Tag: wisdom panel
A company whose candy you’ll probably be handing out next week announced the introduction today of a genetic diversity test, aimed at allowing dog breeders to lessen the chances of bringing unhealthy pups into the world.
“Optimal Selection,” despite its somewhat eugenic-sounding name, is a first-of-its-kind tool that actually seeks to broaden the gene pool of various breeds, and thereby avoid the kind of purebred health problems that have become too common as a result of inbreeding closely related dogs.
With the new test from Mars Veterinary, a division of Mars Inc., breeders will be able to select the physical and behavioral traits that are important to them, then, through a DNA test on the blood of potential mates, compare chromosomal similarities and differences.
Based on those results, Mars said in a press release, “the breeder is given the opportunity to diversify the genetic makeup of their puppies and reduce the risk of recessive medical conditions.”
A story (written by me) on those risks and problems, and how, as an issue, they’ve never seemed to reach a tipping point in the American public consciousness, appears in the current issue of The Bark.
Pet products and tests are not new ground for Mars. In addition to pet foods (Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba, Cesar and Royal Canin), Mars Veterinary was one of the pioneers in doggie DNA testing, coming out with a test to determine what breeds are in a dog, and later with tests to verify the heritage of purebreds and designer dogs.
For mutts, Mars Veterinary offers both a swab-based mixed breed test, called Wisdom Panel Insights, and a blood based test, Wisdom Panel Professional. The company says those tests can help predict a dog’s future health problems, based upon the breeds that are in him.
With the Optimal Selection test, though, Mars seems to have stepped beyond appeasing dog owner curiosity to actually addressing the kind of health problems that inbreeding has led to — from bulldogs with heads too big to be born naturally to spaniels whose brains outgrow their skulls.
“For centuries, dedicated breeders have worked to improve the temperament, conformation, and health of their purebred dogs,” their press release says. “However, this can cause a decrease in genetic diversity leaving the breeding community to contend with concerns such as smaller litter size, puppy mortality, and other health issues, in addition to a negative consumer perception around breeding practices.”
The analysis provided by Optimal Selection ($95) uses a scoring system based on the compatibility of the chromosomes of potential mates.
“We have leveraged our extensive knowledge of the genetic structures across breeds to closely examine the DNA of dogs within each breed and help owners take their breeding programs to the next level,” said Dr. Angela Hughes, Veterinary Genetics Research Manager at Mars Veterinary.
“Optimal Selection has the potential to transform dog breeding so that the genetic diversity within a breed or family line can be protected and maximized,” she added.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breeders, canine, chromosomes, designer dogs, diseases, diversity, dna, dogs, genetic, health, health problems, hybrids, inbreeding, linebreeding, mars, mars veterinary, mates, mating, maximize, mixed breeds, mutts, optimal selection, pets, practices, product, purebred, test, wisdom panel
It took a DNA test to prove it, but Angie Cartwright — who lives in a town that bans pit bulls — has certified that her dog Lucey is only 12 percent bully breeds, and now she has her back.
Lucey had never bitten anyone; nor had she ever acted aggressively, according to the Salina Journal in Kansas. But she was scooped up by animal control officers.
The officers explained that they were taking Lucey to a veterinarian for a breed check — a professional opinion (meaning veterinarian’s guess) to determine Lucey’s breed.
Since 2005, Salina has had a ban on owning unregistered pit bulls and mixed breeds that are predominantly pit bull.
Cartwright got approval to have her vet conduct DNA breed analysis test, ther results of which led to the return of her dog.
The blood test found that a minor amount of Lucey’s DNA came from Staffordshire bull terrier genes — just over 12 percent.
“Maybe this can save someone’s animal, hopefully,” Cartwright said. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek September 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: angie cartwright, animal control, breed, breed ban, breed specific legislation, bsl, bully breeds, dna, dog, dogs, genes, genetic, kansas, lucey, mars veterinary, mixed breed, news, pit bull, recovered, recovers, register, salina, seized, shelter, taken, test, wisdom panel
What do these four breeds have in common — besides getting labeled as vicious from time to time?
All four (Rottweiler, Akita, chow and Staffordshire terrier, aka pit bull) are in my dog Ace, according to yet another DNA test (last one, I promise). The best guess now is that one of Ace’s parents was a Rottweiler, the other a combination of Akita, Chow and pit bull.
Together, they formed this creature:
How the product of four “feared” breeds could be such a gentle giant might be explained several ways.
