When we found Clancy at the local shelter, he was listed as a Lab mix or Sheperd mix, depending on where you looked. It was obvious however, that he had a very diverse family history and we just referred to him as an “island dog” (a little of everything on the island). At his first veterinary exam, the vet just shook his head with a puzzled look and pointed out several visual traits of many breeds. So, we were curious to see what his lineage looked like based on his DNA. We chose the Mars Wisdom Panel 3.0 test from Mars Veterinary to help give us a more meaningful answer to the inevitable questions we got from others “What kind of dog is he?”
The testing procedure was simple enough. The kit included two (2) sterile swabs, a postage-paid mailer, and instructions. The kit was identified by a sample number that was used to register an account and sample id on the Mars web site. The information required was basic: name, date of birth, gender, and spay/neuter status and a few other non identifying items. The test was done by swirling each swab between the teeth and gums as per instructions, placing the swabs in their original plastic bag and into the mailer and mailing it off. The instructions indicated it should take approx. 2-3 weeks for the results to be available after receipt.
Mars provided an email confirmation on receipt of the kit and also made available progress of the testing process on their web site. Sixteen days after they acknowledged receipt of the kit, we received an email with a link to download a pdf file with the results. Their conclusion: Clancy is a “Mega-Mutt”. Out of the three generations of his breed family history, the only evidence a detected breed was two of his great-grandparents. One listed as Siberian Husky and the other as a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The Corgi however was apparently at a confidence level too low to be considered for accuracy calculations.
The report was easy to read and divided into six major sections. Three of which were informative but lacking specificity to Clancy, possibly due to the lack of breeds being identified in his family tree. The three most informative sections were the: ‘key breeds detected’ that showed a family tree of breed detection going back to the great-grandparents (all identified simply as mixed-breed in all but two in Clancy’s case), the ‘mixed breed ancestry’ that showed six major breed groups and a bar graph of the level of DNA marker detection in Clancy (none the the six reached their detection threshold – highest in the Sighthound and Guard groups), and possibly the most useful was the ‘MDR-1’ gene mutation detection that can indicated a potential problem in absorbing certain medications (normal in Clancy).
While the lack of specificity in Clancy’s report was disappointing, it is of course what it is! Having some questions about certain sections of the report and what they really meant, we contacted Mars Veterinary to discuss the results. The person we spoke with was professional, courteous, and as helpful as possible with our questions and comments. Mars indicated that a retesting would not be beneficial because the samples were fine, but would do so at no charge if the samples were questionable. They also offer a refund of the purchase price when the breed detection is as mixed as it is in Clancy’s case.
The Wisdom Panel® 3.0. costs $84.99.
By expanding the breed screening coverage to 250+ breeds, types and varieties including all those recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and providing potentially life-saving medical information through the new MDR1 Genetic Mutation screening, ancestry information back to the great-grandparent level and a predicted weight profile, caring for mixed-breed dogs is made clearer.
A new benefit of the Wisdom Panel® 3.0. kit includes MDR1 genetic mutation screening for risk of adverse reaction dogs may have to some common drugs. MDR1 or Multi-Drug Resistance 1 is a genetic mutation found in some herding and sighthound breeds, as well as many mixed-breed dogs. Dogs with the MDR1-mutation may have severe adverse reactions to some common drugs, so it is important to test mixed-breed (and purebreds with the high-propensity breeds) dogs and for owners to share results with their veterinarian so they can provide the dog with for the best possible care.
The tester for the DNA Kit was Clancy.
Even though he was listed as a Mega Mutt, I think its great that dog parents have the opportunity to try and learn more about their furkid. Therefore the kit gets my Must Have Stamp of Approval.