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Border Collie Collapse BCC or EIC Genetic Study at U of MN


Katie Minor, RN
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The University of Minnesota is seeking dogs for participation in a research study to determine the genetic basis of Border Collie Collapse.

 

After our description of the genetic basis for exercise-induced collapse in Labrador Retrievers we became interested in what seemed to be a related condition in Border Collies. It turns out that an exercise-induced collapse syndrome similar to the EIC syndrome in retrievers has been recognized in Border Collies and may be called Border Collie collapse (BCC) or exercise induced hyperthermia.

 

It is most common in dogs used for working stock but has also been seen in dogs training for agility or flyball competitions and in dogs repetitively retrieving a tennis ball. Affected dogs are normal at rest and seem healthy but become abnormal after five to fifteen minutes of strenuous activity, particularly in warm weather. Some dogs will develop a stiff, stilted gait with short strides and others will become wobbly and then collapse. Some dogs develop a balance problem or are mentally abnormal during an episode, and a few dogs have died during collapse.

 

This syndrome has not yet been well characterized clinically so we are uncertain whether this is a metabolic, muscular or nervous system disorder. In any event affected dogs are negative for the dynamin 1 mutation causing EIC in Labrador Retrievers so we need to start from scratch to determine any genetic bases for the condition in Border Collies.

 

For instructions on participation and submitting samples, please follow this link to our webpage:

 

http://www.cvm.umn.edu/VBS/faculty/Mickels...ieEIC/home.html

 

If you have any question, please feel free to email me at minork@umn.edu

 

Thank you,

Katie Minor, RN

 

University of Minnesota

Canine Neuromusclar Genetics Laboratory

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Huh? In 25 years of trialing from California to New Hampshire, Ontario to Texas, I have seen maybe fifteen dogs in the early stages of heat stroke. Once affected, such dogs become more heat sensitive than dogs who've never suffered. I have never seen anything remotely like "Border Collie Collapse".

 

Donald McCaig

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Huh? In 25 years of trialing from California to New Hampshire, Ontario to Texas, I have seen maybe fifteen dogs in the early stages of heat stroke. Once affected, such dogs become more heat sensitive than dogs who've never suffered. I have never seen anything remotely like "Border Collie Collapse".

 

Donald McCaig

 

I haven't either. The only time I have seen BCs collapse was after being worked too hard as compared to their fitness level or after having suffered from heat stroke or a serious illness in the past. Collapsing after 10 minutes of exercise on a 60F day in the spring when the dog's body is still used to winter temps is not EIC. The most cases we see of heat stroke in dogs occur in the spring on the first mild days of the year.

 

My older bitch can't handle heat anymore. I even have to shave her down in the summer to keep her comfortable. During her youth she could work 4 hours in July in 90F heat, but then she nearly died of water intoxication and she has never recovered her stamina or heat tolerance.

 

I am not saying that EIC doesn't exsist in BCs, but I believe that virtually all cases can be explained as simple heat stroke if a veterinarian asks the right questions to get a full history.

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Sorry, Donald and Liz, I totally disagree. I have a dog with it and I've seen plenty of dogs with it over the years. I've been following this condition in border collies for years - well over a decade. The symptoms are similar to the EIC described in Labs and I was hoping it would be the same mutation as in border collies. Since it's not, I'll certainly support genetic research for finding the gene specific to our breed and I hope others with affected dogs will too.

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I agree with Denise. I have seen a video of EIC in labs, and what I remember is seeing these dogs get very wobbly/weak, and lose coordination. I have seen this in Border Collies. I am sure there are varying levels, and that astute observers/owners, would not allow for total collapse, so you would not see the extreme endpoints.

 

Denise, for the labs, they have located the marker? Can they genotype carriers/non-carriers? If so, that is great! Too bad it isn't the same as the Labs, but I would imagine in mapping it would not be to distant?