For starters, they aren’t vicious breeds — just breeds that, due to the acts of a few members, have seen themselves smeared as a whole. Secondly, we would contend, when you start mixing up breeds, though some purebred purists might be offended by it, some wonderful things can happen. Third, maybe, just maybe, nurture is more important than nature.
Then again, maybe DNA testing — scientifically solid as it may be — isn’t always the full and final answer.
After all this was our third test, and our third different diagnosis.
The first DNA analysis was performed in connection with the Baltimore Sun series, “Hey Mister What Kind of Dog is That?” The Canine Heritage test from Metamorphix, using a cheek swab taken from Ace, determined he was Rottweiler and Chow. At the time, the test checked for 38 breeds.
The second came after Mars Veterinary offered us a free Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis kit, which can detect the presence of more than 150 breeds. This one required a visit from a vet to take Ace’s blood, and the results showed he was 50 percent Rottweiler, 25 percent Akita, and 25 percent other unknown breeds.
While we were waiting for our results on that one, Canine Heritage got back in touch to let us know the newer version of their test — still using a cheek swab — could now detect 100 breeds. They offered us a free re-test, so we swabbed Ace’s mouth again.
The results of that one arrived in the mail last week.
Makers of the tests say it helps dog owners better understand their pets’ behavior, and better be on the lookout for potential medical problems, many of which are prevalent among certain breeds. In that regard, testing a dog’s DNA can serve a useful purpose. But there’s a potential for misusing them as well — if, for instance, they ever become a tool for enforcing breed bans.
In that case, Ace, with his components, would be Public Enemy No. 1. Should that ever come to pass, none of this ever happened, and Ace is actually a, uh … Portuguese water dog/Labradoodle mix.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akita, breed, breed bans, breed specific legislation, canine, canine heritage, chow, chow chow, dna, dog, health, mars veterinary, metamorphix, mix, mixed, mutt, mutts, pets, pit bull, rottweiler, test, testing, wisdom panel
And what of Elliot? Does knowing his somewhat fuzzier lineage — 25 percent golden retriever, 25 percent boxer, and 50 percent unknown — provide any information that might be helpful to him and his owners?
The experts at Mars Veterinary, makers of the Wisdom Panel MX mixed breed analysis, say yes — that knowing what’s in your mutt can help you better understand his or her behavior, and better be on the lookout for potential medical problems.
With Ace, they say, I should be aware of the potential for hip and elbow dysplasia, as both of the known breeds in him are prone to that. I should keep him on the lean side (something I’ve been unable to do with myself), and consider supplementing his diet with glucosamine, for optimal joint health. Also, since Rottweilers and Akitas are both prone to cataracts and other eye problems, I should keep an eye on his eyes.
With Elliot, hip dysplasia is also a concern, as, later in life, is cancer, which has a high incidence in boxers and golden retrievers. Elliot, based on the breeds found in him, could also be predisposed to skin issues, allergies and hypothyroidism.
Depressing as it all sounds – I, for one, would rather not know what afflictions lay ahead for me – I’ll admit that the information is somewhat useful.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, akita, allergies, animals, boxer, breed, breed test, breeds, care, cataracts, dna, dna testing, dog, dogs, elliot, golden retriever, health, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, mars veterinary, mixed breeds, mutt, mutts, ohmidog!, rottweiler, test, wisdom panel
My dog’s lineage took another wild swerve last night when it was revealed that — contrary to an earlier DNA test that showed him to be Rottweiler and chow — he is actually Rottweiler and Akita.
The two detectable breeds in my dog Ace (left) and Elliot (right) were revealed at our “ohmidog! Identity Crisis and Breed Reveal Party,” which raised $500 for the Franky Fund for sick and injured animals at Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS).
While Ace’s mix was correctly guessed by a member of the crowd that gathered at the Idle Hour Tavern for the reveal, nobody nailed the two breeds that showed up in Elliot Gould: boxer and golden retriever.
Kelly Gould, Elliot’s owner — though she has nothing against boxers and golden retrievers — immediately demanded a recount, saying the DNA test’s findings were not at all in line with what she suspected.
Elliot, the winner of our “What’s in Your Mutt” contest, spent the day before the party at my house, where he behaved, in true mutt fashion, magnificently. At the Idle Hour, guests sized up Ace and Elliot, and tossed their guesses, along with their Franky Fund donations, into a fishbowl.
At 8 p.m., the envelopes were opened and the test results were announced. The two winners — in Elliot’s case, the person who came closest, picking boxer/shepherd — will receive ohmidog! sweatshirts. From the rest of the entries, three more winners were drawn to receive dog treat baskets, courtesy of K-9 Kraving Dog Food.
