We are looking for Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers over the age of 13 years (lowered from 14) and in relatively
good health so that we may bank their DNA for future genetic studies. Your dog is valuable to Wheaten research,
and your willingness to participate in this project is greatly appreciated. Of course, the older the dog, the better.
The DNA bank will be a critical tool for future research. Should a gene marker for protein-losing disease be
found, the ability to test it against DNA from Wheatens determined to be unaffected throughout their lives
will be an important step to confirm the marker.
If you would like to participate in this project, read the letter below from Dr. Littman.
For those who have already sent their dogs' samples to Dr. Littman, and you would like to be recognized
along with your dog for this major contribution, please send the following to Leo Springer at
for inclusion on the honor roll in Benchmarks.
Since the results of the necropsy are confidential between the owner and Dr. Littman, they will not be
published. The purpose of compiling this list is to recognize the participants, thank their owners and
by so doing encourage others to participate when the time comes for their oldster to depart.
- Owner's name
- Dog's name and call name
- Sire and dam
- Date of birth
- Date of death
Sale of Wheaten health articles helps to fund this project. Anyone who would like to make a monetary
contribution for the project, make your check payable to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and
send it to Dr. Littman at the address at the end of her letter. You can make the donation in honor of or
memory of a dog or person. Be sure to designate that the contribution is to go for the Geriatric Dog Project.
Your gift will be recognized in Bellwether, Penn's quarterly publication.
If you have a philosophical reason that wouldn't allow for internal organs (kidneys, intestines) to be harvested
after death for histopathology and you have current normal blood and urine test results, you should call either
Dr. Littman or Anna Marzolino to discuss your dog's qualifications. It is possible that DNA could be harvested
either from blood or, if after death, an external source of DNA such as a toe or an ear flap (or skin about 2"x2").
This would be a less than perfect case but still helpful for the DNA bank. Each of these cases would have
to be looked at on an individual basis.
Dear Wheaten Owner,
Thank you so much for participating in this important project to help our Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. As you know,
we are looking for Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers that are over the age of 13 years and in relatively good health
so that we may bank their DNA for future genetic studies. Your dog is invaluable to Wheaten research and your willingness
to participate in this project is greatly appreciated.
The following five items are what we will need from you, your vet and your Wheaten:
- DNA Sample:
This sample should be stored in your or your vet's freezer prior to shipping. The blood sample can be taken while
the dog is still living. The sample consists of 15 cc (around one tablespoon) put into purple top (EDTA) tubes.
It should be sent frozen with ice packs inside a styrofoam container by FedEx overnight delivery. If the animal
should die prior to the blood sample being taken, then one kidney or the spleen can be frozen, saved in a Ziploc bag in the freezer,
and sent in the same manner. A call should be made to Dr. Littman to ensure that she is available to receive frozen samples.
Also, see #4 below for other tissue samples to be sent after death.
- Medical Records
A copy of the dog's medical records and screening test results, including current CBC, Chemistry Profile, Urinalysis, and
Urine Protein/Creatinine Ratio test results, all within a year or so. If Fecal API and/or MA testing were done, we'd like
to see copies of those results as well. If you would like to participate but do not want the expense of paying for these tests,
then your vet can save serum (separated from blood cells) and urine in red top tubes, freeze, and FedEx them with the DNA sample
to Dr. Littman. We cannot do CBC tests on stored samples, but we can do the chemistry profile and urine tests.
A call should be made to Dr. Littman to ensure that she is available to receive frozen samples. We may eventually decide to
run the tests here, in which case you will receive a copy of the results.
- 4 or 5 Generation Pedigree
- When Your Dog Dies
At the time of death, tissue samples for histopathologic examination, including one kidney and a one inch ring of small intestine
stored in formalin at room temperature. This sample should not be frozen and it should be sent by regular mail and not with the
FedEx package. This means that the dog's body should ideally not be frozen prior to the necropsy being performed in order for
these samples to be most helpful. However, if the dog's remains were inadvertently frozen, your vet can still harvest the DNA
sample. See #1 above. The formalin samples can also be sent, but a notation should be made that the body had been frozen prior
to taking the samples.
- Contact Information
In case we have questions, we'd like contact information for you and your vet.
Because you may need assistance at odd hours, SCWTCA Health Committee members areavailable to assist you.
Please feel free to contact them if you need assistance at any hour.
(714) 538-3512 (h)
(602) 482-3103 (h)
Coto de Caza CA
(949) 888-1619 (h)
It would be a good idea to have this information on file with your vet. We understand how difficult it is to make these
arrangements about your loved one and if we can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to call us. Again, thank you
so much for participating in this study and best wishes for the continued health of our dear ones.
Meryl Littman VMD DACVIM
Professor of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine
3900 Delancey Street
Philadelphia PA 19104-6010
(215) 573-6050 fax (include cover sheet)