Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

What is Exercise Induced Collapse in dogs?

Tired Pug Chevromist KennelsExercise-induced collapse (EIC) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder that affects many different dog breeds. The quirk in this condition is that many of the affected dogs are very fit, muscular dogs that have a high drive for play and are generally excellent examples of their breed. Exercise Induced Collapse gives the affected dog an intolerance of intense sustained exercise in otherwise healthy dogs. Most affected dogs usually remain alert and don’t seem to be in any pain when they collapse from what looks to be exhaustion for about 5-10 minutes but will recover completely in about 20 minutes.

Genetics of Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) in dogs

This condition is the result of a point mutation in the DNM1 gene in the affected dog’s genome. This mutation results in a recessive allele (form of the gene) that has a variable level of expression. This means that the disease (Exercise Induced Collapse) is expressed to a different degree among individuals who all have 2 copies of the faulty gene. Exercise Induced Collapse must be inherited from both parents, so a clear parent would rule out the possibility of any of the puppies in their litter being affected.

What is the severity of Exercise Induced Collapse?

The severity of Exercise Induced Collapse is usually low to medium, however due to the variable expressivity of the condition, some dogs may be quite heavily affected to the point of death, but this is the exception to the norm. Most affected dogs will live normal healthy lives but are restricted from long bouts of strenuous activities such as hunting, field work and game retrieving.

What are the symptoms of Exercise Induced Collapse in dogs?

The typical symptom of Exercise Induced Collapse is complete exhaustion after a short period (5-20 minutes) of strenuous exercise. During this collapse the dogs begin with a wobbly gait that becomes uncoordinated and then the dog is unable to remain standing due to the weakness taking over their back legs. Usually this lasts for 5 -10 minutes while the dog recovers. In extreme cases the affected dog may progress to weakness overcoming their whole body, unconsciousness, seizures and very rarely death.

Diagnosis of Exercise Induced Collapse

Diagnosis of Exercise Induced Collapse is usually made by observation of the dogs after strenuous activity and this was the only way to do it before the development of a DNA test for the condition. Other testing means that test everything from the blood to the nervous system have so far been unremarkable when tested before, during and after collapse. The DNA test as part of the DNA Disease Screening give a definitive answer as to whether the dog is Clear, a carrier or is/will be affected by Exercise Induced Collapse.

Treatment of dogs with Exercise Induced Collapse

To date there are no real treatments for Exercise Induced Collapse in dogs aside from careful monitoring of the affected dogs during collapse. Preventing the dog from deliberate strenuous exercise is a common sense approach to managing affected dogs.


Exercise Induced Collapse. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota.

Furrow E, Minor KM, Taylor SM, Mickelson JR, Patterson EE. Relationship between dynamin 1 mutation status and characteristics of recurrent episodes of exercise-induced collapse in Labrador Retrievers. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013 Mar 15;242(6):786-91

Minor KM, Patterson EE, Keating MK, Gross SD, Ekenstedt KJ, Taylor SM, Mickelson JR. Presence and impact of the exercise-induced collapse associated DNM1 mutation in Labrador retrievers and other breeds. Vet J. 2011 Aug; 189(2):214-9.

Patterson EE, Minor KM, Tchernatynskaia AV, Taylor SM, Shelton GD, Ekenstedt KJ, Mickelson JR.A canine DNM1 mutation is highly associated with the syndrome of exercise-induced collapse. NatGenet. 2008 Oct;40(10):1235-9

Taylor SM, Shmon CL, Shelton GD, Patterson EN, Minor K, Mickelson JR. (2008). Exercise-induced collapse of Labrador retrievers: survey results and preliminary investigation of heritability. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 44(6):295-301

Taylor, S.M. in Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline 4th edn. Exercise induced weakness/collapse in Labrador Retrievers, 458–459 (Blackwell Publishing Professional, Ames, Iowa, 2007).

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