Unlocking healthier dogs through genetic testing: a comprehensive guide

Launched in 2012 by Lisa Shaffer, Paw Print Genetics is on the forefront of enhancing pet health through groundbreaking DNA testing. This initiative, led by its founder and CEO, targets not just dogs but also cats and birds. With a portfolio of over 300 tests applicable to more than 350 dog breeds, they boast the most comprehensive offerings in their sector. This endeavor assists breeders, veterinarians, and pet owners alike in identifying potential genetic health issues, ensuring our furry and feathered friends lead healthier lives.

Could you talk about your past experiences, what motivated you to choose genetics, and why you specifically focused on dog genetics?

In my high school years, a chapter on genetics in biology class captured my imagination and set me on a career path focused on the study of genes. Pursuing this passion led me to acquire an undergraduate degree followed by a PhD in Human Genetics from the Medical College of Virginia, with a specialization in cytogenetics – exploring the intricate world of chromosomes.

My professional journey began at the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where I dedicated 12 years to unraveling the chromosomal roots of developmental disabilities in children through cutting-edge research. My work was recognized with board certification from the American Board of Medical Genetics and reflected through over 300 scholarly articles.

At Baylor, I embraced microarray technology, which I believed revolutionized our ability to detect chromosomal abnormalities without traditional microscopy. However, integrating this innovation into clinical practices proved challenging within that environment. This obstacle became the catalyst for founding Signature Genomics Laboratories after relocating to Spokane, WA. There, we pioneered microarray technology’s use for clinical diagnosis worldwide and reshaped how developmental disabilities are approached diagnostically.

Following Signature Genomics’ acquisition in 2010, my ambitions evolved towards filling existing voids within companion animal testing sectors. Thorough market analysis revealed opportunities particularly within canine genetics testing, leading to the establishment of Paw Print Genetics in 2012. Our focus has always been geared towards accuracy, customer satisfaction, and offering an extensive array of tests.

Today, our operations have expanded beyond just dogs; we cater to cats and birds as well through brands like Canine HealthCheck, CatScan, and AvianDx. Each brand serves a unique purpose — Canine HealthCheck provides comprehensive disease and trait panels for dogs; CatScan offers similar services for felines; while AvianDx specializes in sex identification tests for monomorphic bird species — all standing testament to our unwavering commitment to advancing genetic testing across various species.

What Makes Paw Print Genetics Different from Other Dog DNA Testing Services?

At the heart of Paw Print Genetics lies a steadfast commitment to precision. The company sets itself apart by double-checking each disease or trait analysis using distinct, independent techniques to ensure unmatched accuracy. Should any discrepancies arise, a third evaluation is conducted, or they might reach out for a fresh sample, emphasizing their dedication to reliable outcomes crucial for breeding and treatment choices.

Moreover, Paw Print Genetics has pioneered the establishment of Standards and Guidelines for clinical canine genetic testing – a notable achievement in an industry lacking in regulation and uniformity. This initiative aims at encouraging other labs to embrace these guidelines, paving the way for enhanced accuracy and overall test quality.

Understanding the importance of informed decisions, Paw Print Genetics offers complimentary genetic counseling accessible to all. This gesture underscores their commitment beyond just business transactions; it’s about ensuring that every client – whether or not they’ve availed services – receives guidance on selecting appropriate tests and interpreting results for breeding healthy dogs or managing their care effectively.

What sets this company further apart is its comprehensive test menu – touted as the largest globally. This convenience eliminates the need for breeders to scatter samples across various labs to complete necessary testing. Now, everything is available under one roof, simplifying the process significantly.

Lastly but equally significant is their exceptional customer service. Quick responses over phone calls or emails are guaranteed by a team passionate about supporting clients’ needs with empathy and expertise.

In essence, Paw Print Genetics revolutionizes how breeders and dog owners approach canine genetics through meticulous testing processes, setting industry standards while offering education and full-scale support matched with unparalleled customer service.

