keep them buoyant and insulated in the cold water. There are kennels throughout the country that are working to continue the hunting heritage of the poodle by training and testing them in hunting venues. Poodles have also been used since the 17th Century as war dogs, including during World War II as guard dogs. They also compete in obedience, agility, tracking and even ...

Preventing and Treating Canine Heat Stress

Preventing and Treating Canine Heat Stress

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, said Benjamin Franklin. While the founding father might have been talking about most things in human life, his advice also applies to canines.

During these hot summer days, commonsense prevention can help keep your dog safe. Dogs don’t do well in the heat; even seemingly mild days in the 70s and low 80s can take their toll quickly. Humidity compounds the heat and makes it harder for your dog to cool down. If your dog is out of shape, exercising in heat takes an even greater toll.

If you’re training your dog for competition – whether that’s field trials or hunt tests, obedience, agility or flyball – it’s best to practice early in the morning when the ground and air temps are at the coolest. Other commonsense precautions to take include: ample breaks in the action, plenty of cool water to drink and swim in between drills, as well as resting in the shade.

If you take the time and provide your dog with the chance to cool down, you should be fine. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when watching your dog ...

Paw Print Genetics Health Segments on Working Man’s Retriever Television

Paw Print Genetics Health Segments on Working Man’s Retriever Television

You can now catch some great Paw Print Genetics information on The Working Man’s Retriever television show, which airs during “The Landing Zone” block of programming on the Sportsman Channel. You can also view each episode on the Paw Print Genetics YouTube page at any time!

Paw Print Genetics founder and CEO, Dr. Lisa Shaffer, a geneticist with more than two decades of experience, visits with host Dan Hosford and co-host Cynean Kenny in five separate episodes and discusses everything from the basics of how genetics work and the impact upon breeding decisions to when, how and why to test a new puppy and interpreting the results on your Canine Health Certificate.

Episode One: In the first episode of Working Man’s Retriever that Dr. Shaffer appears on, she discusses silent, or recessive genes; the differences between clear, carrier and affected dogs; how you can still safely breed dogs that are carriers of known genetic mutations and how, with consistent genetic testing you can eventually eliminate genetic mutations from your breeding program. She also touches on how a Canine Health Certificate adds value to a litter of puppies and acts as a safety measure for the puppy buyer.

Episode ...