Thanks to K-9 Kraving, the Idle Hour, Mars Veterinary (makers of the Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis test kit), Dr. Johnny Slaughter (the vet who took the blood samples), and all those who showed up for the party.
(Tomorrow: Now what? We’ll take a look at what, if anything, the test results mean — to the dogs and their caretakers.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, akita, barcs, boxer, breed, breeds, chow chow, dna, dr. johnny slaughter, elliot, franky fund, golden retriever, guess, hey mister what kind of dog is that, identity crisis, mars veterinary, mixed breed, mutts, news, ohmidog!, party, reveal, rottweiler, test, testing, what's in your mutt, wisdom panel
Ace and Elliott both bravely submitted to having their blood drawn yesterday for DNA testing, meaning it’s only a matter of time until our ”What’s in Your Mutt Mystery Contest” reaches its final chapter.
Elliott was the winner of our reader contest in which mutt owners wrote about their dogs and why they wanted to know the breeds that were in them.
Ace is my dog, whose DNA test last year — not long after the tests first came out — was recounted in the Baltimore Sun series, Hey, Mister, What Kind of Dog is That?”
The Canine Heritage test — a home version in which the pet owner swabs the inside of the dog’s cheek and sends the swab in for analysis — found him to be Chow and Rottweiler, two of the 38 breeds that particular test, at that particular time, checked for.
Since then, the technology has improved. The new Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis, from Mars Veterinary, tests blood, drawn and sent in by your veterinarian, and can detect the presence of more than 150 breeds. The new Canine Heritage test, available from MMI Genomics, can now detect more than 100 breeds through cheek cells collected on the swab.
When Mars Veterinary, makers of the Wisdom Panel, offered us a chance to try out the new product we agreed. The company sent us two free test kits, one for Ace, one for our contest winner, who turned out to be Elliott.
On Saturday, we all gathered at my house for the blood drawing — Ace, Elliott, his humans, Andrew and Kelly Gould, and Dr. Johnny Slaughter, a mobile veterinarian in Baltimore, and ohmidog! advertiser, who volunteered his services. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, breeds, canine heritage, contest, dna, dna test, dna testing, dog dna, doggie dna test, Elliott, guess, hey mister, johnny slaughter, mars, mars veterinary, mixed breed, mmi genomics, mutts, test, veterinarian, veterinary, what kind of dog is that, what's in your mutt, wisdom panel, wisdom panel mx mixed breed analysis
The saga of my dog Ace, though already told, may be in for some revision.
My Baltimore Sun series on Ace’s roots — which traced everything from how he ended up in the city animal shelter to the breeds that, according to a DNA test, were in him — originally appeared last year. (You can find the video version of “Hey, Mister, What Kind of Dog is That?” on our dog-umentaries page.)
Now, with advances in technology, were going to reexamine Ace’s earliest chapters. The simple cheek swab DNA test we gave him in connection with the earlier project, which checked for 38 breeds, showed only two — Chow and Rottweiler.
Now, we’re going to try the new and more sophisticated blood test, from Mars Veterinary — the Mars Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis – which can determine the presence of 157 breeds.
As a result, we may find out that there is more to Ace — breed-wise — than we originally thought, perhaps we’ll even find out what accounts for his size, which, height-wise, exceeds that of both of the breeds found in him.
Mastiff, horse and minivan were among the guesses last time around, in addition to the more common ones — Akita (which would explain his curly tail), shepherd and Great Dane (which would explain his size). As it turned out most people were wrong, at least according to the Canine Heritage Test.
This time around, we’re going to ask for guesses as well. Those who can name each and every breed — in the form of a comment on this entry – will win a free ohmidog! hooded sweatshirt.
In addition, we’re checking the DNA of our contest winner, Elliott. To guess his breeds, go here.
The process starts this weekend when the blood of Ace and Elliott will be drawn by Dr. Johnny Slaughter, mobile veterinarian, and we’ll give you updates along the way. When the results are in, we’ll all get together — likely at a bar — to hear the results.
