Border collie collapse: Owner survey results and veterinary description of videotaped episodes

Susan Taylor, Katie Minor, Cindy L. Shmon, G. Diane Shelton, Edward E. Patterson, James R. Mickelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Completed surveys were obtained from owners of 165 border collies experiencing repeated episodes of abnormal gait or collapse during strenuous exercise. Unremarkable veterinary evaluation and lack of disease progression over time made common systemic, cardiac, and neurologic causes of exercise intolerance unlikely. Survey questions addressed signalment, age of onset, description of episodes, and owner perception of factors associated with collapse. Most dogs were young adults (median 2 yr) when episodes began, and they had experienced from 2 to more than 100 episodes (median 6) prior to their owners completing the survey. Retrieving was the activity most commonly associated with episodes (112/165 dogs, 68%), followed by herding stock (39/165 dogs, 24%). Owners reported that high environmental temperatures (111/165 dogs, 67%) and excitement (67/165 dogs, 41%) increased the likelihood of their dog having an episode during strenuous activity. Veterinary evaluation of videotapes of presumed border collie collapse (BCC) episodes (40 dogs) were used to provide a description of the typical features of BCC episodes. Altered mentation, symmetrical ataxia affecting all four limbs, increased pelvic limb extensor tone and toe scuffing or knuckling, truncal swaying, and falling to the side were common features, suggesting that BCC may be an episodic diffuse central nervous system disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-370
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance that Dr. A. deLahunta provided in the evaluation of videotapes of collapse episodes and interpretation of the neurologic abnormalities. Drs. Taylor, Patterson, and Mickelson and Ms. Minor are patent owners of the genetic test for dEIC (US patent 8,178,297), and they receive a portion of the proceeds from each dEIC test performed by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic laboratory. This study was supported by grants from the American Border Collie Association and the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by American Animal Hospital Association.


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