 

 

Sorry, Donald and Liz, I totally disagree. I have a dog with it and I've seen plenty of dogs with it over the years. I've been following this condition in border collies for years - well over a decade. The symptoms are similar to the EIC described in Labs and I was hoping it would be the same mutation as in border collies. Since it's not, I'll certainly support genetic research for finding the gene specific to our breed and I hope others with affected dogs will too.
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Here's a video of my (now-retired) dog, Zeke, from a few years ago having what I consider a mild episode after no more than ten minutes of light work on a mildly hot but humid day:

 

Border collie EIC-like episode

 

Note towards the end, he starts to trot and looks pretty normal for a few strides but when he walks again, he's dragging his back legs much worse than before.

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Wow Denise- it's hard to watch for me, even though I recognize it's mild. I saw a very well known/respected dog at Gettysburg come off the field doing this- it was so hot, not sure that I would have run my dog... Thanks for the video.

 

Here's a video of my (now-retired) dog, Zeke, from a few years ago having what I consider a mild episode after no more than ten minutes of light work on a mildly hot but humid day:

 

Border collie EIC-like episode

 

Note towards the end, he starts to trot and looks pretty normal for a few strides but when he walks again, he's dragging his back legs much worse than before.

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Wow Denise- it's hard to watch for me, even though I recognize it's mild. I saw a very well known/respected dog at Gettysburg come off the field doing this- it was so hot, not sure that I would have run my dog... Thanks for the video.

 

 

We are happy for any cross posting of this request for samples, or for inclusions in newsletters.

 

We're looking for blood samples from both affected and unaffected dogs.

 

Thank you,

Katie

 

--

 

Katie Minor

University of Minnesota

Canine Neuromusclar Lab

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Wow Denise- it's hard to watch for me, even though I recognize it's mild. I saw a very well known/respected dog at Gettysburg come off the field doing this- it was so hot, not sure that I would have run my dog... Thanks for the video.

 

It was hard for me to video it but I felt it was important to document. Whenever this happened, I normally just let him lie down where he was for a few minutes (10-20) and then he was fine. I mean, perfectly fine. After it was over, he could work again as if it never happened.

 

A few other things about him specifically:

 

This dog had a pretty successful working and open career for many years. I ran him successfully on some big courses like Edgeworth every year and never had a problem. Because he was so functional with only the occasional incident, I consider him to only be mildly affected. I didn't work or run him if I thought it was too hot or humid. I retired him at age nine. He still works around here some.

 

Though it happened many times over the years, I never knew exactly when it was going to happen. I learned to anticipate somewhat, but could be surprised on occasion. The episodes were usually like the video only I kept him still after. A couple of times, I felt he couldn't get back up because his back legs were so weak.

 

I never saw this dog show any signs until he had stopped working for five to ten minutes. IOW I never saw any signs while he was working. It could be if I pushed him hard enough I would have, but I never did.

 

He first did this at about age 2.5 years and got incrementally better as he aged. Before this, he looked to have very good stamina. I tried everything imaginable to help this condition with only minimal improved results.

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I pulled this off of a web page written by a veterinarian about EIC. What I would like to know from an expert is, can you really tell the difference between mild overheating/heatstroke and EIC just from observing the dog?

 

If all dogs that get ataxic from overheating take hours to recover fully then I HAVE seen EIC in BCs at trials. If dogs who overheat to the point of being ataxic but not collapsing can recover quickly then I still question if it is overheating vs EIC.

 

I have certainly seen dogs (non BCs) with known heat stroke get up and walk away after being cooled with water and/or cold IV fluids.

 

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/Medic...e/detail/559257

 

"EIC or heat stroke?

 

With heat stroke-induced collapse in dogs, recovery is very slow or prolonged, taking hours to days, or else there is progression to death.

 

Laboratory evaluation reveals a dramatic increase in serum CK (usually seven to 11 times normal). Mentation changes that are severe, progressive and persistent (lasting hours to days) occur in 80 percent of affected dogs, and significant endothelial injury leads to microvascular thrombosis, DIC, thrombocytopenia and bleeding as well as acute renal failure in most dogs.

