DNA Testing

Genetic Testing for PLN-Associated Variant Genes

After years of research supported by hundreds of Wheatens and their owners and breeders, Dr. Meryl Littman and Dr. Paula Henthorn at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) identified two genes associated with PLN in DNA samples. A simple cheek swab test to determine an individual dog’s DNA status in regards to these two genes was introduced to Wheaten owners in May 2012.

To receive this test, go to the PennGen website at research.vet.upenn.edu/penngen, complete the information, use the cheek swabs at home and send your samples to Penn. When the results become available in about 2-4 weeks, you’ll receive an email from Penn with directions on how to pay online.  Once payment is received, your results will be emailed to you.

Statement on Genetic Testing for PLN-Associated Variant Genes

Responsible Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breeders and stud dog owners breed for type, temperament, soundness and health. The recent introduction of the test for PLN-associated variant genes gives us an additional tool to use in the health assessment of breeding stock. Using this test should give Wheaten breeders the ability to reduce the incidence of dogs with these variant genes slowly and carefully while still maintaining genetic diversity.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, Inc., and the SCWTCA Endowment, Inc., endorse testing for PLN-associated variant genes by breeders and stud dog owners as one tool in the assessment of breeding stock.

We strongly encourage all owners to become familiar with the test and to understand the meaning of the results and their use in breeding. Resources are available in More Information above. SCWTCA neither requires nor prohibits any form of breeding beyond what is currently in the Code of Ethics.

All Wheaten owners should remember that screening for health goes beyond performing this test. Members of SCWTCA are reminded of the requirements of the Code of Ethics in regard to other testing and breeding requirements.

Request DNA Test Kits

SCWTCA no longer supplies test kits. Test kits can be obtained directly from Penn as follows

  • For each dog …
    Send a stamped, self-addressed business envelope for each dog to:

Michael Raducha/ PLN Test
Ryan Veterinary Hospital – Room 4022
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
3900 Delancey St
Philadelphia PA 19104-6010

  • If you are testing multiple dogs …
    Send a stamped, self-addressed LARGE envelope to Penn and tell them how many dogs you will be testing – number of dogs, not number of swabs.

    • As a guideline, a large manila envelope that can hold enough for 10 dogs weighs about 6 ounces. You can calculate postage using the USPS Postage Price Calculator.
  • Owners living outside the US …
    Request your kit(s) from Penn as described above. Envelopes need to be self-addressed but you can include a check (US funds only) for the amount of the postage. You can calculate postage using the USPS Postage Price Calculator.

More Questions?

If you still have questions, contact the SCWTCA Liaison Susan Ratliff at health@scwtca.org

Updated 02/07/2021