The MidSouth Boykin Spaniel Retriever Club (MSBSRC) has recently become aware of a genetic disorder that affects the Boykin Spaniel breed (also Labrador Retrievers, Curly-Coated Retrievers, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, etc.). The disorder is called Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC). The condition manifests itself during periods of strenuous exercise. If a dog is AFFECTED, EIC will cause the dog to lose significant use of its rear legs and may also involve the front legs. The EIC event could range from a mild episode (back to normal in 10-15 minutes) or in rare cases actual death of the dog.
The Boykin Spaniel Foundation recently sponsored a program in which approximately 200 Boykin Spaniels were tested to determine the extent of the EIC disorder in the breed. Preliminary testing indicates approximately 70% of dogs are CLEAR, 25% are CARRIERS and 5% are AFFECTED. Only AFFECTED dogs will ever show signs of collapse. CARRIERS carry one copy of the mutated gene and CLEAR dogs have two normal genes. As is the case with other unwanted genetic traits and disorders that have the potential to be passed from parents to offspring (i.e. heart, eyes, hip problems), the MSBSRC Board of Directors believes with responsible breeding the occurrence of all these disorders can be minimized in the breed. In the case of EIC, it could possibly be eradicated.
To this end, the MSBSRC Board of Directors recommends and advises that:
<!–[if !supportLists]–>(1.) <!–[endif]–> Breeding a CLEAR Sire to a CLEAR Dam will result in 100% CLEAR puppies.
(2.) If a CARRIER dog is ever bred, it should only be bred to a CLEAR counterpart. On average, this will result in 50% CLEAR and 50% CARRIER puppies.
(3.) AFFECTED dogs should never be bred.
The MSBSRC Board of Directors encourages all breeders to advise buyers of Boykin Spaniel puppies as to the EIC status of both Sire and Dam. If there is any question as to status of puppies, they can be tested using dew claws, blood or cheek swabs.
The MSBSRC Board also encourages all members to assist in any way possible to aid in this effort. With diligence in adhering to the standards set out above, there should be significant accomplishments in lowering and possibly even eradicating this disorder in the Boykin Spaniel breed.