The ambitious goals of Pet Insight Project cannot be reached without the ongoing support of the tens of thousands of participants. The continued, daily use of a Whistle device to collect data about the behavior of participating dogs is critical to enabling scientific advances we hope will keep dogs living healthy, happy lives. When project researchers analyze behavior patterns, it is extremely helpful to have Whistle data that spans multiple months and has minimal 'gaps' (i.e. time when Whistle is out of battery, off the collar, or the collar is off the dog), especially for the exploration of medical events characterized by gradual changes over many months like arthritis.
In recognition of the important contributions of these active project participants, Banfield Pet Hospital® and Wisdom Health, the leader in canine DNA testing, are teaming up to offer a special reward to "citizen scientists" who provide long-term, consistent data about their dogs' behaviors. Participants who join the project in 2018 and log 120 "Whistle Days" (i.e. a day with behavior data collected by the Whistle device) within 180 days of enrollment will be able to claim a free WISDOM PANELTM Health canine DNA test (a $150 value).
HOW IT WORKS
WISDOM PANELTM Health tests your dog’s DNA with a simple cheek swab to determine the breed ancestry and genetic health. Genetic testing may help you identify breeds as well as specific health issues that may be important to the health and happiness of your dog. WISDOM PANELTM Health’s comprehensive reports will unlock the secrets behind your dog’s ancestry and breed to discover what makes your purebred or mutt so special and unique.
As the world leader in canine genetics, WISDOM PANELTM Health samples are analyzed based on decades-long research data collected in part from the Banfield Pet Hospital network of hospitals. WISDOM PANELTM Health analyzes more than 1,800 distinct genetic markers and cross-references them with Wisdom Health's genetic database to find your dog's precise genetic makeup as well as predict their physical and behavioral tendencies.
Additionally, by leveraging data from the Banfield network and using cutting-edge genomics research, we are able to screen for more than 150 disease-causing genetic mutations. This includes a screen for the MDR1 genetic mutation, particularly found in many of the herding breeds, which can have significant impact on a dog’s sensitivity to certain commonly-used veterinary medications. Armed with knowledge of your dog’s MDR1 status, your veterinarian can specify a treatment plan while limiting the risk of adverse drug reactions, something that we all want to avoid. For a full list of the disease mutations WISDOM PANELTM Health tests for, click here.
The process to qualify for a free WISDOM PANELTM Health test is easy - just set up your Whistle device and keep it charged and on your dog's collar, recharging it every 2 to 3 weeks when you are notified the battery is low. You'll receive an email with instructions on how to claim and use the WISDOM PANELTM Health when you reach the qualification milestone.
In addition to providing pet owners with important insights about their dogs’ genetic traits, the DNA analysis will become part of the dogs’ holistic research profile alongside the behavior and medical information in the Pet Insight Project database. This will enable the Pet Insight research team to incorporate additional helpful context about participating dogs as we attempt to identify patterns that may be indicative of changes in a dog’s well-being. For example, knowing that a dog has chondrodysplasia, a group of skeletal disorders caused by abnormalities in cartilage and bones, may enable more reliable detection and interpretation of the dog’s mobility as the team explores conditions like arthritis or even soft tissue injuries. The insights revealed by a WISDOM PANELTM Health DNA test can benefit both the care of your dog as well as support advances in proactive care for millions of dogs in the future.
BY ANGELA HUGHES, DVM PhD
VETERINARY GENETICIST at WISDOM HEALTH