Wisdom Panel 3.0- the next gen DNA test has arrived

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mars Veterinary Wisdom 3.0 Panel. Opinions are those of the author.

 

So, if I showed you a picture of a dog, you may be able to tell me a little about him or her.

dog1

You would often be able to make some generalizations about temperament-

dog2

Or adult size-

dog5
Or medical concerns, such as whether or not a dog can tolerate ivermectin.

But what about when it’s not entirely obvious, as is the case with my friend Karen’s adorable dog Ramone?

ramone

He’s been labelled everything from shar-pei to Bernese Mountain Dog to pit bull. Karen doesn’t care, because she evaluated him on an individual basis before deciding he was just perfect, which is what groups with extensive adoption experience like the ASPCA recommend anyway.

On the other hand, there are some good reasons to know the genetic history of a dog beyond the simple novelty of it all. Shelters who have used DNA testing such as the Wisdom panel have found potential adopters really like having a bit of extra information in front of them. For example, my friend adopted a pup about a year ago with a projected weight of 30 pounds who looked pretty similar to these guys:

dog6

As of his first birthday, he just topped 50 strapping pounds and still growing.

Or what if you have a dog who might be part Australian shepherd but you’re not sure and he has Demodex? It would be nice to know if he has the MDR1 mutation before taking your chances on a course of ivermectin treatment.

 

wisdom

 

When Mars Veterinary Wisdom panels first came out a while back, people (myself included) had mixed reactions. What started out as a novelty has grown to have some real use. As our knowledge of the canine genome has evolved, so too has the role of DNA testing in dogs, everything from keeping dogs in homes when a misinformed landlord says, “but he LOOKS like a pit bull!” to increasing shelter adoption rates to helping HOAs bust the person who isn’t picking up after their dog’s business in the common area.

The latest version, Wisdom Panel 3.0, has the added benefit of screening for the MDR1 mutation, a test licensed for home use for the first time to Mars Veterinary  by Washington State University. The MDR1 mutation is known to affect particular breeds and results in some very specific drug sensitivities.

mommy

Over the next six months, the Wisdom Panel Swab-a-thon Tour will be partnering with communities and shelters to swab the DNA of a number of their dogs, with the reports showcased to help match the pets to compatible homes. (I am really excited about the way this is helping shelter pets!) They will also be offering the product to consumers at the events.

The regular test runs $ 84.99, but the Swab-a-thons will offer discounts to pet owners during the events. On April 10, 11, & 12th Wisdom Panel will be hosting the first Swab-a-thon at the America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California. Visitors to the Wisdom Panel booth can take home a discounted kit for $ 49.99. 3 weeks later, you get a report and the results of the MDR1 test for you to discuss with your vet.

For more information about the Wisdom Panel or to see if there’s a Swab-a-thon coming to your area, you can check them out at: Wisdom Panel,  Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and on Instagram.

Happy sleuthing! Isn’t science neat?

 

 

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DR. NICHOLAS DODMAN: SUBMISSIVE URINATION … A WEE PROBLEM THAT IS OH SO EASY TO FIX

101118_4177_dodman154.jpgWhen I adopted my dog Rusty from a shelter at age 8 months it didn’t take me 5 minutes to recognize that he was a submissive urinator. When he greeted me, my wife, or strangers at the door, he would wiggle like a worm – in pure pleasure – as he dribbled urine in interesting and extensive patterns on the hardwood floor.

I knew what that meant – it was really a great compliment; a sign of excitement and flat out respect – but peeing on greeting was not a routine I relished.

Having to get down on your knees and mop up urine every time I came home – or someone came to my house – became quite tedious after a surprisingly short time. Enough already, I was thought to myself and implemented the program outlined below. Sure I was happy to be his fearless master, (in his mind) one to be worshiped and kowtowed to, but I did not want or need such extreme supplication every time I came home.

Submissive urination is a behavior problem that some people just can’t or won’t tolerate. It can even lead to dogs being surrendered to a shelter – or returned post-adoption – yet is so simple to fix.

Here’s how to deal with it:
1. Do not walk directly toward the dog when entering the home or approaching it.
2. Do not look directly into the dogs eyes as direct eye contact is often construed as a challenge or threat by a dog.
3. Do not lean or loom over the dog as this action constitutes a challenge. Remain upright and simply ignore the little feller.
4. Do not reach for the dog’s collar or scruff. That will really intimidate the “you-know-what” out of him.
5. Build your dog’s confidence. I do this using what I call a “reverse dominance program.”
6. For really tough cases, medicines to tighten bladder sphincters can be employed (similar to the ones used to treat bed wetting in children) so that leaking urine is less likely.

Submissive urination should never be interpreted as an act of defiance, because it’s not. Quite the reverse, in fact. It’s clearly not the same as routine house soiling — when dogs have simply not been properly trained to “go” outside. And can’t be trained away using the usual “house breaking” methods. I saw a cartoon that explained submissive urination in a nutshell. The drawing showed a dog on the psychiatrist’s couch saying, “If I’m being honest with myself, they’re not really accidents.” And that’s the way it is with submissive urination – no accident, just sending a signal of respect and deference.


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Dr. Dodman is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Director of the school’s Animal Behavior Clinic. He is also Chief Scientific Officer for the CENTER FOR CANINE BEHAVIOR STUDIES. He has written over 100 scientific articles and several popular press books, including The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Cat Who Cried for Help.

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