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MinnesotaMongo

Good News for Lab owners - "Collapse Gene" discovered

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U of M identifies gene linked to collapse of dogs

Associated Press

September 27, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS - University of Minnesota researchers have identified a mutant gene that's linked to the collapse of dogs during intense exercise and excitement from activities such as hunting.

Exercise Induced Collapse affects an estimated 3 percent to 5 percent of Labrador retrievers.

The symptoms include wobbliness and eventual collapse of the rear legs. Sometimes the loss of muscle control spreads to the front legs. It causes death in rare cases, but most dogs recover quickly.

A university study released this month details the identification of a mutant gene in Labradors that's strongly associated with EIC. It's the first time a naturally occurring mutation of this particular gene, known as dynamin 1, has been identified in a mammal, lead author and veterinarian Ned Patterson said.

The gene produces a protein involved in the chemical signaling system between nerves that allows the brain to control muscle movement, Patterson said.

The study's authors think the mutant protein hinders the ability to send signals between nerves, suggesting EIC occurs because the signaling system can't keep up with the rapid firing required during intense exercise, he said.

Since all mammals carry the gene, learning more about how the gene's protein functions could contribute to understanding disorders in other mammals, including humans, Patterson said.

It used to be that diagnosing the syndrome was a challenge because veterinarians first had to rule out other possible causes of collapse and were never completely certain of the diagnosis. Now, a $65 DNA blood test can confirm the diagnosis for breeders and owners whose Labradors exhibit symptoms, he said.

Breeders also can find out whether their dogs carry the mutant gene, he said.

"Almost always, they need two bad copies of the gene to be affected," Patterson said, so breeders can make sure they don't produce an affected dog.

Brett Bunk, a Missouri breeder, has already used the test on three dogs and found out one of the males is a carrier. He said he plans to use the test to make sure he doesn't breed that dog with a carrier female.

Patterson said he and the study's co-authors have submitted a patent for the test and plan to make the university's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab the exclusive license holder, at least in the United States.

James Collins, the director of the lab, said he expects the test to be a significant source of revenue for the diagnostics lab, and a benefit for the veterinary school, the university and inventors.

Since the first blood sample was submitted to the lab July 17, it has run 1,525 tests for the mutant gene, Collins said. Most samples have come from breeders in North America and Europe.

"Anybody in the world who can access us by FedEx or other courier has access," he said.

___

Information from: The Minnesota Daily, http://www.mndaily.com/

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This is very good for lab owners. I have posted multiple times on this forum regarding this and the nature of this disease, and the status of this study. I was happy to see this in the news recently as hopefully more people (including vets) become aware of it. Hopefully it will give anyone looking to breed their lab info on why it needs to be done and pushes them make the right decision and test their dogs before any breeding takes place. In addition.....this is not the only disease that needs to be tested for. CNM, OFA, PRA, should also be tested for in labradors. Unfortunately there are people out there breeding who don't really care about this and will still continue to breed without testing for this.

I strongly recommend buying your pups from people/breeders who have tested their dogs for these diseases! Unfortunately people realize this once it's too late.

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I'm pretty sure my brothers dog has this and he's going to get it tested. Is there any treatment for it.

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There is not treatment/cure......the only thing is prevention. You need to know/learn what triggers your dog to collapse. Once you know that you know what to watch for and it's easier to manage. You will need to pay more attention to the dog and if you see any symptoms of a collapse or possible collapse happening you need to stop the dog and have him rest. Often, 20-30 minutes after a collapse the dog will be back to normal.

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Mine usually recovers and is ready to go in 15 minutes or less. Last year was her first year hunting and I witnessed the collapse 5 times and I probably hunted 15 days. Now this year she has had the fish line repair for her torn ligament and I will not be able to hunt until December. Dog ownership has it's benefits?

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CFD...we are in very similar situations. Only at this point my dog may have a partially torn CCL not a fully torn one. He has been on crate rest/strict leash use outdoors for 7 weeks now to see if this may resolve itself (no lameness showing now).

I am hoping my new pup (now 12 weeks) has a much less eventful life as far as health goes!

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Hopefully the new one does not have EIC. It was not much fun to have a dog with EIC and now the torn ligament. Well I guess I did not need the $1100. Oh well it is not like my wife would have let me put her to sleep.

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Where is the AKC on this and CNM? Going to show up on pedigrees?

There is a "white list" for CNM stud dogs that are clear.

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In anyone's opinion, does the collapse happen right away when the dog is young, or does it not show up for 1-2 years? My dog was about 6-7 months old last year and I hunted her hard, with no problems. Now when I've been taking her out and getting her ready for this year's hunting season, she has been showing the symptoms of this EIC. It just seems weird that it is showing up now and not at all last fall. Any ideas??

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