Shmon, Cindy L;
Shelton, G Diane;
Patterson, Edward E;
Mickelson, James R
American Animal Hospital Association
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.