DNA tests have been on the market for years now and are gaining popularity as they become more accurate. We are often asked to guess the breeds that make up your medium-sized brown dog you just adopted from the shelter. And to be honest, it is fun to have these conversations and take a guess if he is part Labrador or part Pit Bull. The good DNA tests used to require a blood sample from your dog, but now there are very accurate tests that involve just a cheek swab, which is easy for your pet.

For us vets, this test does much more than tell us what breeds make up your cute little mutt you bring in for their first wellness visit. The breed composition and the 250+ genetic markers can allow us to be proactive about your dog’s care. For example, Cocker Spaniels can develop glaucoma, so we may want to check your dog’s eye pressures if there are any concerns because she is part Spaniel. Or heart arrhythmias are common in the Boxer breed, and an EKG may be warranted if we knew your mixed breed dog was part Boxer.

Along with certain breed information, the genetic markers that the Wisdom Panel identifies give us very specific diseases we need to be aware of that can greatly impact your dog’s life. This is why running this panel can be very helpful for dogs in which we know the breed. A purebred Golden Retriever was spayed and developed a large amount of bleeding post-spay. This patient needed blood transfusions and many weeks in the ICU to manage her bleeding and keep her alive. Luckily, she is still with us today, but it was found out that she had Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a bleeding disorder in dogs. This disease has been well-documented in Dobermans but can affect any dog or breed. If the Wisdom Panel was performed on this purebred dog prior to the spay, many precautions would have been made to appropriately care for her after surgery, or it may have been decided not to spay her since the risk of bleeding is so severe.

Bleeding tendencies, drug sensitivities such as MDR1 mutation, and the risk of Intervertebral Disc Disease and obesity are just a few traits that allow us in-depth knowledge of your dog and, therefore, a personalized plan for their care can be made. And let us not forget about our feline friends. The Wisdom Panel can also be used on your cat for not only breed identification but also tests for 45+ genetic health markers associated with many diseases, including Polycystic Kidney Disease, breed-specific Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, and also the MDR1 mutation.

We are now offering The Wisdom Panel for a special price through January 15th. The canine panel costs $119.99, and the feline panel costs $97.49. You can have the swabs taken while in for an appointment, or you can schedule a tech appointment to have this test performed.