New Best-in-Class Canine Genetics Test Offers Veterinarians Unprecedented Breed Detection and Accuracy

Wisdom Panel(TM) Professional Helps Veterinarians Detect Breed History, Predict Size and Identify Breed-Related Health Risks

Jan 06, 2010, 10:02 ET from Mars Veterinary

ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Every dog has a tale; but until now the story of a mixed-breed dog hasn't always been easy to tell. Officially launching at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), Wisdom Panel Professional, the newest state-of-the art canine genetics test from Mars Veterinary(TM), a global leader in pet care and canine genetic breed identification and a division of MARS® Incorporated - is the industry's gold standard genetic analysis for mixed-breed dogs.


Wisdom Panel Professional is available exclusively through veterinary clinics and practices and with a small blood sample, it is capable of detecting more than 200 breeds, types and varieties that may be present in a mixed-breed dog with an unparalleled validated accuracy of 90 percent(1). In addition, this new test provides veterinarians a yellow-flag health risk pre-screening on over a dozen of the most common inherited health conditions; and it can predict a dog's adult genetic weight range -- important information for dog owners or perspective pet adopters.

"Like humans, dogs inherit physical and character traits from their family tree and they can also pass along genetic disorders from generation to generation," says Dr. Neale Fretwell, chief geneticist at Mars Veterinary. "With unrivaled breed detection and accuracy, the ability to pre-screen a dog's breed-related risk for developing a genetic disorder, plus size and weight prediction, we believe Wisdom Panel Professional will help veterinarians and owners be smarter about a dog's past, so they can be smarter about his future."

Why Wisdom Matters

New Wisdom Panel Professional provides valuable insights that go beyond just satisfying owner curiosity. It can provide veterinarians with tangible benefits that can help them and their clients create more targeted care and wellness plans for mixed breed dogs:

  • Understanding Behavioral and Physical Traits: Capable of detecting more breeds with greater accuracy than any other canine genetic test on the market, Wisdom Panel Professional can open new windows for veterinarians to work with dog owners to better understand their pets; why dogs display certain behavioral characteristics; and what kind of wellness or activity plans best suit an individual dog. Among the more than 200 breeds detected are two of the three new breeds recently added to the American Kennel Club's (AKC) registry - the Boykin Spaniel and the Bluetick Coonhound.
  • Identifying Health Conditions: Wisdom Panel Professional can help veterinarians determine a dog's breed-related risk of developing common genetic health conditions. While the test does not screen for specific diseases or health conditions, it does provide the added capability of serving as an important warning flag, informing veterinarians about potential diseases or health conditions that may exist in dogs with certain pre-disposed breeds in their background. Then together, the veterinarian and consumer can decide if they want to arrange a diagnostic test to confirm the existence of the disease or condition.
  • Size and Weight Prediction: One of the most popular questions people can ask when adopting a mixed-breed puppy is, "how big will it get?" To help veterinarians answer this question, Wisdom Panel Professional uses a proprietary algorithm that uses the breeds identified on each chromosome in a mixed breed dog to predict the likely size and weight ranges that a puppy will develop into when fully mature. This information may help prospective puppy parents make responsible decisions, factoring in space limitations at home, potential feeding costs as an adult dog, or the best nutritional or training specific to the dog's specific needs.

How Wisdom Panel Professional Works

In order to be able to detect the more than 200 breeds, types and varieties, including virtually all the AKC-recognized breeds, an adequate quantity of high-quality DNA is required. DNA of this quality and quantity can only be obtained from a small blood sample, which can easily be collected during a routine veterinary visit.

Within two to three weeks following the test, Mars Veterinary will provide owners and veterinarians with a customized, comprehensive report that includes the dog's breed analysis, a prediction of his adult weight range, and information about any potential breed-related risks for developing certain genetic diseases. Using this valuable information, veterinarians can work with an owner to create a targeted care and wellness plan for the dog.

The Science Behind Wisdom Panel

Wisdom Panel Professional is the result of years of extensive research and draws on the expertise of scientists at the internationally respected Waltham® Centre for Pet Nutrition in the United Kingdom, along with leading veterinarians, universities and breed organizations throughout the world. Mars Veterinary has completed more than 19 million genetic marker analyses and has typed more than 13,000 dogs during test development. As a result, Wisdom Panel Professional tests for more than 200 breeds, types and varieties, more than any other test on the market with an average accuracy of 90 percent.

"Wisdom Panel Professional marks a major milestone in canine genetic science by applying the results of proprietary genetic research to help identify the origins of physical and behavioral traits," says Fretwell. "This test is the culmination of years of ground-breaking research that provides valuable insights into canine genetic science and ultimately, helps veterinarians strengthen the pet-owner bond."

Wisdom Panel Professional is available nationally for veterinary practices through MWI Veterinary Supply Inc, Butler Animal Health Supply, Webster Veterinary and Victor Medical. For more information about the Wisdom Panel product line, log onto

About Mars Veterinary(TM)

Mars Veterinary is a division of MARS® Incorporated, a company known for innovative consumer and pet food brands that are trusted by people around the world. Its mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enlightening pet owners and communities with valuable insights into their pets as individuals through innovative, science-based discoveries. For nearly a decade, Mars Veterinary has researched and developed state-of-the-art genetic tests for mixed-breed dogs, revolutionizing personalized pet care. By discovering a mixed-breed dog's ancestry, pet owners and veterinarians can work together to tailor wellness programs that fit the one-of-a-kind needs of a mixed-breed dog. For more information, visit

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is a family-owned company that produces some of the world's leading confectionery, food and petcare products and has growing beverage and health & nutrition businesses. The confectionery division offers a wide range of products that include chocolate, gum, mints, hard and chewy candies. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Mars operates in more than 70 countries and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Mars employs more than 65,000 associates worldwide. The company's global sales are over $27 billion annually.

®/(TM) Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated 2009

(1) Validation testing has resulted in an average accuracy of 90% in first-generation crossbred dogs of known parentage. The breeds in this validation study represent 45% of American Kennel Club (AKC) registrations. Accuracy was determined by average positive predictive value across breeds studied.

SOURCE Mars Veterinary