New DNA testing scheme for Curly Coated Retrievers

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA test reporting scheme for Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC) following consultation with the breed’s health co-ordinator on behalf of the Curly Coated Retriever breed clubs.

EIC leads to a defect in nerve communication during intense exercise. In affected dogs, certain factors can trigger them to collapse, including excitement, some types of exercise and changes in temperature. First clinical signs are usually noticed between five months and three years of age, but they can also appear later in life.

This disease is described as an autosomal-recessive condition. For most breeds, this means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected.

For Curly Coated Retrievers, this disease is more complex and researchers believe that environmental factors and/or other genetic influences can also contribute to whether a dog's health is affected. Having other factors that influence whether or not a dog develops this condition means that their results are not as definitive as other tests. Instead, these results are a measure of risk. For example, having two copies of the abnormal gene may increase a dog’s risk but it doesn’t necessarily always result in clinical disease.

Since the impact of the EIC gene test for Curly Coated Retrievers is different to EIC seen in Labradors and Clumber Spaniels, results will be recorded as EIC_IncP. Tested dogs will be recorded on The Kennel Club systems as either:

Minimal risk (0),

These dogs do not have any copies of the EIC gene variant and are at minimal risk of developing the condition.

Minimal risk (1)

These dogs have one copy of the EIC gene variant, but are at minimal risk of developing the condition and may pass either one copy of the normal gene, or one copy of the abnormal gene on to future puppies.

Increased risk (2)

These dogs have two copies of the EIC gene variant and have an increased risk of developing EIC, and will pass a copy of the abnormal gene to all of their puppies.

The numbers assigned to each status indicate the number of copies of the EIC gene variant a dog has. Since this test for EIC evaluates a dog’s risk, rather than giving a definitive result, The Kennel Club cannot assign progeny as ‘hereditary clear’ and therefore results will only be recorded for individual dogs.

Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement and can also be viewed by visiting The Kennel Club website.

Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves.  DNA test certificates should be scanned and emailed to Health results (The Kennel Club) .

Owners are reminded that:

  • from August 2018, it is mandatory that the dog’s microchip (or tattoo) is recorded along with either the dog’s registered name or registered number on any DNA certificates. Any test results issued after that date that do not carry these identifying features will not be accepted.
  • The Kennel Club has a criteria that we request DNA testing laboratories to meet to enable us to record their results, helping to maintain and protect the integrity of results that appear on a dog’s records. We have updated the list of laboratories that we accept results from and strongly advise that customers ensure their chosen laboratory is included on our revised list if they wish The Kennel Club to record and publish the results.  Results from laboratories not included on this list will not be recorded.

To find out which laboratories The Kennel Club is able to record results from for this test, and which labs will send results direct to The Kennel Club, please refer to our page about EIC. Please note that these listings are not necessarily comprehensive and other labs may offer the tests. To find out which DNA tests are relevant to your breed, visit The Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions. The Kennel Club works alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and is happy to consider a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists. A formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.