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A friend of mine has a 1 1/2 year old lab that has weakness in both back legs after hunting for a while. The vet has diagnosed it as exercise induced collapse. There is a little information on the web regarding the diagnosis however I was wondering if anyone has experienced this in their labs and if there is some medication/remedy etc. that may help the condition?

Thanks in advance. Tom
 

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The problem may be brought about by a drop in the blood sugar level in the dog. The medical term is "hypoglycemia". The "cure" is to call the dog in occasionally and give him a tidbit to eat which will increase his blood sugar (glucose) level.
 

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EIC is not a blood sugar problem.

We have a friend who's chocolate lab has EIC (exercise induced collapse). They have done a bunch of research on the problem. Best they can say is that it is a metabolic problem of for now unknown origin. There was an article on EIC in "Just Labs" about a year ago as well.

It seems to be more common in field trial dogs.

The dog should be retired from the field and live life at home as a pet.

Here are a few articles I found.

http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/l ... llapse.asp

http://thelabradorclub.com/library/eicstudy.html

http://espn.go.com/outdoors/sportingdog ... 70054.html

There are several areas that are NOT part of the problem. Exercise Induced Collapse dogs are not: hypothyroid, hypoglycemic (low blood sugar), undergoing heat stress, nor do they experience electrolyte or cortisol production problems. Their hearts are functioning normally, they do not have a muscle condition known as myasthenia gravis, and although an EIC can look very much like a seizure, they do not exhibit pre- and post-collapse activity indicative of a seizure. Preliminary work at this time seems to indicate a genetic component as EIC cases are found within familial lines, but the type of inheritance has not been determined.

The best treatment is avoidance. Simply avoid the conditions that cause collapse. Of course, this is easier said than done and for some is an unacceptable choice that would require retirement of their dog. Current treatment protocols include the use of carnitine, CoEnzyme Q10, Riboflavin,7-KETO, and anticonvulsants such as phenobarbital. It should be noted that while each of these protocols has been successful in some dogs, none of them have been successful in all EIC dogs.
 

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EIC does tend to show up in certain field lines. The dog works for a while goes numb in the hindquarters, then returns to normal after a little rest.

Unfortunately there isn't much that can be done about it. There are some studies looking at the problem but an answer is probably years away.

The Best suggestion I can offer is to retire the dog from field work and start it's career as a pet. :(
 
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