We grow, by Tyler Stenson

We grow, by Tyler Stenson

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Wisdom Panel 3.0- the next gen DNA test has arrived

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mars Veterinary Wisdom 3.0 Panel. Opinions are those of the author.


So, if I showed you a picture of a dog, you may be able to tell me a little about him or her.


You would often be able to make some generalizations about temperament-


Or adult size-

Or medical concerns, such as whether or not a dog can tolerate ivermectin.

But what about when it’s not entirely obvious, as is the case with my friend Karen’s adorable dog Ramone?


He’s been labelled everything from shar-pei to Bernese Mountain Dog to pit bull. Karen doesn’t care, because she evaluated him on an individual basis before deciding he was just perfect, which is what groups with extensive adoption experience like the ASPCA recommend anyway.

On the other hand, there are some good reasons to know the genetic history of a dog beyond the simple novelty of it all. Shelters who have used DNA testing such as the Wisdom panel have found potential adopters really like having a bit of extra information in front of them. For example, my friend adopted a pup about a year ago with a projected weight of 30 pounds who looked pretty similar to these guys:


As of his first birthday, he just topped 50 strapping pounds and still growing.

Or what if you have a dog who might be part Australian shepherd but you’re not sure and he has Demodex? It would be nice to know if he has the MDR1 mutation before taking your chances on a course of ivermectin treatment.




When Mars Veterinary Wisdom panels first came out a while back, people (myself included) had mixed reactions. What started out as a novelty has grown to have some real use. As our knowledge of the canine genome has evolved, so too has the role of DNA testing in dogs, everything from keeping dogs in homes when a misinformed landlord says, “but he LOOKS like a pit bull!” to increasing shelter adoption rates to helping HOAs bust the person who isn’t picking up after their dog’s business in the common area.

The latest version, Wisdom Panel 3.0, has the added benefit of screening for the MDR1 mutation, a test licensed for home use for the first time to Mars Veterinary  by Washington State University. The MDR1 mutation is known to affect particular breeds and results in some very specific drug sensitivities.


Over the next six months, the Wisdom Panel Swab-a-thon Tour will be partnering with communities and shelters to swab the DNA of a number of their dogs, with the reports showcased to help match the pets to compatible homes. (I am really excited about the way this is helping shelter pets!) They will also be offering the product to consumers at the events.

The regular test runs $ 84.99, but the Swab-a-thons will offer discounts to pet owners during the events. On April 10, 11, & 12th Wisdom Panel will be hosting the first Swab-a-thon at the America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California. Visitors to the Wisdom Panel booth can take home a discounted kit for $ 49.99. 3 weeks later, you get a report and the results of the MDR1 test for you to discuss with your vet.

For more information about the Wisdom Panel or to see if there’s a Swab-a-thon coming to your area, you can check them out at: Wisdom Panel,  Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and on Instagram.

Happy sleuthing! Isn’t science neat?



Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Protect Your Pets Against Lyme Disease

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April is National Prevention of Lyme Disease month, so we're keeping your furry friends safe with a few prevention tips from Dr. Fayez Assad, Medical Director of the Johnstown Veterinary Associates! The doctor will show us how to check for ticks and
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Off Camera Flash

I went out yesterday fully equipped for the first time to take some pictures using off camera flash.  This is what I learned:

  1. Carrying a lightstand, umbrella and speed-light in one hand and your camera in the other leaves no available hand to pick up poop.
  2. There is a very small pocket of light that your subject needs to be in.  Coulee is fantastic at taking directions but she doesn’t know how to move forward 2 steps or back 1 step… we have to work out a targeting system.
  3. Umbrellas catch the slightest breeze and fall over – a sandbag, or something is definitely needed.  As is another arm to carry that with.
  4. Putting her on something is a great way to get her to be exactly where you need her to be.
  5. An assistant would really make things go smoother/faster.
  6. I have a lot more to learn.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Poop in the Elevators: Seattle Embraces Tracking Turds via DNA

When we first heard about DNA poop testing, we thought it was more than a little funny. It might catch on here and there, but it’s not like any of our dog-loving meccas such as Seattle would really go in for it. 

Well, Seattle has really gone in for it.

According to the Seattle Times, a company called BioPet Vet Lab, out of Knoxville, Tenn., has its PooPrints testing kits in 26 apartment and condo complexes and homeowner associations in greater Seattle. 

It turns out that Seattleites are not the best at picking up poop. Perhaps it’s the rain. Why else would you let your dog poop in the elevator?

Um, what? The elevator? 

Indeed: “There was poop inside the elevators, in the carpeted hallways, up on the roof,” Erin Atkinson, the property manager at Potala Village Apartments, told the Times. 

