Tag archives: Veterinarian

Keep Breed-Specific Thinking from Delaying Your Diagnosis

Keep Breed-Specific Thinking from Delaying Your Diagnosis

Discovery of disease-associated, canine genetic mutations has greatly increased over the past two decades. As a result, identification of these mutations through genetic testing has quickly become a useful tool for dog kennels and veterinary practices by allowing for the identification of asymptomatic disease carriers, diagnosis of affected dogs, and prevention of inherited diseases through informed breeding practices. However, because mutation discovery is often funded by specific breed clubs with interest in a breed-related disease concern, study investigators may not perform extensive, species-wide population studies for a newly discovered mutation. Therefore, in many cases, additional breeds inheriting the same mutation (and developing the same disease) may remain unknown for quite some time after the initial discovery.

As any modern veterinarian can attest, for better or worse, animal lovers have more veterinary medical information at their fingertips than ever before. Occasionally, at Paw Print Genetics, we are contacted by breeders or owners whose veterinarian had opted not to pursue a diagnosis that the client suspected because of the veterinarian’s historical understanding of a disease’s breed-specific distribution rather than the current knowledge. For veterinarians building a differential diagnosis list, keeping the mind open to a particular inherited disease manifesting in an unexpected ...

New Test for Australian Shepherds and Related Breeds - Intestinal Cobalamin Malabsorption

New Test for Australian Shepherds and Related Breeds - Intestinal Cobalamin Malabsorption

Intestinal cobalamin malabsorption, also known as Amnionless Deficiency, Cobalamin Deficiency, Imerslund-Grasbeck Syndrome (IGS), and Vitamin B12 Deficiency, is an inherited disease found in the Australian Shepherd and related breeds (Miniature Australian Shepherd, Toy Australian Shepherd, Miniature American Shepherd). The disease is inherited in a recessive fashion and as such, dogs that inherit two copies of the mutation are at risk for the disease. The disease is caused by the inability to make adequate amounts of a protein that plays a role in absorption of certain nutrients from the intestinal tract and kidneys, including the B vitamin, cobalamin. Affected dogs have increased levels of methylmalonic acid in their urine (a sign of cobalamin deficiency) after weaning, but symptoms of disease may not be recognized by owners for months or years. Symptoms of disease include anorexia, lethargy, poor weight gain, poor muscle mass, and in rare circumstances, a severe neurological dysfunction called hepatic encephalopathy that can lead to altered mental state, seizures, coma and death. Affected dogs require treatment with cobalamin supplementation throughout their life.

Because of the severity of this condition and the fact that it is treatable, this test has been added to the breed-specific panels for Australian Shepherds and related breeds ...

Breeding Carriers of Canine Recessive Diseases- Why It Should be Considered

Breeding Carriers of Canine Recessive Diseases- Why It Should be Considered

The breeding of dogs identified as genetic carriers of recessive disease is a hotly debated topic in the canine breeding world with many breeders firmly entrenched in their own personal approach to the issue. With increasing regularity, dog breeders and their clients are bringing genetic questions (including those about breeding carriers) to their veterinarians under the assumption that most veterinarians would be up to speed on the current information and genetic testing available. Unfortunately, at Paw Print Genetics we occasionally speak to breeders whose veterinarians have given them advice about breeding carriers that may not be in the best interest of the kennel or the breed. Given the large number of variables and differences between the way kennels are operated and the recessive disease risks of individual breeds, there is not necessarily a breeding approach that would be appropriate in 100% of cases. However, understanding some guiding principles and the potential ramifications of doing so, can help a veterinarian advise their dog breeding clients in a way that will help them meet their goals without increasing the incidence of recessive diseases in a kennel or in the breed.

What is a “Carrier” of a Recessive disease?

As a quick refresher ...

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 ...

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 ...

Paw Print Genetics Now Offers Veterinary Verification Option for Your Samples

Paw Print Genetics Now Offers Veterinary Verification Option for Your Samples

Paw Print Genetics understands that our customers know what’s best for their breeding programs and what they need from a laboratory. Our customers are the experts and that’s why we listen closely and ask questions. Doing so has resulted in Paw Print Pedigrees, a free website that Paw Print Genetics customers can use to promote their kennels and show off their health tested dogs. Another feature recently added is our Clear by Parentage program, which allows the breeder to get Clear by Parentage certificates on any pup resulting from health tested, parentage-proven parents. Because our customers asked for it, Paw Print Genetics now offers an optional, Veterinary Verification for samples collected by a veterinarian and submitted to us for testing.