 

In contrast, dogs with EIC collapse without showing laboratory abnormalities, and they recover completely within five to 25 minutes."

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I pulled this off of a web page written by a veterinarian about EIC. What I would like to know from an expert is, can you really tell the difference between mild overheating/heatstroke and EIC just from observing the dog?

 

If all dogs that get ataxic from overheating take hours to recover fully then I HAVE seen EIC in BCs at trials. If dogs who overheat to the point of being ataxic but not collapsing can recover quickly then I still question if it is overheating vs EIC.

 

I have certainly seen dogs (non BCs) with known heat stroke get up and walk away after being cooled with water and/or cold IV fluids.

 

http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/Medic...e/detail/559257

 

"EIC or heat stroke?

 

With heat stroke-induced collapse in dogs, recovery is very slow or prolonged, taking hours to days, or else there is progression to death.

 

Laboratory evaluation reveals a dramatic increase in serum CK (usually seven to 11 times normal). Mentation changes that are severe, progressive and persistent (lasting hours to days) occur in 80 percent of affected dogs, and significant endothelial injury leads to microvascular thrombosis, DIC, thrombocytopenia and bleeding as well as acute renal failure in most dogs.

 

In contrast, dogs with EIC collapse without showing laboratory abnormalities, and they recover completely within five to 25 minutes."

 

 

In Retriever EIC, the syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene involved in nerve communication during high-stimulation. The dogs are unable to keep pace with the nerve signaling requirements and become wobbly and lose control of the rear limbs. In dogs with a true case of Retriever EIC, there is a loss of the patellar reflex during collapse.

 

In Border Collies, we are not yet aware of the underlying cause of collapse, so we do not know if this would be case. We are hoping to do a physiology trial to establish disease hallmarks in the near future.

 

Thanks,

Katie

 

University of Minnesota

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Katie

Very interesting, thank you.

 

In Retriever EIC, the syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene involved in nerve communication during high-stimulation. The dogs are unable to keep pace with the nerve signaling requirements and become wobbly and lose control of the rear limbs. In dogs with a true case of Retriever EIC, there is a loss of the patellar reflex during collapse.

 

In Border Collies, we are not yet aware of the underlying cause of collapse, so we do not know if this would be case. We are hoping to do a physiology trial to establish disease hallmarks in the near future.

 

Thanks,

Katie

 

University of Minnesota

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Watching the video of Mick makes Piper's episodes, which seemed minor to me at the time, look really severe!

 

Piper never did anything like it until she was well over 6 years old, and I've had her almost her whole life. One day at the park she was coming back with her ball, started staggering and weaving and then pitched over onto her face. She couldn't get up at all, much less walk. I cooled her belly off with water, and within about 10 minutes she was back to normal pretty much. It was a pretty warm day.

 

The next time it happened, it was not hot at all, and she'd only been running for about 10 minutes when she went down wobbly again. I caught her, physically, on her way down to the ground and repeated the cooling-off. It was a week or two after the first episode.

 

After that I made a point of either taking her swimming only, or wetting her down before she started running and several times during, and enforcing several rest breaks. It's not happened since, but it's not even been a year and it's been winter. I'm rather worried about the coming Spring or Summer. She's run for much longer in much hotter weather, so it seemed an odd case for heatstroke.

 

Piper has no pedigree that I know of, so I assume she's not eligible for such a study?

 

Cheers,

 

RDM

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Here's a video of my (now-retired) dog, Zeke, from a few years ago having what I consider a mild episode after no more than ten minutes of light work on a mildly hot but humid day:

 

Border collie EIC-like episode

 

Note towards the end, he starts to trot and looks pretty normal for a few strides but when he walks again, he's dragging his back legs much worse than before.

 

 

Denise,

 

 

Thanks for supplying the tape of your dog. I have several questions on this, the first ones for you about your dog.

 

What level of fitness would you have described your dog to be in at the time of this tape? Was he affected in the past no matter what his fitness level and was it to the same degree all the time?

Did you put him into water after this happened and if so, did that help him recover or did he need to rest several minutes to help him out?