Meantime, guess away. Here’s some info on Ace: He’s 121 pounds (having recently dropped a few), is about as tall as me (5′ 9″) when he stands on his hind legs. HIs tail makes a complete loop — at least when he’s happy. He works, off an on, as a therapy dog, loves all humans, and almost all dogs. He’s an Aries (we think) and likes long walks on the beach, watching birds and curling up with a good book, as long as somebody else is reading it.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, baltimore sun, breed, contest, dna, documentary, dogs, dogumentary, dr. johnny slaughter, heritage, hey mister, mars veterinary, mixed breed, mutt, mutts, ohmidog!, roots, tests, video, what kind of dog is that, what's in your mutt, wisdom panel
Elliott, one of three dogs in the family of Kelly and Andrew Gould, is the winner of our “What’s in your Mutt?” contest, meaning he’ll be joining my dog, Ace, for a DNA test that will show what breeds are in them
Before the results are announced — for Elliott and Ace — you’ll have a chance to guess what breeds are in them. Those who correctly guess all the breeds the tests show up will win an ohmidog! hooded sweatshirt.
Elliott, when he’s not caked in mud, weighs about 80 pounds. He’s originally from West Virginia, where he and his litter mates were placed in a bag thrown out a car window.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, andrew, breed, breeds, contest, dna, dna testing, dog, dogs, Elliott, gould, guess, kelly, mars veterinary, mixed breed, mutts, ohmidog!, sweatshirt, testing, wisdom panel, wisdom panel mx
If you’ve got a mystery mutt — like this one, named Fergus — here’s your chance to unravel a piece of his or her identity.
Here’s how it works.
Send in a photo of your mutt, along with your best guess as to what breeds he or she might be made up of, his or her name, where he or she came from, and why you want to know what he or she is a mix of — all in 100 words or less.
A winner will be chosen based on the photo, the essay, and the capricious whims of our panel of anonymous, non-purebred judges.
At that point, we’ll arrange for the test (a $125 value) to be administered by Baltimore veterinarian Johnny Slaughter, who will draw the blood at your home (he’s a mobile veterinarian). That will also be at no charge to the contest winner. The contest is limited to Maryland residents.
When the results come in from Mars Veterinary, makers of the new Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed Analysis, we’ll report them here.
By sending in a photo of your dog, you are consenting to it, and your comments, possibly appearing on the ohmidog! website.
Send all entries to email@example.com, with the words “mutts contest” in the subject line.
If you win, you — like the owners of Fergus — will finally know what your mutt’s made up of; in Fergus’ case, in case you’re wondering, it’s Great Pyrenees, English Setter, Dalmatian, Doberman and Jack Russell Terrrier.
(This is a re-post of an earlier item … Deadline for entries is Nov. 30)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, breed, contest, dna testing, dog, dogs, free, mars veterinary, mixed breeds, mutt, mutts, ohmidog!, what's in your mutt, winner, wisdom panel
Last year, when doggie DNA testing hit the market, I tried it on my shelter mutt Ace, as part of my research for this story, and found out the answer to the question everyone asked:
“What kind of dog is that?”
Of the 38 breeds the early versions of the test checked for, only two showed up in Ace — Chow and Rottweiler.
The tests, as we reported last month, have come a long way since then.
In the latest version, The Wisdom Panelâ„¢ MX Mixed Breed Analysis, which came out this week from Mars Veterinary, the presence of 157 breeds of dog can be detected through a blood sample.
So we’re going to check Ace again, and see if the results come out differently than they did a year ago when we used the Canine Heritage test, which is administered by a cheek swab.
And ohmidog! is going to give one of you a chance to find out what’s in your mutt, too — for free.
Mars Veterinary has agreed to send us two free kits (one for me, one for the winner of the ohimdog! What’s in Your Mutt contest.) Tune in tomorrow for the contest details.
According to Mars, the new test is 90 percent accurate, and the information gained from using it — in addition to satisfying your nagging human curiosity — can help you work with your vet to refine and develop the way you feed, train and care for your pet, as well as help identify health problems to which your dog might be prone.
The new test detects 153 of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) 158 registered breeds, plus four breeds that the AKC considers foundation stock.
Among the new breeds checked for are Komondor, Neapolitan Mastiff, Otterhound and Black and Tan Coonhound.
In addition to making the new test available in stores and through veterinarians, Mars is sending dogs owners that had the earlier version of the test performed between Sept. 22 and Oct. 20 a free updated report that will include the new breeds.
Those who tested their dog before Sept. 20, 2008 can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a new analysis. If any of the new breeds appear, a new report will be sent out for $25, to cover the cost of printing and shipping the updated report, the company.
(Photo: Ace as a pup)
(Tomorrow: contest details)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 12th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore sun, breeds, contest, dna, dna testing, dog, dogs, free, hey mister what kind of dog is that, mars veterinary, mutt, mutts, news, ohmidog!, testing, wisdom panel