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Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) is a genetic syndrome, predominately occurring in Labrador Retrievers but also seen in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and Curly Coated Retrievers. Affected Dogs show signs of muscle weakness, incoordination, and life-threatening collapse when participating in strenuous exercise or activity. Affected dogs can tolerate mild to moderate exercise, but just 5 to 20 minutes of strenuous activity, or even extreme excitement such as that seen in field trials or hunt tests, can induce weakness or collapse. Dogs Affected with EIC usually cannot continue with intense retriever training, but can live normal lives as house pets.

EIC is being observed with increasing frequency in young adult Labrador Retrievers. Dogs that have EIC are prone to mild to severe collapse that can range from dragging of the hind legs to complete collapse. Most affected dogs have been from field-trial breedings. Signs become apparent in young dogs as they enter heavy training - usually between 7 months and 2 years of age. Dogs of either sex can be affected. Dogs with this condition are always normal at rest and are usually described as being extremely fit, prime athletic specimens of their breed. Nervous system, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal examinations are unremarkable as is routine blood analysis at rest and during an episode of collapse. [1]


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