Annual Health Reports



In 2017, 260 puppies were registered from 42 litters; this is a large rise from 170 in 2016. In addition 5 dogs were imported to the UK and 1 was exported.

Breed Health Plan

In 2017 revision of the Breed Health Plan, developed in 2013, was deferred as there was a pending meeting with the Kennel Club to discuss a Breed Health & Conservation Plan.


(a) Lifespan Survey

During 2017 seven forms were returned of which two were for dogs that passed away in previous years, one in 2011 and one in 2015. Six were for dogs aged 11 and over and all reported age related problems as cause of death. One 9 year was put to sleep with pericardial cancer. One 7 year old was put to sleep with a suspected brain tumour. One was put to sleep due to being paralysed from a spinal problem. One 2 year old was put to sleep with a suspected brain tumour that was causing behavioural problems.

(b) Breeding Survey

Nine forms were returned; 1 reported a mating that did not produce puppies and 3 reported problems with whelping; three required Caesarean Section with all 3 reporting a physical blockage and 2 of these cases also reporting uterine inertia. Two litters’ recorded stillborn puppies and one recorded 5 fading puppies; of the 49 surviving puppies  8 were recorded as having an umbilical hernia, 2 with overshot jaws and 1monorchid. 2 had eye defects, 1 had a small dry eye that was removed at 11 weeks of age and 1 had pupillary membrane remnant in one eye and a persistent hyaloid artery in the other eye. Another puppy had an imperforate anus and was put to sleep at 2 days old.

Health Screening

( a) Eye Testing

The Clumber Spaniel Club has always recommended health screening and eye testing with the KC/BVA Eye Scheme has been utilised by some over the years. However the results are not published therefore in 2009 the Club started its own database for the results and anyone with an eye test certificate for a Clumber is invited to forward a copy. This will enable the Club to gather information on the true status of the breed’s eye health. The Club started to subsidise the cost of eye testing for its members in 2012 and in 2013 the subsidy was extended at a lesser rate to cover non members Clumbers and this has being repeated each year since. The Club now provides free testing for all dogs aged 8 and over and an eye testing session is now held in conjunction with the Club’s Championship Show each year. In 2017 the BVA issued 66 eye test certificates for individual Clumber Spaniels (a rise from 51 in 2016) plus 1 litter screening.  The sightings from these forms are not available at the time of writing this report.

No certificates were issued by the AHT or ECVO Eye Schemes.

The Club received 42 copies of these certificates for the database which can be found on the Club’s website.

Eye Testing is recommended for Assured Breeders.

(b) Hip & Elbow Scoring

Hip Scoring is recommended for all breeding stock and in 2017 a total of 43 Clumbers were screened for Hip Dysplasia a 14% drop on 2016 figures; 34 were also screened for Elbow Dysplasia which is 3 dogs more than in 2016. Hip Scoring is a requirement for Assured Breeders.

The 5-year Rolling Trends in hip scoring show continuing improvement in hip health.  For the 5 years ending in 2017 it can be noted that 22.5% of the dogs registered in that period were hip scored and  132 dogs (52.6% of the total scored) had a score of 10 or less. The Median based on 5 years now drops to 10.

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)

As a good proportion of the Clumber Spaniel population has been hip scored the Kennel Club have developed Estimated Breeding Values for the breed. This tool uses all screening data and pedigree information from the individual dog and its surrounding family, to more effectively determine the genetic risk that each dog will pass this disease to its progeny and is more accurate than by using an individual dog’s test score alone.

This was introduced in 2015 and can be found on the KC Mate Select site.

(c) Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Phosphatase 1 Deficiency (PDP1) Screening

 In 2017, 16 Clumbers were tested for PDP1 and all were Clear. It is recommended that all breeding stock is tested for PDP1. This is carried out by Laboklin and arrangements have been made for a discounted test fee through the Club. PDP1 Testing is recommended for Assured Breeders.

(d) Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

EIC emerged in Clumber Spaniels in August 2015; it is due to a genetic fault and is proving to be more widespread than the PDP1. Affected dogs may be symptomatic whilst others show no symptoms at all but are at risk of developing symptoms at any time during their life. A DNA test has been developed and validated by Laboklin and the Kennel Club have recognised the test as an Official DNA Test for the Breed. The condition follows an autosomal recessive trait of inheritance and therefore has a clear mode of inheritance; this should enable breeding out the condition within a few generations. The Club has established a voluntary database for results and will also include the published results. At the end of 2017 the results of 318 dogs were known; of these 172 are Clear (54.1%), 131 are Carriers (41.2%) and 15 are affected (4.7%).However this does not give an accurate picture as most of the dogs tested to validate the test were those suspected of having the condition and their results led to a significant number of related dogs being tested. Therefore more results from different bloodlines are needed to determine the true prevalence within the Breed.

Incomplete Ossification of the Humeral Condyle (IOHC)/ Elbow Y Fractures

IOHC (also known as humeral intracondylar fissure, HIF) is a condition in which there is a weakness in the humeral condyle (part of the elbow joint in the forelimb) and it is most commonly seen in spaniels, This condition predisposes to fractures (breaks) of the humeral condyle and can also cause lameness in its own right without fracture.

No further cases were reported in Clumbers in 2017 however monitoring of this condition will continue.

Population Size & Inbreeding Coefficient

The Kennel Club report on the Breed Population Analysis (KC Report) published in September 2015, showed an estimated effective population size of 24.5. This is of great concern for the following reasons. Effective population sizes above 100 are sustainable. The rate of loss of genetic diversity within a breed or population increases dramatically when the effective population size is less than 100. An effective population size that is less than 50 is considered to be at high risk of detrimental effects of inbreeding.

In 2017 the inbreeding coefficient for Clumber Spaniels stood at 17.9% a drop from 19.1% in 2016.

Kennel Club Judges Health Monitoring

To date we have not received The Kennel Club’s feedback from Championship Show Judges questionnaires concerning Breed Watch Points of Concern for 2017.


Previous Annual Health Reports