Genetic Basis of Exercise-Induced Collapse in Border Collie Related Breeds

Breed(s): Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Whippet, Border Collie
Sample Type: Blood Sample, DNA Sample
Study Location: University of Minnesota
CHF-funded Grant: 02575-MOU

An episodic nervous system disorder triggered by strenuous exercise, termed Border Collie collapse (BCC), exists in Border Collies and several related breeds. Our  objectives are to define its underlying genetic architecture, heritability, and potentially genomic loci, through analyses of whole-genome DNA marker data.  Knowledge of the fraction of the BCC phenotype determined by genetics, as opposed to environment and genotype x environment interaction, and whether major gene mutations are likely to exist, will inform veterinarians, and working/stock dog communities of the true nature of this condition. Future research would entail the identification of a panel of highly informative markers to predict risk in susceptible dogs.

Participation Requirements:

Signed consent form from owners of active dogs of all ages from the desired breeds; including suspected cases of all ages and controls over 5 years of age.

Owner's Responsibilities (Samples and Information to be collected):

Clinical features are collected from owners via 14-page 48-question questionnaires available on our website.  To be useful as a suspected BCC case dogs must have experienced at least two episodes of typical BCC collapse and have provided a video that well illustrates a collapse episode. A 3 - 5 cc blood sample obtained via venipuncture is preferred, although a buccal cheek swab is also accepted.

Breed(s) Included:

Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Border Collies, Kelpies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Whippets

Read more about this study!

More Information


Contact Information:

Name: Dr. James Mickelson or Ms. Katie Minor
Email: or
Phone: 612-624-1246 or 612-624-5322

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