Veterinary Verification is an optional and voluntary program offered by Paw Print Genetics that allows breeders to confirm the identity of their dog by having a veterinarian collect the sample and verify a permanent identifier for that dog (microchip number or tattoo). There is a simple form that must be completed by the veterinarian and this form must accompany the sample to the laboratory.

Having a verified sample may provide puppy buyers extra assurance that the test results they receive ...

Genetic Testing of the Symptomatic Dog

Genetic Testing of the Symptomatic Dog

It does not come as a surprise to veterinarians that many of the diseases they see in clinical practice have a hereditary component. If a genetic disease is amenable to treatment, veterinarians are typically well equipped to improve quality of life based upon their patient’s clinical signs. However, since clinical signs alone don’t always point to a specific definitive diagnosis, veterinarians treating inherited disease are often left with unanswered questions about the root cause of the medical problem. Paw Print Genetics offers genetic testing for over 140 different genetic diseases to help veterinarians shorten their list of differential diagnoses and identify the specific genetic mutation responsible for causing the clinical signs they are seeing, thereby, allowing for more specific therapies and recommendations to be made for the benefit of their patients.

Breed Specific Genetic Testing

Many inherited conditions seen in dogs are breed specific or have only been described in particular breeds or breed groups. For instance, one specific mutation in the canine HSF4 gene responsible for early-onset hereditary cataracts has only been described in the Australian shepherd and closely related breeds. Searching a specific breed or symptom on the Paw Print Genetics website will simplify the process of choosing ...

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Mixed Breed or Pure Bred Pet Dogs

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Mixed Breed or Pure Bred Pet Dogs

For many years, an extensive physical exam, fecal sample testing, vaccinations, and deworming have been the mainstays of new puppy veterinary visits. While all of these tried and true steps are crucial in making sure that a puppy is healthy and stays that way, advances in genetic testing technologies are now revolutionizing the veterinarian’s approach to addressing and anticipating potential health issues in young dogs. Though inherited diseases are seen by veterinarians on a frequent basis, many veterinarians do not realize that genetic testing for diseases is available or understand how clinically helpful testing puppies at their first visit can be. How often do you discuss puppy genetic testing with your clients?

How Can Genetic Testing Improve Veterinary Practice?

The implications that genetic testing results can have for a dog’s veterinary care vary by a specific disease’s age of onset, progression, and clinical signs. Early diagnosis of late-onset inherited diseases allows for your clients to become educated about what to expect and in some cases, take preventative measures and plan for life changes. Knowledge that a dog is at-risk for a particular late-onset disease also allows for early diagnosis and implementation of early treatment when possible. In some cases, clients ...

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Breeding Dogs

Integrating Genetic Testing Into Veterinary Practice- Breeding Dogs

Most veterinarians are well aware that canine hip and elbow radiographs, echocardiograms, and eye examinations have become routine veterinary health clearances requested by dog breeders. The goal of these diagnostics is to help breeders to improve their blood lines and produce healthy puppies. However, unless you work in a practice with a heavy canine reproduction case load, it is likely that you are less familiar with the genetic testing employed by breeders, what genetic tests are available, and how the results of genetic testing can help your dog-breeding clients attain their goals. Now that genetic testing has become a common addition to other pre-breeding canine health testing, gaining an understanding of available genetic testing and offering a service to help your clients complete their genetic testing through Paw Print Genetics (PPG), may increase the value of your customer relationships and build client loyalty, while at the same time, fulfilling your veterinary goal to improve the quality and length of puppies’ lives. How often do you discuss genetic testing with your dog breeder clients?

Dog Breeding and Genetic Testing

Though vet school curriculums have historically addressed canine inherited diseases and treatments for these conditions, much less emphasis has been placed on ...

Preparing Your Pet for Fires, Tornados and Other Natural Disasters

Preparing Your Pet for Fires, Tornados and Other Natural Disasters

House fires, wildfires, tornados, hurricanes and other disasters can destroy a home and displace families in a matter of minutes. If you live in an area prone to the destructive forces of nature, having a plan can save the lives of both you and your family – including your pets.

In the case of a house fire, when seconds count, organization matters even more when it comes to saving your pets. July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and as such, we’re here to offer a few tips to help you prepare in the case of an emergency situation.

When Quick Exits are Required

First and foremost, you have to get to a safe place – and you have to take your pet with you. Don’t leave your dog behind to fend for itself or for first responders to rescue – they’ll likely be too busy saving human lives to take responsibility for your pet.

Depending upon the situation, those safe places could be very different – from the highest ground possible during a flood to an interior room or safe room during a tornado. During a house fire, evacuation is usually the best action, which makes organization very important ...