The ABCA is funding the clinical study phase of their research.
Border collie Collapse (BCC) Study
Dogs with Border collie collapse (BCC) may become abnormal after five to fifteen minutes of strenuous activity, particularly in warm weather. Affected dogs commonly develop a stiff, stilted gait with short strides and may scuff their feet during walking. They may seem dazed and confused or may simply lose their focus. Some dogs get very wobbly or appear "drunk" and a few dogs actually become unable to walk. Dogs recover completely with no residual lameness or muscle stiffness or discomfort.
How can you help?
We are currently collecting questionnaires and DNA (EDTA blood) samples and pedigrees from Border Collies suspected to have BCC.
If your Border collie has had 2 or more episodes of exercise intolerance or collapse that may be BCC, please go to this website for the Canine and Equine Genetics Lab at the University of Minnesota:
Click on Border Collie Collapse under Canine Research
To fill out the online questionnaire and submit it electronically right away select the BCC questionnaire option.
Blood Sample for DNA
Instructions for collecting and shipping the DNA sample (EDTA preserved blood), and forms to accompany the sample shipped to the laboratory in Minnesota are also available on the website above. When you send a DNA sample in from your dog to the University of Minnesota, realize that there will be no "test result" forthcoming. The DNA will be used to achieve our long term goal of identifying the genetic cause of BCC.
If you have a video of your dog having an episode of collapse we would also like to have the opportunity to view that. Send it to us electronically (email@example.com) or send a CD/DVD with the video to Dr. Taylor. (Dr. Sue Taylor, Dept of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7N5B4)
We are also still looking for a few severely affected dogs who would be willing to travel to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada to participate in the exercise phase of our study. This will involve bringing or shipping your dog to Saskatoon, where we will perform thoracic radiographs, EKGs, cardiac echo, and clinical and blood tests before and after your dog participates in an exercise study. The next day, general anesthesia will be performed for diagnostic testing and muscle biopsy. Estimated time required in Saskatoon is 3 days. Funding is in place to help defray the cost of dog travel.
Ball chasing dogs can come individually for evaluation (stay for a Monday, Tuesday Wednesday).
Sheep herding dogs will be evaluated together on one day in May or June 2011 - time to be arranged.
Please contact Dr. Taylor if you are interested (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Border collie Collapse (BCC) Study - NORMAL DOGS NEEDED
Dogs with Border collie collapse (BCC) may develop gait and mentation changes during or after strenuous exercise. In addition to describing and characterizing the syndrome of BCC we are trying to identify the heritability and genetic cause of this disorder. In order to find the genetic cause for BCC it is important that we have DNA from a large number of clearly unaffected (control) Border collies who have been worked at maximum capacity yet never exhibited any evidence of exercise intolerance.
How can you help?
If your dog is at least 3 years old (preferably 5 or older) and has engaged repeatedly in strenuous activity (especially herding) without ever showing any evidence of exercise intolerance, incoordination or collapse it would be very helpful if you would fill out a short questionnaire and have your veterinarian send us a blood sample from your dog. We need many more samples from normal control dogs who definitely do not have BCC.
If you have a normal BCC and you are willing to participate in our study, please fill out the attached (see below) short questionnaire and ship a copy with the sample.
Blood Sample for DNA
Have your veterinarian collect 5-10cc of whole blood, place it in an EDTA (lavender top) tube and mix gently. The sample should be refrigerated until it is shipped.
The tube should be labeled with the dog's call name and owner last name and the words "NOT AFFECTED".
Whenever possible a copy of the questionnaire for this dog and a copy of their pedigree (with this dog highlighted) should be included in the package with the sample (place in a plastic bag so it does not get damp).
Have your vet pack the sample and the paperwork in a small box or insulated container with a cool pack. Ship to arrive in 2 to 5 days (overnight is not necessary) to:
University of Minnesota
c/o Katie Minor
1988 Fitch Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
The questionnaire is available upon request (send a PM to me).