Skip to main content

Genetics: Swab Kit

Complete the swab kit request form below to request cheek swabs to be mailed to you for genetic testing.

Requirements

There is no age requirement for testing. As genetic results will never change, a dog or cat can be tested at any point in their life. However, submitting cheek swabs from nursing puppies or kittens is not recommended. Swabbing the cheek of a nursing puppy or kitten could cause contamination due to the presence of the mother’s milk, which may produce an inaccurate result. We recommend submitting blood samples from nursing animals or waiting until they have been weaned. If you do strongly prefer to submit a cheek swab sample from a nursing animal, it is important to keep them away from the mother for a few hours and rinse out their mouths thoroughly with water before obtaining the swab sample.

Payment

Payment can be made after receiving the swab kit and mailed back in with your pet’s swabs.

Requesting a Test

Please complete the swab kit request form to request cheek swabs be mailed to you for genetic testing. Following submission of this form, your swab kits will be mailed out within 1-2 business days via USPS.

Once you have submitted your request, please check your email for confirmation. If you do not see a confirmation email in your inbox, please check your spam folder. (Make sure the email address you enter below is correct, or you will not receive a confirmation email upon submission of this form!)

For domestic customers: Your swab kit should arrive within 1-2 weeks. We do not have tracking information. USPS has experienced recent slowdowns, so please allow at least 10 business days before reaching back out to us regarding your kits.

For international customers: Mailing times for destinations outside the United States may take up to one month. Please allow ample time for your swab kit to arrive. If you do not wish to wait for your swab kit to arrive, you may have your vet collect at least 1mL of blood in an EDTA purple-topped tube and mail the blood sample to us instead, or you may find STERILE cytology brushes elsewhere.

Requested Test(Required)
Submitted by(Required)
Mail to Address

Swab Kit Instructions

NOTE: It is IMPORTANT THAT FOOD PARTICLES ARE NOT INCLUDED with the cheek and gum cells sampled from the mouth. Sample dogs when no food particles are present in the mouth. In the morning before eating is ideal. Otherwise, wait for at least 30 minutes after eating for the food particles to clear out of the mouth.

A. Label the Brushes

Use the two brushes provided for each dog sampled. Label the paper backing of each brush package with the dog’s name, and your first and last name (or name of the Veterinary Hospital), using a pen or permanent marker.

B. Taking the Samples

  1. Remove the brush from the package. Use the two brushes provided for each dog sampled.
  2. Hold the brush handle between your thumb and forefinger. Roll the inner surface of the upper lip to the outside by inserting a finger in the corner of the mouth and pulling the lip upwards. Place the bristles of the brush on the inner surface of the lip. Release the lip, leaving the brush inside the mouth and steady the dog’s muzzle by circling the nose with one hand, gently keeping the dog’s mouth closed. Move the brush back and forth for a short distance in the space between the lip and gum, twirling the brush around with your thumb and forefinger as it is moved back and forth. Do not push the tip of the brush into the soft tissues of the mouth. The side bristles will be brushing on the surface of the gums and inner side of the lip.
  3. Continue for 20-30 seconds (about 20 to 30 back and forth motions) using the same pressure you would use to brush your teeth. Repeat sampling on the other side of the mouth using the remaining brush. If multiple dogs are being sampled wash your hands between dog samplings.
  4. After collecting the sample, the brush should look different than the unused brush. The bristles may be darker in dogs with pigmented gums or you may see a light film on the brush bristles. An unused brush is shown on the left, and a used brush on the right.

Tips

A few swipes will not get enough cheek cells to run the test! Be sure to brush long enough.

Returning the Samples

Let the brush air dry in a clean place for a few hours or overnight. Carefully replace the brush back into the package. Don’t forget to label the paper backing of each brush package with the dog’s name. Use a piece of tape to help keep the package closed, but do not seal tightly.

Microsoft Word – FELINE swab instructions

NOTE: It is IMPORTANT THAT FOOD PARTICLES ARE NOT INCLUDED with the cheek and gum cells sampled from the mouth. Sample cats when no food particles are present in the mouth. In the morning before eating is ideal. Otherwise, wait for at least 30 minutes after eating for the food particles to clear out of the mouth.

A. Label the Brushes

Use the two brushes provided for each cat sampled. Label the paper backing of each brush package with the cat’s name, and your first and last name (or name of the Veterinary Hospital), using a pen or permanent marker.

B. Taking the Samples

  1. Remove the brush from the package. Use the two brushes provided for each cat sampled.
  2. Hold the brush handle between your thumb and forefinger. Roll the inner surface of the upper lip to the outside by inserting a finger in the corner of the mouth and pulling the lip upwards. Place the bristles of the brush on the inner surface of the lip. Release the lip, leaving the brush inside the mouth and steady the cat’s muzzle by circling the nose with one hand, gently keeping the cat’s mouth closed. Move the brush back and forth for a short distance in the space between the lip and gum, twirling the brush around with your thumb and forefinger as it is moved back and forth. Do not push the tip of the brush into the soft tissues of the mouth. The side bristles will be brushing on the surface of the gums and inner side of the lip.
  3. Continue for 20-30 seconds (about 20 to 30 back and forth motions) using the same pressure you would use to brush your teeth. Repeat sampling on the other side of the mouth using the remaining brush. If multiple cats are being sampled wash your hands between cat samplings.
  4. After collecting the sample, the brush should look different than the unused brush. The bristles may be darker in cats with pigmented gums or you may see a light film on the brush bristles. An unused brush is shown on the left, and a used brush on the right.

Tips

A few swipes will not get enough cheek cells to run the test! Be sure to brush long enough.

Returning the Samples

Let the brush air dry in a clean place for a few hours or overnight. Carefully replace the brush back into the package. Don’t forget to label the paper backing of each brush package with the cat’s name. Use a piece of tape to help keep the package closed, but do not seal tightly.