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heat exhaustion? how long for onset?


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A friend has a springer spaniel that was boarded all day. The temperatures outside were in the mid 30's C [90 to 100]. The building is not air conditioned. We arrived at 5:20 to do some obedience training. When we went to the kennel, (in the same building as our training room) there was blood on the floor and when the kennel door was opened, the dog collapsed. My friend got the dog to a vet within 10 minutes. The temperature of the dog was high (46?). The vet immediately treated for heat exhaustion. Later on that night, she had to return to a vet where she was basically accused of leaving the dog in the hot sun all day since its veins had collapsed.

Now here's the part I don't get. The dog is definitely hyper, suffers from separation anxiety, etc. HOWEVER, the owner of the facility says the dog was fine all day and ONLY started stressing when members of the club arrived to start setting up.

Is it possible for a dog to get itself so worked up in such a short period of time (5-9 minutes maximum) to the point of heat exhaustion?

I just find it hard to believe but I'm not a vet, so I really don't know.

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Exercise Induced Collapse in Labrador Retrievers




Excitement. Dogs that exhibit the symptoms of EIC are most likely to have intense, excitable personalities, and it is apparent that their level of excitement plays a role in inducing the collapse. There are some severely affected dogs who, if they are very excited, do not require much exercise to induce the collapse. Dogs with EIC are most likely to collapse when engaging in activities that they find very exciting or stressful.

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Thanks Mark, that's very helpful. I was really concerned that the dog had been neglected while in the boarding kennel (which, of course, still might be the case) but at least I know it's possible for a dog to get itself into this situation because of its personality.

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  • 5 months later...


I work at at the University of Minnesota. Our lab, in conjuction with Dr. Taylor, is conducting genetic research to determine the gene responsible for EIC. Our main focus has been on labs, and we've had great success lately. We've narrowed our search to a small segment of a single chromosome (dogs have 38 + the xy). We are interested in obtain samples from other breeds to determine if there is a commonality between them for this location.

For our study, we need affected dogs, as well as their unaffected siblings and parents. We require a 10 mL sample of blood, a questionnaire, and a pedigree.

If anyone is interested in our study, or would like more information they can contact me at minork@umn.edu or they can call our lab at 612-624-5322.

Thank you,


Katie Minor, RN

University of Minnesota

Canine Genomics Lab

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