Boykin Spaniel Inherited Disease Test Checklist

BSS Inherited Disease Clearance Checklist
What, When and Where

Hip Dysplasia – Anytime after your dog turns 2 years of age your dog should be x-ray’d for hip dysplasia. X-rays are submitted directly from the vet’s office to Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for evaluation.   OFA will send a rating with an OFA certification number to the dog owner. for form. 

Heart Certification – at 1 year of age your dog should be checked for pulmonic stenosis.    Pulmonic stenosis is a defect involving the pulmonic valve and/or the surrounding structures of the right ventricle and pulmonary artery.  Your regular Vet or a Cardiologist can perform the OFA evaluation.  Go to to print the form and send the completed form by your veterinarian to OFA for certificate. 

Eye Certification - Juvenile cataracts in dogs occur when a white film develops in the ocular lens. Many dogs develop cataracts late in life, but some Boykin Spaniels develop cataracts much earlier, even into puppyhood. You will need to have your dog examined by a licensed ophthalmologist.  A licensed ophthalmologist will examine for cataracts and many other diseases of the eye.  Since many eye diseases are time sensitive, ophthalmologists recommend annual or bi-annual examinations.  For any dogs used in breeding, their eyes need to be examined or re-examined no more than 12 months before breeding. Testing can be done as early as 6 weeks of age. for more information. 

Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) - EIC affected dogs will collapse after 5-10 minutes of high drive trigger activities such as chasing a ball or hunting. Though a large majority of these cases recover completely within a short time frame (less than 30 minutes) some dogs have been known to die of the condition.  Paw Print Genetics and University of Minnesota perform DNA EIC testing accepted by OFA.

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) - The signs and symptoms of CEA vary from dog to dog. For some dogs, it’s not so bad, while for others, it can lead to vision loss due to holes or pits in different layers of the eye. Depending on the size and location of the holes, vision loss can be slight or total. CEA can also lead to retinal detachment.  A DNA swab test can be done at any age and will determine the CEA status of your dog. Paw Print Genetics and Optigen Labs perform DNA CEA testing accepted by OFA.   

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) - is an incurable, progressive disease of the canine spinal cord that is similar in many ways to ALS in humans. As the dog's spinal cord deteriorates, they develop hind limb weakness, followed by paralysis, and eventually the affects spread to the front limbs.  Onset is typically after the age of 7 years but can be sooner.   DNA swab test that can be done at any age and will determine the DM status of your dog.  Paw Print Genetics and University of Missouri perform DM testing accepted by OFA.          

Patellar Luxation (knees)– A physical manipulation of the knee by your vet to determine if the knee cap pops in and out easily. PL is graded on a scale of 1-4 severity.  Dog must be 1 year old or older . Go to for form. 


We want to share this following information from one of our partners in research, the Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory of the University of Missouri's College of Veterinary Medicine:

"We're certainly glad to help encourage more people to DNA test their dogs so that they can avoid future heartbreak, and breed healthier dogs that will live a long, full lifespan!

Especially in a breed with a small gene pool like the Boykin spaniel, we DO NOT recommend throwing all carriers or at-risk dogs out of the gene pool (when making breeding decisions).  If they are otherwise good dogs 1, they should be used for those good traits, but used carefully.  Bred to a mate that is DNA-tested NORMAL, the pups will be no worse than CARRIER 2, and the good traits are carried to a new generation.  By carefully choosing mating partners, the best traits can be retained, genetic diversity maintained, and the breed as a whole can move forward toward less risk of Degenerative Myelopathy3  while keeping the positives that define the breed."

1 Dogs who meet the breed standard for temperament, size and structure, coat type, etc. as described in the Boykin spaniel breed standard for these companionable gundogs.
2 Carriers have only one of the disease-specific genes in the abnormal form.  They must not be considered as being afflicted, but they do have the capability to pass their abnormal genes.  Breeding Normal to Carrier means that each pup in the litter has a 50-50 chance of being completely Clear, or a 50-50 chance of being a Carrier.  Breeding Normal to At-Risk means that every pup will be a Carrier.
3 This information from Missouri was sent to us specific to their investigations with DM, but the same statement applies to Collie Eye Anomaly and Exercise Induced Collapse.


The Foundation will reimburse one dog per membership per calendar year tested for each of these tests. It is the responsibility of the owner to pay all related costs associated with the vet visit, the X-ray procedure, and the cost of the OFA evaluations. After you have received the certificates from OFA and have US mailed copies of these to the BSF, we will reimburse you the appropriate fee for each test.

$75 for OFA Hip Evaluation
$25 for DM DNA Test
$25 for Patellar Luxation
$25 for CEA DNA Test *
$25 for EIC DNA Test

*BSF Reduces Reimbursement for CEA Testing
OFA Now Accepts More Affordable Alternative

Effective February 1, 2016, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) genetic test reimbursement by the Boykin Spaniel Foundation (BSF) will be reduced. The new reimbursement rate of $25.00 will be consistent with other DNA test reimbursements by the BSF.

Originally the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) only accepted CEA test results from Optigen Lab, which test cost $180.00. As a result, it was previously determined that the BSF would assist BSS members with CEA testing costs and established a $75.00 reimbursement for BSS dogs to be tested for CEA by Optigen.

OFA now accepts CEA test results from Paw Print Genetics laboratory so dog owners will now have a choice of testing laboratories. With that choice comes a more affordable option. The regular price of CEA testing at Paw Print Genetics is only $80.00, which is a considerable discount. The BSF will continue its reimbursement program for CEA testing but the rate will be reduced to an amount consistent with other DNA testing reimbursements so as to conserve BSF funds for other worthy projects to advance the Boykin spaniel breed and better serve the BSS membership.

BSS members and dog owners are reminded that the test results must be submitted to the OFA to be eligible for reimbursement.

The BSF remains dedicated to advancing knowledge, prevention and treatment of inherited diseases in our beloved Boykin spaniels.



Expected results for breeding strategies 
Parent 1 
Parent 2 Status
Normal/Clear Carrier Affected
Normal/Clear All = Normal/Clear 1/2 = Normal/Clear 
1/2 = Carrier
All = Carrier
Carrier 1/2 = Normal/Clear
1/2 = Carrier
1/4 = Normal/Clear 
1/2 = Carrier 
1/4 = Affected
1/2 = Carrier
1/2 = Affected
Affected All = Carrier 1/2 = Carrier
1/2 = Affected
All = Affected