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 BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme

The current BVA/KC scoring scheme for hip dysplasia (HD) has been in operation since 1984 and since then over 100,000 X-rays have been assessed. Dysplasia means abnormal development, and the degree of hip dysplasia present is indicated by a score assigned to each hip. The hip score is the sum of the points awarded for each of nine aspects of the X-rays of both hip joints. The minimum hip score is 0 and the maximum is 106 (53 for each hip). The lower the score the less the degree of hip dysplasia present. An average (or mean) score is calculated for all breeds scored under the scheme and advice for breeders is to use only breeding stock with scores well below the breed mean score. The mean score for labs is 15.

The minimum age for hip scoring is one year, and each dog is only ever scored once under the scheme.

BVA/KC Elbow Dysplasia Scheme

The current BVA/KC scoring scheme for elbow dysplasia (ED) was launched in 1998. Dysplasia means abnormal development, and the degree of elbow dysplasia present is indicated by a grade assigned to each elbow on a scale of 0 to 3 (0 being the best and 3 being the most severe). Only the highest grade of the two elbows is taken as the elbow grade for that dog. The minimum age for elbow grading is one year, and each dog is only ever graded once under the scheme. Advice to breeders is wherever possible to use only those dogs with grades of 0 or 1 for breeding.

DNA test - prcd-PRA

Progressive rod cone degeneration - Progressive retinal atrophy

prcd-PRA (progressive Retinal Atrophy) causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. Owners of affected dogs first notice that their dog becomes night blind, but this eventually progresses to total blindness. The age of onset of first signs varies from breed to breed, however, in all cases puppies are born with perfect vision and their sight begins to degenerate later in life, from around 3 years of age or later. The condition results from a single recessive mutation of a gene known as prcd.

Source of DNA Test: OptiGen (

BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme

The BVA/KC/International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) Eye Scheme offers breeders the possibility of eye testing to screen for inherited eye disease in certain breeds. By screening breeding stock for these diseases, breeders can use the information to eliminate or reduce the frequency of eye disease being passed on to puppies. At the centre of the scheme are two schedules: Schedule A and Schedule B.

Schedule A contains a list of breeds and eye conditions that are known to be inherited in those breeds. Under the Eye scheme one of a specialist group of canine ophthalmologists (the Eye Panel) examines a dog to look for clinical signs of inherited disease known to affect the breed in question. If no clinical signs are noted for these diseases, then the dog is declared ?unaffected?; if signs consistent with one or more Schedule A conditions, then the dog will be declared ?affected? for the relevant disease. These results are passed to the KC for inclusion in the tested dog?s registration database. Only the results of Schedule A examinations are available to the Health Test Result Finder. List of breeds and conditions on Schedule A:
Schedule B is a list of breeds and conditions which are suspected of being inherited in those breeds. The panellists? observations on Schedule B conditions are noted and returned to the BVA, but these results are not passed to the KC and so the results of Schedule B examinations are not available to the Health Test Result Finder. List of breeds and conditions on Schedule B:
In general, it is recommended that eyes are examined annually (except for glaucoma predisposition which is only done once by gonioscopy), with the advice given to breeders to only breed from dogs that are found to be unaffected (or clear) of all known conditions in the breed.


Health info provided by the Kennel Club.

English Springer Spaniels.


  • Canine Fucosidosis is a disease which is severe, progressive and ultimately FATAL.

  • It is characterised by deteriorating signs of the nervous system that progress over a period of several months, sometimes from an early age. Signs include inco-ordination and ataxia (loss of control of movement), change in temperament, loss of learned behaviour, loss of balance, apparent deafness, visual impairment and varying degrees of depression. 

  • The inco-ordination and ataxia affects all four legs and is mostly evident when affected animals are walking on slippery surfaces or attempt more complicated movements such as turning. In addition, affected dogs lose weight and may suffer from swallowing difficulties and sometimes regurgitation of food.

  • The disease, which affects young adults, usually between 18 months and 4 years of age, is caused by the absence of an enzyme called alpha-L-fucosidase. This enzyme is one of many required to break down complex compounds into simple molecules that the body can use. When this enzyme is absent, the pathway is blocked and the more complex compounds build up in the cells of the affected animal, accumulating in the lymph nodes, liver, pancreas, kidney, lungs and bone marrow. However, it is the accumulation in the brain and peripheral nerves that is most important, since it interferes with normal function, giving rise to the clinical signs described, eventually resulting in death.

  • Canine Fucosidosis can affect all English Springer Spaniels, whether they are of ‘field trial', ‘working', ‘show' or ‘pet' origin. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!