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Exercise induced collapse

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I'm wondering if any of you have dogs that suffer from border collie exercise induced collapse. I think my youngster does. We've had two episodes so far; one quite mild but the other (the first one) was quite scary. I'm wondering if there is a way to build up immunity or increase the threshold or is it just a case of they have it and that's it.

Wisk is very fit and goes on long off leash hikes with no issues. The two episodes happened when fetching a ball using a Chuck it. The first one happened after about 15 minutes. My older dog would always just take a break but I noticed that Wisk was not so we stopped and it was at this point that he got wobbly and lost control of his back end. The second incident was very mild but occurred after only about 12 throws on a moderately warm day so not a crazy amount of exercise.

Obviously it's easy enough to just not use the chuck it but I'm wondering if there is a way to build up resistance or not. 


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Our Ruby, who we lost this June at the age of 18, had it.  She was about 7 years old when she had her first incident.  She didn't have them very often as we we  stopped her from extreme exercise after that.   She did still have collapses off and on for several years, and then they stopped.  Perhaps she went into remission or perhaps she just calmed down with ages that she didn't induce them any more.  We will never know, and I don't think the experts know either.  She was active for her age until then end, but no longer as intense.  I don't think it is the length of the exercise that mattered, but rather the intensity.  From her photo (cute), I would guess that Wisk is pretty intense.  The only thing you can do is not allow the type of behavior that precedes the episodes.  Fortunately there were no long term effects with Ruby.  She actually would recover from the episodes much more quickly than what we read is the usual time.  Once she was alert, she would just get up and be normal right away.  But because she was always conscious, she seemed fearful during the episode when she had no control of her body, but she would recover from that as well.  You will just have to manage Wisk, and hopefully one day, as with us, you will suddenly realize that she hasn't had a collapse in a very long time.  Ruby did develop seizure activity in the last two years of her life at one to four month intervals.  While they appeared to be Grand Mal seizures, they were of very short duration, and again, she would recover immediately once she was conscious.  I don't know if the two conditions are related in any way, but I mention them here because they both are neurological, at least in appearance.


Kathy Robbins

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University of Minnesota has a long-running study on BCC/EIC; check out their site above, and note the link which allows you to participate with your dog in the study if you choose.

Good luck!



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