How to Participate in the NIH SCWT Lifetime Health Study
Ostrander Canine Genomics Laboratory
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

SCWT Lifetime Health Study

The purpose of the NIH SCWT Lifetime Health Study is to determine the diseases prevalent in the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed and find the genes related to those diseases. The study will collect DNA and data from 500 Wheatens and follow them for 10 years. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a very highly regarded research organization.

How It Works

Owners of eligible Wheatens donate blood samples to the NIH. To be eligible, dogs must be purebred Wheatens with a known pedigree who were born between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010. The NIH will extract DNA for use in its genetic research. In addition, the NIH will ask owners to complete an annual survey during the 10 year period or the life of the dog, whichever occurs first, to record health and other information about the dog contributing the DNA. Data on each individual dog and owner is kept confidential.

How to Participate – Individual Owner
  1. Email Gretchen M. Carpintero-Ramirez, NIH, at to request a free collection kit (one per eligible dog) for the NIH SCWT Lifetime Health Study. Include a physical address in the email where the kit can be mailed.
  2. The owner will be sent a mailing tube containing 2 glass tubes for blood collection, instructions for collecting the sample, an owner consent form and a return mailing label.
  3. Take the collection kit and accompanying instructions to your veterinarian and have the blood drawn. This collection can be combined with the dog's annual health exam.
  4. Label the tubes as directed in the instructions. Pack tubes in the cardboard mailing tube with cushioning, along with the consent form and a 3-generation pedigree. Mail using USPS First Class or Priority Mail to the NIH address provided on the mailing tube. NIH will acknowledge receipt of samples, but owners should contact Gretchen at if you have not received confirmation within 3 weeks. USPS Express Mail or other shippers such as FedEx or UPS may be used but will be more expensive.
  5. Send an email to Gretchen at stating that a sample has been sent.
  6. Respond when NIH sends a survey asking for health and other information about the dog. Owners will be contacted by NIH as surveys become available.
How to Participate – Group Clinics

Contact Helen Moreland at to organize a group clinic or for information on clinics to be held in your area.

For More Information

SCWTCA – Helen Moreland

(651) 483-4180


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