Exercise Induced Collapse

In August 2015 a number of Clumber Spaniels were tested for Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC); some were found to be “affected” and some were found to be “carriers”. This test is carried out by Laboklin and has now been validated for Clumber Spaniels. Since then more results have been published and a good number of dogs are testing “clear”.

This test has now been approved as an Official DNA Test for Clumber Spaniels by The Kennel Club

NEW DNA TESTING SCHEME FOR CLUMBER SPANIELS

This means that as of 1st October 2015 the results of tests will be published by The Kennel Club; anyone who has had a dog tested prior to this date and wishes to have the result added to their dog’s records at the KC should forward a copy of the certificate to hbs@thekennelclub.org.uk

The Club is pleased to report that following a meeting with representatives of the Working Clumber Spaniel Society the two Clubs will be working together to address this health issue.

The Club has established a voluntary database for current results, this will include the published results once they become available. Anyone wishing to contribute should send their test result to:-
Carol Page, Micklemess, 20, Swanwick Lane, Swanwick, Southampton SO31 7HF or to health@clumberspanielclub.org.uk

EIC Results

Please note that in order to validate the test only dogs displaying symptoms were tested therefore this current list should not be considered representative of the breed, particularly as only a limited number of dogs have been tested. As more dogs are tested a more accurate picture should emerge. 

The following information outlines the symptoms of the condition:

“Affected dogs can tolerate mild to moderate exercise, but 5 to 20 minutes of strenuous exercise with extreme excitement induces weakness and then collapse. Severely affected dogs may collapse whenever they are exercised to this extent – other dogs only exhibit collapse sporadically.

The first thing noted is usually a rocking or forced gait. The rear limbs then become weak and unable to support weight. Many affected dogs will continue to run while dragging their back legs. Some of the dogs appear to be uncoordinated, especially in the rear limbs, with a wide-based, long, loose stride rather than the short, stiff strides typically associated with muscle weakness. In some dogs the rear limb collapse progresses to forelimb weakness and occasionally to a total inability to move. Muscles are relatively flaccid during collapse, although when restrained in lateral recumbency some dogs exhibit increased extensor tone in the forelimbs. Manipulation and palpation of the muscles, joints, and spine during or after an episode does not seem to cause discomfort.

Some dogs appear to have a loss of balance and may fall over, particularly as they recover from complete collapse. Most collapsed dogs are totally conscious and alert, still trying to run and retrieve during an episode but as many as 25% of affected dogs have had at least one episode where the owner reports that they appear stunned or disoriented during the episode.

It is common for the symptoms to worsen for 3 to 5 minutes even after exercise has been terminated.”

Exercise Induced Collapse follows an autosomal recessive trait of inheritance.

The inheritance factor is shown in the following table:

SIRE   DAM   OFFSPRING
Clear x Clear = 100% Clear
Clear x Carrier = 50% Clear + 50% Carriers
Clear x Affected = 100% Carriers
Carrier x Clear = 50% Clear + 50% Carriers
Carrier x Carrier = 25% Clear + 25% Affected + 50% Carriers
Carrier x Affected = 50% Carriers + 50% Affected
Affected x Clear = 100% Carriers
Affected x Carrier = 50% Carriers + 50% Affected
Affected x Affected = 100% Affected

“Carriers” will never display any symptoms but may pass the gene to their offspring. “Affected” dogs (symptomatic for EIC) must be retired from the activities that cause them to collapse. When trigger activities are limited, dogs with EIC can live normal lives.

It is recommended that “affected” dogs are not used for breeding however “carriers” may be used in a breeding programme but should only be mated to dogs that have been tested “clear” for the condition. This will help in preventing EIC becoming more established as a breed health condition.

The test is available from Laboklin and the sample for the test is gathered by a simple mouth swab. Members of the Clumber Spaniel Club and Working Clumber Spaniel Society will qualify for a 10% discount, further information on this can be obtained from Carol Page on 01489 589734 or health@clumberspanielclub.org.uk