The goal of our Canine Neuromuscular Disease Testing service is to provide highly accurate and reliable genetic testing for the condition known as Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC). This inherited disease is common in Labrador Retrievers, but is also found in other breeds, including Curly-Coated and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Boykin Spaniels, Bouvier des Flanders, German Wirehaired Pointers, Old English Sheepdogs, Cocker Spaniels and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Affected dogs typically become weak in the hind limbs and collapse after 5-20 minutes of high intensity exercise, such as in field trials or upland game hunting, and in some cases simple fetch and retrieves.
The gene responsible for EIC was identified here at the University of Minnesota and the scientific basis for the DNA test to detect the EIC gene has been peer-reviewed and published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics. Testing for the EIC gene can be performed on blood, cheek swabs, dew claws and semen. The results are useful for owners in making decisions about the activities their dog can and cannot participate in, for breeders to assist them in making breeding decisions and for veterinarians as they are diagnosing dogs with possible neurological, neuromuscular or metabolic disorders.
To date, proceeds from EIC testing at the University of Minnesota have returned more than $100,000 to the AKC Canine Health Foundation to further its mission to improve the health of all dogs.
The canine genetics research lab is now investigating a collapse condition in Border Collies and related herding breeds (Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Bearded Collies, Collies, etc). The presentation of this collapse is different from that seen in EIC affected dogs, and all Border Collies tested to date have been negative for the mutation that this EIC test detects.
We do not recommend the EIC test for Border Collies. Please see the canine genetics lab for more information, videos of collapse, and participation instructions.