Wisdom Panel provides the most accurate and detailed genetic analysis to help you identify your dog’s breed and genetic lineage. The DNA tests also provide valuable health information about our dogs, so more pet owners will know what to expect health-wise. Think of it as a medical history evaluation and diagnostics for your dog, minus the doctor’s interview. If you love your dog, this is a choice that you can make to find out more about its health status and history.
What Is Wisdom Panel?
Wisdom Panel is a leading canine genetics company based in the U.K. The company tests dogs for DNA material. Their tests can help identify dog breeds and breed-related illnesses that your dog could have in the future. The service is very useful for owners who are curious about their dog’s breeds, which can be difficult to map by word of mouth alone. That’s because most dogs are a mix of at least two breeds, and it’s not like dogs keep track of their family trees.
The tests are also useful for identifying potential illnesses that your dog may get due to genetic predisposition. For example, you might be able to find out that your Doberman has a 25% chance of developing Von Willebrand disease or a genetic disorder. So you don’t have to be caught off guard at the vet, and you can adjust care appropriately.
Two Types of DNA Tests
There are two types of DNA tests from Wisdom Panel for you to choose from. The first is a combination of a self-administered test and a more comprehensive test that needs to be sent to the lab for analysis. The essential package is the self-administered test that includes detection parameters for 350+ dog breeds and varieties, plus 25+ genetic mutations that your dog might have.
The wide array of dog breeds includes typical breeds plus more unusual ones that include testing for wolf or coyote ancestry in your dog’s DNA. Examples of genetic mutations include MDR1 or multi-drug resistance, EIC or exercise-induced collapse, etc. The terms might appear very technical, but you can get a vet from Wisdom Panel to explain the results to you.
Another testing option that would be more comprehensive in terms of information would be the Wisdom Panel Premium. The test has the same screening parameters for dog breeds. Still, it has an expanded parameter for genetic conditions that may cause disease and genetic markers to explain your dog’s appearance, coloration, etc.
Customers who opt for the premium version also get a free call from a licensed veterinarian to discuss your beloved pet’s positive health findings. To date, Wisdom Panel has tested over two million dogs in the U.S.
How Do the Panel Test Kits Work?
Both the standard and premium Wisdom Panel DNA test kits should contain the following:
Two (2) DNA cheek swabs
One (1) drying insert for the swabs
An instruction booklet
One (1) prepaid return shipping box
The Wisdom Panel DNA tests are administered through swab testing. Swab tests are commonly used since it’s generally considered as the most accurate means of DNA testing. Specialists extract the DNA from the swab to check for unique DNA markers called single-nucleotide polymorphisms that are unique for each breed. The researchers cross-reference the genetic markers they find against a database containing mapped out information from more than 200,000 purebred dogs.
Getting the Results
After comparing DNA markers, a specialized computer identifies the breed of a particular dog in percentage. Once the test has identified the predominant breed, the owner can discuss the potential health issues associated with that breed with a vet. The test may also be useful for identifying your pet’s sensitivity to anesthesia prior to surgery. In most cases, the identification process is quite easy since most modern dog breeds have emerged from the Victorian era. The scope of that timeline covers the past 150 years.
You can run the Wisdom Panel tests for mixed breeds, designer or purebred dogs. However, there are still rare breeds that could not be adequately subjected to testing. This is due to their DNA not being included in the companies’ DNA databases. Most of these cases occur with dogs adopted outside the U.S., where the genetics companies do not have reach.
But in most cases, the cross-referencing process is quite easy since most modern dog breeds have emerged from the Victorian era, which is no more than 150 years ago. Wisdom Panel already has more than 200,000 pairs of unique DNA on its database, and this is more than enough for most dogs of standard breeds. The laboratory processing takes approximately two weeks to complete, and you will get a full report on the results.
How to Administer the Wisdom Panel DNA Test?
Administering the DNA swab test requires eight simple steps. The process may differ slightly for the basic and premium versions. Essentially your role would be to take the swab sample from your dog. It’s also important to note that the accuracy of the test results largely depends on the quality of the DNA sample you can get. That said, take extra care to make sure that you get adequate DNA samples from the swabs.
You can get your own Wisdom Panel test kit online. You can order directly from the official website. We also need to point out that payment is usually done before you receive the test kits. And the most convenient method to pay for your kit is through PayPal or a Visa card online.
If you are planning to pay for your kit online, don’t forget to set up a VPN beforehand. A VPN encrypts your IP address and makes your information inscrutable. That would make it difficult for potential hackers and even your own internet service provider to track your online activities.
To administer the swab test, follow the eight-step process below.
Eight-Step Testing Procedure:
Open the package and check if it contains all the materials.
Open the first swab sleeve and pull out the long cotton swab. Be careful not to touch the bristles and set aside the sleeve for later.
Run the swab in between your dog’s cheeks and gums with just the right amount of force. Follow this process for at least 15 seconds.
Place the swab back into the carton hole and let it dry for around five to ten minutes.
Open the second swab sleeve and repeat steps 2 through 4.
Turn on your kit and fill in all the necessary information. You can write the activation code on the back of your sample ID sticker.
Place the two dried out swabs back inside the protective sleeves. Resealing isn’t necessary.
Place your samples back into the return carton and seal the carton. A prepaid shipping label should be affixed to the carton. Ship the package back to Wisdom Panel. Wait for two to three weeks to receive the full report of their DNA analysis via email.
What to Expect From the DNA Results?
Upon completion of the test results, each owner will get a certificate authenticating your dog’s genetic background. This certificate attests to different breeds detected in your dog and the percentages they represent. Wisdom Panel also uses advanced algorithms to compare your dog’s genetic makeup with over 17 million possible family trees to find the best match.
The second part of the report will summarize whether your pet got any of the 150 disease-causing mutations on the company’s database. The health results will include a forewarning, though, saying that there may be undiscovered mutations and environmental factors that could lead to disease.
The third part of the results would be your dog’s traits. Genetic markers in your dog’s DNA are also examined to explain your dog’s appearance. For example, you’ll be able to know which of your dog’s breeds caused your dog to have brown hair or why your dog has a short pair of ears. The fourth part would be the ideal weight, given your dog’s breed.
Suppose you’re wondering as to whether you can trust the results of these tests. In that case, the rated accuracy of a Wisdom Panel DNA test is over 90%. That is according to a set of independent studies across 200 different tests of mixed breed dogs. We would have liked to see 100% accuracy, but then again, there’s always room for human error and other factors.
Why Should You Get a Wisdom Panel DNA Test?
Pet owners administer DNA tests for their dogs for different reasons. But one of the most common reasons is to prove the dog’s breed for a potential adoptee or buyer. Most people get their dogs from an external source like a shelter or a pet store. And this doesn’t help much in the way of being able to trace a dog’s actual lineage.
And then, there are also some instances when unscrupulous breeders lie about the dog’s breed. A DNA test is the only real way to learn the truth about your dog. It’s the only method to satisfy the curiosity of loving owners who want to confirm their dog’s origins. There’s also the added benefit of being able to identify breed-specific health problems that your dog can suffer from in the future. But then again, it doesn’t automatically mean that your dog will develop the disease.
This type of health information should allow you to recognize symptoms if and when they show up in your dog. For example, suppose that the DNA test indicates that your dog has a genetic predisposition for epilepsy, you will be able to check for signs of a seizure. And of course, having a positive result on any one of the genetic abnormalities is probable cause to bring your dog to the vet for a health check. Because the sad truth is, your dog can’t tell you when it’s in pain. Whether you are just curious about your dog’s heritage, or if you want to identify the potential illnesses that your dog may have, DNA testing remains as the best option.
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