Boykin Spaniel Foundation®

Tax deductible contributions to the Boykin Spaniel Foundation, for funding of these and other programs, are always needed and always thankfully accepted.

Please mail charitable donations to the address below or use PayPal to dontate.
Boykin Spaniel Foundation
c/o Boykin Spaniel Society
PO Box 2047
Camden, SC 29020

The Boykin Spaniel Foundation was created in April 1996 when a committee was formed to research the creation of a tax exempt status of the Society. Chairman Edward Eatmon asked Jack Willits,   Marvin Blount and Lee Clark to served on the committee with him to accomplish this task.  Jack Willits would lead the team and by April 1997, the Boykin Spaniel Foundaton was formed.  All money taken in would be used for health research in the Boykin spaniel breed and would be tax deductible for the donor. 

As a “limited breed” the Boykin spaniel has a large following, but a relatively small gene pool. Hip dysplasia was a large issue within the Boykin breed when the Boykin Spaniel Registry (BSR) was created in 1977 but testing and careful breeding have reduced the incidence of the inherited defects. The Boykin Spaniel Foundation (BSF), a wholly owned subsidiary of the BSS, was created in 1996, with the mission to reduce inherited diseases in Boykins. The purpose of the Boykin Spaniel Foundation is to further by clinical study, laboratory and genetic research, and publication the knowledge of chronic diseases in Boykin spaniels and other canines and the application of such knowledge to the prevention and treatment of these diseases. The BSF funds genetic research, offers free screening clinics, and reimburses BSS members for a portion of the costs associated with health testing for their Boykins.

In recent years the BSF has sponsored genetic testing of Boykins in three new areas: Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC), Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). In particular, the BSF discovered a prevalence of dogs who were either Affected or Carriers of the EIC and CEA gene and expanded the reimbursement program to cover a portion of the test costs. Knowing the status of these inheritable conditions will help breeders make better choices when selecting potential mates for their dogs and reduce the number of Affected dogs (those carrying two copies of the gene).

The Boykin Spaniel Society and Boykin Spaniel Foundation encourage ALL owners of Boykin Spaniels to have their dogs tested for these inherited diseases. The results from your dog’s hips, eyes, heart, EIC, CEA, Patellar Luxation and DM evaluations are a valuable tool for breeders to evaluate future Dam/Sire pairings. Your results will help the breed in the long term, even if you have no plans to breed your dog. By using your dog’s BSS registration number on the OFA paperwork, the classification becomes part of the dog's permanent BSS registration, and is so identified on all pedigrees listing that particular dog for five generations.

In order to receive reimbursement for health testing costs from the BSF, owners are required to release all test results (positive or negative) to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), the centralized canine health database. The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), is a subsidiary of the OFA whose mission is to provide a source of health information for owners, breeders and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs and to recognize those dogs whose owners have submitted their test results. Each breed has different health concerns and as the current environment changes (new genetic information becomes available) the breed specific requirements may be modified.

In 2015 the Foundation board worked to expand the recommend health testing for OFA to include EIC and CEA and proposed the following requirements for a Boykin spaniel to obtain a CHIC number:

1. Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist with results registered with OFA or CERF.
2. Patellar Luxation - OFA Evaluation
3. Hip Dysplasia - OFA or OVC or PennHip Evaluation
4. Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)
5. Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

On November 1, 2015 OFA updated the CHIC requirements for the Boykin spaniel. In a letter Eddie Dziuk, OFA Chief Operating Officer, commended the effort involved for the ultimate betterment and health of the breed is reaffirmation that there are good and responsible breeders and owners out there whose genuine love and concern for their breed are their number one priority.

The Foundation recently contributed funding for a genetic biomarker study for Canine Hip Dysplasia with the University of Missouri. Dr. Carin “Beth” Ahner states “our long-term goal is to determine and employ effective diagnostic and preventative strategies for CHD and secondary OA. The expected outcomes are: 1) to provide a biomarker panel that can effectively discriminate adult dogs with CHD from normal dogs 2) provide references ranges for protein biomarkers 3) to provide pilot data for a future project evaluating the same biomarkers for their prognostic capabilities of early diagnosis of CHD in puppies. This study may also be applied to other canine musculoskeletal disorders, such as elbow dysplasia, as well as translational models for human disorders of the hip, such as femoro-acetabular impingement, further highlighting the impact of this work.” The Foundation is very hopeful and proud to participate in funding this research.

The future health of the Boykin Spaniel is in each of our hands so please consider donating to the Boykin Spaniel Foundation. All donations are tax deductible and all monies go to help improve the health of the Boykin spaniel breed. It is the hope of the Boykin Spaniel Foundation that we will continue the improving trend in reducing the level of all inherited diseases.