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Wisdom Panel FAQ

What is the Difference Between Wisdom Panel 4.0 and Wisdom Panel Health?

The Wisdom Panel 4.0 Canine DNA tests provide you with identification of purebred ancestors present in the last three generations (to the great-grandparent level), a predicted weight profile, information about the traits your dog may exhibit, testing of the MDR1 genetic mutation, and testing for Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC). Wisdom Panel Health includes all of the above as well as testing for 140+ disease-causing genetic mutations, including disease descriptions and indication of the level of severity of each disease. Check out the Product Comparison page for more details.

My Dog Just Died. Can I Still Do a Wisdom Panel Test?

Taking a swab sample from a deceased dog is not recommended, regardless of circumstance, as the quality of the DNA sample will likely be unusable for Wisdom Panel testing purposes. Your veterinarian may be able to obtain a frozen tissue sample that Wisdom Panel can use for their testing purposes. Please contact Wisdom Panel at 888-597-3883 for additional details.

Can Puppies Be Tested With Wisdom Panel?

Yes. Wisdom Panel is designed for dogs of all ages and is safe and easy to use at any stage in a dog's life. However, Wisdom Panel does recommend waiting until a puppy has been weaned to prevent cross-contamination from suckling on their mother and having cells from her skin and milk in their mouth at the time of swabbing.

Note that it can be very difficult to observe breed traits in puppies, because they are growing and developing rapidly. Most dogs will not achieve their final mature physical traits until they are at least one to two years of age.

How Do I Collect a Good DNA Sample From My Dog's Cheek?

Quickly inspect your dog's mouth between the cheek and gums for any food debris. To reduce the risk of food debris being present, Wisdom Panel recommends waiting at least two hours after eating to swab your dog.

Open the swab sleeve, remove the swabs, but avoid touching the bristles. 

Firmly roll and rotate the swab's bristles against the inside of your dog's cheek. Use the other hand to apply gentle pressure from the outside of the mouth to ensure good contact of the cheek with the swabs.

Allow the sample to dry for at least five minutes prior to putting the swabs back into sleeve.

What Breeds Can Be Tested Using Optimal Selection?

All breeds can be tested using an Optimal Selection DNA test, and will receive results about individual diversity and genetic health. However, certain breed statistics will not become available until a minimum number of individuals of that breed have been tested, in order to provide statistically significant population results. Please note, the Optimal Selection test does not provide breed ancestry results as the test is intended to be used on purebred dogs of known lineage.

Can I Use an Optimal Selection Test On Puppies?

Yes! Puppies can be tested, as their DNA results do not change with age. However, care must be taken that the dams or littermate's DNA does not contaminate the sample. The process of nursing seeds the puppy's mouth with DNA from the dam's skin and from the cells in the dam's milk, so Wisdom Panel does not recommend testing puppies who are still nursing. However, as soon as puppies are weaned, they can be safely tested following the usual guidelines. Optimal Selection dog profiles and accompanying results are designed to be easily shared or transferred to new owners when needed, free of charge, so an entire litter can be tested with Optimal Selection before they leave their birth home.

What If I Have More Than One Dog In My Home?

The sharing of water bowls or toys does not tend to transfer a significant amount of DNA from one dog to another, so is not cause for concern regarding sample quality and cross-contamination. However, if your dogs are prone to play-biting or roughhousing, it may be best to separate them for at least an hour before swabbing, to ensure no skin cells from the other dog are present in the tested dog's mouth; this may cause the sample to fail.

Can Wisdom Panel Estimate My Dog's Age?

Currently there is no commercially available method to determine age using genetics for Wisdom Panel to incorporate into the tests. Wisdom Panel will recommend visiting your veterinarian, who may be able to provide an age estimate upon examination.

How Long After My Dog Has Eaten and / Or Drank Can I Swab Them?

A good rule of thumb is to wait approximately two hours after feeding your dog a meal or treat to begin the DNA collection. No sampling delay is needed after a dog drinks water.

Does Wisdom Panel Test for "Pit Bull"?

The term "pit bull" does not refer to a single recognized breed of dog, but rather to a genetically diverse group of breeds which are associated by similar physical traits. Pit bull-type dogs have historically been bred by combining guard-type breeds with terriers for certain desired characteristics. As such, they may retain many genetic similarities to their original breeds and other closely related breeds.

Due to the genetic diversity of this group, Wisdom Health cannot build a DNA profile to genetically identify every dog that may be visually classified as a pit bull. When these types of dogs are tested with Wisdom Panel, we routinely detect various quantities of the component purebred dogs including the American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Boxer, Bulldog, and various other terriers and guard breeds. Additionally, there are often other breeds outside of the guard and terrier groups identified in the mix, depending on each dog's individual ancestry.  

Some communities in the U.S. have put restrictions on pit bull ownership. Wisdom Health encourages dog owners and care providers to be fully aware of their local laws, which vary across the country, when considering DNA testing.