“They’re lazy, I guess,” Atkinson said about the dog owners. “I don’t know why.”

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DNA Strand by Shutterstock.

Atkinson's building is among the 26 that has poop testing; she said her complex has about two dozen dogs, and tenants pay a one-time fee of $ 29.95 for DNA testing, which involves rubbing a swab in a dog's inner cheek.  

It's been happening since February 2014, and it's been working: One owner was fined five times in one week, for a total of $ 500, before he changed his ways. 

"Now people clean up after their dogs,” Atkinson said.  

The process by which the poop perpetrators are fingered is sort of gross -- hence the steep fines. It involves collecting the poop in a very particular way. There's even a video tutorial. You see, you need to take a scraping from the "outer crust" of the poop -- “the most cellular-rich area," instructs the narrator of the video. 

Also, a good DNA solution has a “milkshake consistency." 

After collection, suddenly introspective and contemplative building managers bag up the sample and send it to BioPet, who matches it up with the correct dog. 

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Clean It Up, Printed on a Path by Shutterstock.

The residents of Atkinson's building don't have a problem with the testing, which is not surprising considering the turmoil the complex must have gone through during the elevator-and-hallway poop events of an earlier era. 

Resident Peggy Williams, who owns a dog named Hershey, is embracing the new technology. 

“I thought it was weird, but if that is what it takes.”

Via the Seattle Times

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Love it. Wish I lived there so I could volunteer. …

Love it. Wish I lived there so I could volunteer.

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How to treat English Bulldogs skin allergies

via YouTube Capture.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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We're coming up on the 5-year anniversary of t…

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10 Days in Arizona: Scottsdale, the Grand Canyon, + Beyond

10 Days in Arizona: Scottsdale, the Grand Canyon, + Beyond // Bubby and Bean

Tomorrow night will officially mark one week since we returned from our annual Arizona trip, but truthfully, my mind is still there. There is something so magical about the southwest – it has an energy that really resonates with me. I feel completely invigorated when I’m there. Maybe this is because it’s so different from the midwest. Or maybe it’s because it’s the one area of the country where I’ve never lived – I’ve lived in the Pacific northwest, the west coast, the Rockies region, the midwest, the south, and the east/northeast, but never the southwest – so there’s something mysterious about it. Whatever the reason, just give me abundant sunshine, desert flowers, mountains, red rocks, cacti, endless blue skies, and some authentic southwestern food, and my heart is instantly happy.

This was the fourth year in a row that I’ve gone to Arizona in March, and I think it was my favorite so far. We did so much, especially outside, and I loved every minute of it. (I tend to thrive on lots of activity; although I have absolutely no problem lounging by a swimming pool either.) Essley and I spent Wednesday evening through Friday evening hanging with Robbie’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, their four kids, and their dog. It was a full, wonderfully chaotic house with lots of noise and energy. On Saturday morning, the extended family went back to Austin, and on Sunday morning, after the band’s winter tour came to an end, Robbie joined us at his parents’ house. We then spent Monday and Tuesday up at the Grand Canyon, then visited Sedona (our favorite) for an afternoon, then spent the last couple of days back in Scottsdale. Highlights of the trip included celebrating Robbie’s birthday with cakes from this amazing bakery, visiting the coolest butterfly house, hiking and watching the sun set over the majestic South Rim, devouring the most delicious pizza in Sedona, watching Essley fall in love with the outdoor fountain at my favorite mall, photo shoots among the towering saguaros and vividly blooming springtime flowers in the desert with Robbie, family dinners and ice-cold margaritas and sun-kissed poolside hangs in my in-laws’ backyard, and a phenomenal musical number put on by the nieces/nephew that included a special Essley cameo.

After over a week of great times and positive experiences, the trip ended with a visit to the doctor for Essley (quite the ordeal when you’re an out of state walk-in, let me tell you), who was given a clean bill of health then proceeded to spend about ten hours vomiting. Thankfully, she recovered quickly (and had an amazingly cheerful attitude the entire time she was sick), and we were able to fly home as planned the next day. (Not so thankfully, Robbie and I both spent an entire day in bed/by the toilet when we got home, but we won’t get into that here.) It was an absolutely wonderful trip, and a much-appreciated getaway from the midwest’s dreary weather – stomach flu and all.

As you can see, I took a lot of pictures this time, especially on our Grand Canyon trip. In fact, for the first time ever, I actually wiped out my memory card on my camera and the majority of pictures on my phone in advance so I had plenty of space to snap away. There are even more photos over here, if you’re interested.

It’s always good to come back home after a trip, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already looking forward to next year. You rule, AZ.


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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