Clinical and metabolic variables were evaluated in 13 dogs with border collie collapse (BCC) before, during, and following completion of standardized strenuous exercise protocols. Six dogs participated in a ball-retrieving protocol, and seven dogs participated in a sheep-herding protocol. Findings were compared with 16 normal border collies participating in the same exercise protocols (11 retrieving, five herding). Twelve dogs with BCC developed abnormal mentation and/or an abnormal gait during evaluation. All dogs had post-exercise elevations in rectal temperature, pulse rate, arterial blood pH, PaO2, and lactate, and decreased PaCO2 and bicarbonate, as expected with strenuous exercise, but there were no significant differences between BCC dogs and normal dogs. Electrocardiography demonstrated sinus tachycardia in all dogs following exercise. Needle electromyography was normal, and evaluation of muscle biopsy cryosections using a standard panel of histochemical stains and reactions did not reveal a reason for collapse in 10 dogs with BCC in which these tests were performed. Genetic testing excluded the dynamin-1 related exercise-induced collapse mutation and the V547A malignant hyperthermia mutation as the cause of BCC. Common reasons for exercise intolerance were eliminated. Although a genetic basis is suspected, the cause of collapse in BCC was not determined.

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