 

Questions for anyone--does this EIC in retrievers have any similarities to tying up in a horse?

 

When the dog has an attack are the symptoms a result of weakness , lapse in nerve function, or maybe a combination? Is it painful for the dog?

 

Thanks for you time .

Carolyn

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Denise,

Thanks for supplying the tape of your dog. I have several questions on this, the first ones for you about your dog.

 

What level of fitness would you have described your dog to be in at the time of this tape? Was he affected in the past no matter what his fitness level and was it to the same degree all the time?

 

I always kept him quite fit. He was very fit when the video was made. I never saw any correlation with the number or severity of episodes that related to his fitness level.

 

Did you put him into water after this happened and if so, did that help him recover or did he need to rest several minutes to help him out?

 

I took him to water unless we were too far away and he needed to rest some first. I let him decide if he wanted to go in water or not. He almost always went in. It was not always hot when he had these episodes so he may not have gone in when it was cool. I would say when he went in water it helped cool him down but I can't say if it helped him to recover from the back leg weakness/stiffness faster. Also, he was not always panting very hard when it happened, though he usually was.

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My bc is in fairly good condition. Her first episode happened when it was maybe 70 degrees and no humidity. We were only out for a few minutes playing frisbee. She did get a new frisbee that day and was overly excited. The week before it was 80-90 degrees and high humidity and we played more thjose days then on the day she collapsed. After we came inside she seemed ok but within a few minutes I started hearing one of the dogs crate doors banging and I looked back and their was Tempe falling over, getting back up and falling over again. I grabbed a dish towel, wet it down, picked up Tempe and headed upstairs to the box fan. We sat in front of that a few minutes and she cooled down. I would say less than 10 minutes later she was perfectly fine again. A couple weeks later the dogwalkers played outside on another cool day and knowing to be careful did not play long. Tempe got wobbly in the backend so they cooled her down and she was fine shortly after that. Another dogwalker was playing with Tempe and she seemed fine outside. Once they got inside and it was time to go to the crates, Tempe seemed out of it. Kelly said Tempe seemed to be zoning out and couldn't follow a command. She did not even recognize Kelly opening the cookie jar which usually has the dogs running for their crates. Tempe proceeded to stay around awhile longer and cooled Tempe down some. Not long after she was fine again.

 

I did look up what to look for and how to handle and created a printed document that I left on Tempe's crate just in case there were some issues. I am glad I did.

 

Whether there is a BCC or not I am glad research is being done. It is the only way to find answers or rule out things.

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I havent read all the threads , but is this the same as a horse "tying up" ?

I always "warm up" and "cool down" my dogs before and after agility practice or trials . But who really does that before throwing around the old tennis ball ?

Very scary. I will read the other posts and look at the video , and from what I did read , its hard to watch , but if it opens your eyes to something that may be prevented , Im all for it.

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I pulled this off of a web page written by a veterinarian about EIC. What I would like to know from an expert is, can you really tell the difference between mild overheating/heatstroke and EIC just from observing the dog?

 

Liz,

 

We also had a dog that had these episodes even in cool weather. The episodes appear to me to be linked to high mental excitement in conjunction with anaerobic activity. The dogs breathing can appear normal during the activity but when the activity is ceased their physical state deteriorates: increased breathing, more forceful breathing, loss of balance, loss of control of their back legs, clenched jaw, etc. These symptoms arise 1-5 mins after physical exertion is ceased; often while walking off the field or after having left the field. It's as if their mind does not realize that their body is in anaerobic distress until the object of their focus has been removed and as if they were not breathing enough during the physical activity.

 

Mark

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We are definitely interested in Border Collies with good pedigree info available; but if you have an affected dog, we're happy to get samples from them as well.

 

Pedigrees are important, but well characterized collapse information is even more so.

 

Thanks!

 

Katie

 

ps. Here is a video of a Labrador Retriever EIC episode, note that in Retrievers the rear limbs are very floppy.

 

 

 

--

Katie Minor

University of Minnesota

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