How Mixed is Your Mixed Breed?

Hunters who doubt whether their German shorthair is a true purebred or suspect their Lab is carrying some beagle lineage now have a new proprietary test to unequivocally identify their dog’s heritage.

215564glok_w_full

The Mars Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis test breaks down the DNA makeup of a dog to determine exactly what breeds may be present in its genetics.

Using about 19 million DNA markers from more than 13,000 dogs, the test can narrow down 134 breeds that might be in a mixed-breed dog’s genetics.

Released in late 2007, the test is the only blood-based DNA analysis available for pooches. Depending on the veterinary service consulted, the test costs around $120 to perform.

“The new test 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 and, ultimately, help strengthen the pet-owner bond,” said Peter Markwell, DVM, chief science officer at Mars Veterinary.

“We are committed to using these diagnostics in concert with veterinarians to help promote responsible (animal) care.”

DNA is obtained from a small blood sample at a veterinary hospital and submitted. Two to three weeks after the test, Mars Veterinary will provide veterinarians and owners a report that includes the dog’s breed analysis and information on the appearance and behavioral characteristics of detected breeds.

Mars Labs said the test enables veterinarians to work with owners “to create a care and wellness plan for their dog,” covering aspects such as dietary, exercise and training needs.