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Border Collie Collapse

March 27th, 2011, 07:13 PM
I have just been recently doing some reading around the internet and i came upon a condition called Border Collie Collapse (BCC). I dont have any experience with it but i found it interesting. The university of Minnesota is doing a study on it. It is most common in Border Collies, but can be seen in any working stock or in dogs training for agility/ flyball. The dogs appear normal other than when they are experiencing an "episode". After being worked hard, like herding or chasing a ball for a bit, etc, the dogs legs become wobbly and they cant stand, it seems similar to heat in some ways, although the dog will recover more quickly from BCC than a heat stroke. It isnt fatal from what i understand.

Here is a link explaining it better...

Has anyone experienced this or heard of it?

March 27th, 2011, 07:17 PM
My Border Collie has this, but he was diagnosed with EIC (excercise induced collapse) common in field bred labs as well.
Its terrible to deal with thats for sure, especially with such a high energy breed. The first few times it happened it was terrifying.

March 27th, 2011, 07:31 PM
I just read through the forum link you posted, EIC and BCC is pretty much the same thing.

March 28th, 2011, 10:42 AM
so do you have to limit how much exercise your guy gets at a time or do you just do less intense things?

March 28th, 2011, 12:59 PM
A lot of it depends on the weather really.
In the summer months you will notice all our pictures are Meiko at the lake, he can go a lot longer and I mean a LOT when in water. In winter he is so so, again depending on cloud cover and temperatures, however when his mouth opens more so than normal with his breathing sounding more like an idling tractor than a normal pant we stop him.
His "I'm getting close" pant looks like this
At this point he doesnt slobber at all, but in the back of his mouth you can see a slime build up. He doesnt swallow it as he cant actually close his mouth long enough to do so and when he gets to water to drink, not much of it gets into his system ( during an over heat episode)
This day here I remember as clear as if it was yesterday, it was one of the first times he had an episode and actually lost motor skills shortly after this picture. This was the day he went to the vet because of it. He had stayed there two days in which time they would take him out in the excercise area and fetch with him monitoring his body temps through out.
It doesnt seem to matter if we vary the intensity of things he does or not, being a border collie out of working parents grand parents ect he has high drive and even doing obedience work with him is done "intensely" to him.
he can walk almost all day regardless of temperatures but as soon as he gets into a trot thats it he's over heating.
It really is a sad thing for such a high energy breed to go through and hopefully with the research being done on it they can find the genetic marker for it so it can be bred out.
Sadly, if they have EIC ( or BCC as it is now) you can't do anything to "fix" it. Starting them out as if training for a marathon does nothing to help them, all you can do is learn how to read your dog very well and stop them and do a cool down walk ending the excercise session at first sign of weakness.

March 28th, 2011, 01:40 PM
Wow, that's so similar to our first setter. Must be different, since he wasn't a border collie...and he could go longer and harder. But a little while before he'd collapse we'd see his tongue going bluish from oxygen deprivation :eek: So we'd stop right there and cool him off and call it a day. I never realized that border collies could get such a thing!

March 28th, 2011, 01:46 PM
I think they are calling it BCC as they are focusing on the marker for this breed, Meik has always had EIC until I heard about it being called BCC (upon clicking on this thread lol)
The reason he stayed at the vet for the 2 days was to determine if it was Excercise induced collapse or Malignant hypothermia ( I think) there are a few differences in the two that I just dont remember anymore ( its been 8 years since we went through all this)

March 28th, 2011, 01:49 PM
An interesting article explaining EIC (in labs)

ETA: just found this one as well..

We have also learned enough about EIC to say with certainty that it is not the same as malignant hyperthermia (MH). The Minnesota collaborators in the EIC Project (Mickelson et al) recently confirmed that in dogs as in other species MH it is caused by a mutation in the calcium release channel of the sarcoplasmic reticulum in skeletal muscle – the ryanodine receptor. All of the affected EIC dogs evaluated at the WCVM were genotyped and tested for the known ryanodine receptor mutation and for linkage to other sites on chromosome 1, eliminating this mutated gene as the cause of EIC. Dogs with collapse due to MH typically look very different from our dogs with EIC. Their muscles are rigid (not flaccid like EIC) and they have increased CK in their serum. Histologically their muscles show rhabdomyolysis (our dogs muscles are normal). Dogs with MH often hypoventilate due to persistent muscular contraction so they are hypercarbic (where dogs with EIC hyperventilate).

March 28th, 2011, 01:57 PM
Holy catz! :eek: Thank heavens Gauge was never that severe! He went to collapse just the one time, rested up and we took him home. Afterward, we just watched for the blue tongue and never let it progress that far again. He could go pretty long, but only on cold days. We never did get a definite diagnosis--just managed it by watching for symptoms and cooling him down. Pretty scary to watch that first time, too.

March 28th, 2011, 02:05 PM
We dont have a "definate" diagnosis, our vet figured "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck" and since definate diagnosis on an unregistered dog (most of the places at that time taking swabs wanted papers to track it, understandably) made no difference for the outcome which was monitor and reduce and basically really get to know your dog to prevent.
The first time it happened he didnt lose motor function but got wobbly, it was alarming but we dismissed it as him just over doing it as a youngster, but when he lost ability to move the next time, that was major alarms going off.