VANCOUVER, Wash., Jan. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mars Veterinary, pioneers in canine genetic testing, have launched a new test for feline breeders, under the Optimal Selection™ brand Powered by Genoscoper. Developed in partnership with Genoscoper Laboratories of Finland—a company specializing in highly-developed DNA testing for companion animals—it is the most comprehensive test of its kind on the market. Together, Genoscoper and Mars Veterinary are hoping to enable proactive and sustainable breeding programs by providing breeders with a more comprehensive view of each cat's unique genetic health and well-being.
The new Optimal Selection test is a simple swab-at-home kit that includes screening for more than 25 genetic mutations causing inherited feline diseases and testing for traits such as coat color and length and morphology. The results reporting system allows breeders to review the cat's extensive health analysis all on one easy-to-use online portal. This same reporting system features the Breeder Tool that enables the identification of potential mates based on a health results score for compatibility.
"We are excited to be working with our partners at Genoscoper to bring this first-of-its-kind disease testing panel to cat breeders," says Dr. Cindy Cole, General Manager of Mars Veterinary. Many inherited diseases may not become apparent until a cat is older and may have already had litters. For this reason, inherited diseases can persist in the feline population and even increase within a breed if a popular tom happens to be affected with a late onset genetic disease and the mutation is being repeatedly passed down. "This kind of tool enables breeders to work proactively to identify diseases in their litters. Ultimately it can help them to make informed choices and may reduce the likelihood of producing kittens with preventable genetic diseases."
Some cat breeds carry severe inherited conditions. Thanks to significant advances in the field of feline genetics during the last few years, DNA testing now offers important tools for breeders to maximize the health and longevity of their programs. The new Optimal Selection test provides breeders with a tool that bundles together the findings of various university research groups into a collection of over 25 mutation screens for each cat. Just as in humans, comprehensive DNA testing is an important part of the trend toward predictive, preventive, and personalized healthcare for cats.
Health testing in cats used to mean testing breeding stock for single mutations of interest in the breed. Fast-forward to 2017 and the new tools available to screen cats for inherited diseases and phenotypic traits have improved dramatically, providing a broader evaluation of a cat's genetic health status.
"While the use of genetic testing is not new to the world of feline breeding, the breadth of its application is so much wider now," says Jamie Christian, internationally respected cat show judge. "Genetics can provide breeders with the tools to enable smarter and more sustainable breeding decisions. Our hope in the cat breeding community is that through this kind of advanced testing, they will be able to increase their breed's genetic diversity. Breeders will be able to keep unwanted diseases out of the future generations, while maintaining the valuable traits associated with the individual breeds."
The Optimal Selection test is now available to breeders in the U.S. via the Mars Veterinary web site. For more detailed test information or to purchase, visit www.WisdomPanel.com/optimal_selection_cat or contact Mars Veterinary Customer Service at 888-597-3883, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mars Veterinary
Mars Veterinary is a business unit of Mars Petcare, the U.S. operations of the world's largest pet care company at the privately-held Mars, Incorporated. Its mission is facilitating responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship between pets, pet owners, breeders and veterinarians through valuable insights into pets as individuals. For the last decade Mars Veterinary has researched and developed state-of-the-art genetic tests for mixed-breed and purebred dogs, revolutionizing personalized pet care. For more information, visit www.wisdompanel.com.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a "mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders." This objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 72,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
Mars brands include: Petcare PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN™, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT™, BANFIELD™ Pet Hospital, WISDOM PANEL™ and NUTRO™; Chocolate M&M'S™, SNICKERS™, DOVE™, GALAXY™, MARS™, MILKY WAY™ and TWIX™; Wrigley DOUBLEMINT™, EXTRA™, ORBIT™ and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES™ and STARBURST™ candies, and ALTOIDS™ and LIFESAVERS™ mints. Food UNCLE BEN'S™, DOLMIO™, EBLY™, MASTERFOODS™, SEEDS OF CHANGE™ and ROYCO™; Drinks ALTERRA™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX™ and FLAVIA™; Symbioscience COCOAVIA™.
For more information, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars, linkedin.com/company/mars.
®/™ Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated 2017. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
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SOURCE Mars Veterinary