ETSCA Health Committee Members:
Debi Bell
Carmen Blankenship
Jane Naimark
Karen Pouder
Tina Sterling

ETSCA Health Requirements
As of May, 2013, the ETSCA has designated the following health tests as required or recommended for OFA CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) certification of individual dogs (for more info on CHIC program, see

Beginning November, 2015, the ETSCA designated the same required/recommended testing for
individuals seeking AKC Breeder of Merit status (for more info on Breeder of Merit program, see:

  • Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist
    (One of the following)
    Registered with CERF
    Results registered with OFA
  • Cardiac Evaluation (One of the following)
    Congenital Cardiac Exam
    Advanced Cardiac Exam
  • Patellar Luxation (Optional)
    OFA Evaluation
  • DNA Repository (Optional)
    Participation in the OFA/Chic DNA Repository (blood or swab based)

ETSCA Health At-A-Glance

    The Last 5 Years…

    … May, 2013 – ETSCA voted on CHIC health requirements

    … June, 2013 – 93 English Toy Spaniels qualified for CHIC designation based on prior testing

    … June, 2018 - 148 English Toy Spaniels have qualified for CHIC designation
    - 415 English Toy Spaniels have at least 1 test recorded in OFA database
    - 1,136 total tests recorded for our breed

    Not bad for our rare breed!

    The OFA database provides a place for breeders to store and share information about their own dogs, to examine family-wide trends and research potential breeding decisions; for prospective owners to investigate the health issues our breeders are paying attention to and the health histories of specific dogs and families; and for veterinarians to education themselves and their clients about our breed.

But there’s more to do…

    - As of July, 2018 only 17 dogs had current CHIC designation (remember - eye exams only count for 12 months and must be updated annually to maintain current CHIC designation!)

    - Selective submission of test results limits our ability to use the database. Sometimes we are reluctant to submit results for dogs that don’t pass an exam, or for dogs who are no longer used for breeding. But these are priceless! To paraphrase the words of one longtime breeder, “for some issues, it’s just as important to know WHEN an issue shows up as IF it shows up.”

Overall Breed Health - 2017 Report from Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Database

This table shows the number and percentage of English Toy Spaniels in the OFA database who tested as normal vs. abnormal (and for a few tests, equivocal). The results give us great food for thought…

    - The English Toy Spaniels whose results we submit are pretty healthy in these areas!
    - But we still need to pay attention…

      o Up to 10% of dogs in the database have equivocal or abnormal findings on eyes, years, patellas, thyroid (and hips and hearing, although these tests are used very infrequently)

      o It’s likely that many English Toy Spaniels aren’t part of the database – what would their results tell us?

English Toy Spaniel OFA Health Test Results through 12-31-2017