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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

FYI - Exercise Induced Collapse - the facts

Flickr photo courtesy of Justin Baeder

This heat wave that we are experiencing has reminded me of a condition that affects canines, and I think that it bears emphasizing as it hits one of the most popular breeds - and can be exacerbated by temperatures and humidity that are higher than the dog is used to.

Exercise Induced Collapse, or EIC, is an inherited disorder that is characterized by onset of weakness in the hind limbs, (sometimes progressing to the front limbs,) an unusual gait, inability to coordinate limbs - to in some cases, inability to move at all. Symptoms are typically brought on by strenuous exercise, sometimes only after a few minutes. EIC is usually found to affect Labrador Retrievers (all colors and both sexes), Chesapeake Retrievers and curly coated retrievers. Although a pooch may seem in tip top condition and athletic, do not let this fool you - EIC can affect seemingly healthy dogs.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota discovered the gene. Additionally, the September 21, 2008 issue of the scientific journal Genetics Nature published the scientific basis for the DNA test to detect the gene.

Border Collies are affected by a somewhat similar exercise-induced syndrome, that can be researched by clicking here.

For additional facts about EIC, click here to download the .pdf file from the University of Minnesota website.

Lorrie Shaw is owner of Professional Pet Sitting in Chelsea, MI, and is also a regular pets contributor to She writes about health issues, dog culture and social issues related to pets. She can be reached via e-mail at:

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