Advantages of Genetic Testing in Dogs

Unlocking healthier dogs through genetic testing: a comprehensive guide

Through precise genetic screenings, it’s possible to ensure that when dogs are bred, their puppies won’t inherit certain diseases. A lot of health issues in dogs (and cats) come down to bad genes getting passed down. Usually, if both mom and dad dog carry a dodgy gene, their puppy is likely to get sick. However, by checking the DNA of these dogs before they have puppies, breeders can make smart matches. They make sure either both parents don’t carry the disease-causing mutations or one parent carries it while the other doesn’t—ensuring healthy pups.

On top of that, vets often rely on this genetic testing. Say they come across a pet showing signs of a genetic illness; this test can confirm their hunch. Knowing for sure what’s going on genetically helps them figure out how best to treat the furry patient.

So basically, with a bit of science and careful planning, we’re paving the way for healthier future generations of our four-legged friends. It’s all about using what we know about genetics to dodge those hereditary health bullets and keep tails wagging happily for years to come.

How easy is it for customers to buy tests for over 350 dog breeds, and do they need to talk to a vet first?

At Paw Print Genetics, simplifying genetic testing for pets has been our main goal. Dive into a seamless process by selecting your pet’s breed on our website, which takes you to a page filled with all necessary genetic tests tailored specifically for them. Whether it’s a single evaluation or a comprehensive panel you’re after, we’ve got you covered.

Especially for breeds like the Labrador Retriever that are prone to various diseases, we’ve categorized our tests into three types: Essential, Supplementary, and Additional. The Essential Panel is crucial for every breeding Lab since it covers the most common health risks in the breed. For those aiming for an exhaustive health assessment, the Supplementary Panel includes less common conditions but is equally important. Moreover, if your vet suspects your dog might have a rare disease, there are additional specific tests available as well.

For breeds with fewer known genetic disorders, we group these into one convenient package but maintain the option for individual test orders too. If broad screening is what you’re looking for, why not opt for our Canine HealthCheck? It’s an extensive screen covering 250 different diseases and traits in dogs. Cat lovers aren’t left out either; our CatScan checks over 85 diseases and traits in felines.

We go the extra mile by providing cheek swab kits at no additional cost within the US along with prepaid mailers to send back samples effortlessly. International customers needn’t worry—we’re here to guide you on how to obtain and return your swabs too.

In essence, making pet genetic testing accessible and comprehensive is what Paw Print Genetics strives for every day because we believe caring for your furry friend should be straightforward and stress-free.

What information will a pet owner get after a test?

At Paw Print Genetics, we go beyond just delivering test results. For our canine and feline friends, every service includes a detailed report that outlines their genetic makeup for the tests conducted. Meanwhile, bird enthusiasts can breathe easy with our AvianDx EarlyBird Sex Identification test, which issues a certificate determining if their feathered friend is a male or female.

However, what truly sets us apart is our dedication to providing more than just raw data. Every customer receives an in-depth report from us that not only lists the genotypic findings but also breaks down these results with thorough interpretations and actionable advice.

But we don’t stop there; understanding genetics can be complex, which is why we’re committed to guiding our customers through it all. We offer genetic counseling as part of our service package, ensuring pet owners fully grasp what their pet’s genetic information means for their health and how it can influence their breeding programs.

Moreover, we wholeheartedly encourage sharing these insights with veterinarians. This collaboration between pet owner, breeder, and veterinarian ensures that any necessary treatments are not just considered but implemented promptly, paving the way for pets to lead happier and healthier lives well into the future.

The Future of Pet DNA Testing

Pet genetic testing is just taking its first steps, especially when you compare it to the strides made in human genetics. It’s an exciting time for pet owners and veterinarians alike as we edge closer to unlocking the mysteries of dog and cat DNA. This journey promises to unveil a treasure trove of tests aimed at identifying single gene anomalies as well as more complex conditions that affect our furry friends.

As we delve deeper into understanding the genetic makeup of canines and felines, we stand on the brink of significant breakthroughs. These discoveries won’t just enhance our knowledge but will pave the way for advancements that could dramatically improve the quality of life for pets around the globe.

In essence, while pet genetic testing may be in its nascent stages now, the potential it holds is immense. With each new finding, we’re not only learning more about our pets’ health but also how to prevent and treat various conditions more effectively. The future indeed looks promising for enhancing animal welfare through genetic science.