Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

Exercise Induced Collapse

Exercise Induced Collapse is caused by a gene in some Labrador Retrievers and is hereditary. 

Labs with the gene will suffer a back-end collapse after and during strenuous exercise.  The good news is that is doesn't get progressively worse with age, if the dog is calmed down and allowed to rest and relax, it will recover completely within minutes to an hour, and dogs with the gene can live normal, happy, healthy lives as long as their owners restrict their activities so a bout doesn't occur.

While it is disturbing to watch your very eager lab doing what they love to do best (retrieve things) and watch their back ends collapse as they try to drag themselves around (they have no clue that something is wrong), once you recognize that your dog may have the gene, and may suffer from EIC, preventing episodes is completely manageable.

It is important that if your dog does suffer a back-end collapse, or appears to be in distress after strenuous play, that you just don't assume it is EIC.  You will want to go to the vet and work with them to determine if it is EIC, or could be the cause of some other problem (such as a slipped disc, neurological issues, or illness).  Once you have received a diagnosis of EIC, work with your vet to determine the best course of action, and best level of exercise to give your pup the exercise they do need to maintain fitness and weight, and also keep them from having an EIC episode.

Article about EIC, how it was found, and what you can do to make your dog's life happy and healthy

DVM360 Article on EIC

Videos of dogs experiencing EIC

University of Minnesota Video

One person's experience with their lab and EIC

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is an elusive tick-borne illness that is controversial not only in the pet world, but human world.  For years, people have complained of a variety of illnesses, chronic fatigue, joint pain, fevers, rashes, and neurological affects from tick-borne diseases that have been pretty much ignored or even downright scoffed at by the medical profession.

The old-school treatment of a round of antibiotics cures everything hasn't rid those with Lyme issues, despite what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other governmental agencies claim.  The tests used to detect it are insufficient, constantly inaccurate, and not a good indicator of the disease.

There are good tests for tick-borne diseases OTHER than Lyme, but the Lyme diagnosis continues to elude vets and physicians.  There isn't even consensus on whether Lyme is a disease all its own, or if there are variations of the Lyme disease, or even whether Lyme is a "thing" at all.

I don't have Lyme, none of my dogs have had it (although one did have Ehrlichiosis and was successfully treated with antibiotics, but that isn't Lyme), so I err on the side of those humans and animals that have suffered with the disease and know the pain and suffering it does cause.

What can you do?  If you find a tick on your dog, remove it immediately.  Here is a link to the CDC on how to remove a tick.  How to Remove a Tick.  Save the tick and have it sent in for testing to see if it is infected with Lyme or any other tick-borne disease.

Mark the spot on your dog and keep an eye out for a rash (the "bullseye" rash is NOT an indicator as once believed), lameness, pain, lethargy, lack of appetite.  If your dog isn't acting right, take them to the vet for testing.  Remember, the test isn't accurate, so if you believe that the negative test is wrong, FIGHT for treatment for your dog.  You are your dog's advocate, you speak for them.  Get them the treatment you feel is right.  Do your research (both human and canine treatments should be similar) and talk to your vet about what you think is right for your dog.  Get a second opinion from a specialist if you feel that your vet isn't listening to your concerns.

Working dog resource

PetMD Article on Lyme

Washington State University Article on Lyme

University of Rhode Island Tick identification chart

What's it like to live with Lyme Disease?  Please go read my friend Julie's blog about that very subject, and also learn about the treatments, research, and everything you ever need to know about human Lyme, that may help you if you ever find yourself in that situation, or any of your pets.


Ehrlichia Infection

Canine Babesiosis

Canine Babesiosis

Babesiosis in dogs

DVM360 Article

CAPC Resource




VCA Resource on Anaplasmosis 

Geeky big wordy resource 

Even includes a pronunciation for the big word

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Basic intro to it

More info 

WebMD resource



What is that? 

Geeky everything you wanted to know about it stuff

Merck Resource

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus:



WebMD Pets: Heartworms Facts and FAQ

American Heartworm Society

Surgical removal of heartworms (video, probably not for squeamish)

Marvistavet Heartworm resources

Video on heartworms

Kennel Cough, Bordatella, Tracheobronchitis

Kennel Cough, Bordatella, Tracheobronchitis (Its all the same thing)

Parvo Virus

Parvo Virus:











Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Granulomatous Meningoencephalomyelitis (GME)

Granulomatous Meningoencephalomyelitis (GME)

Vestibular Disease

Vestibular Disease

Cushings Disease

Cushings Disease (hyperadrenocorticism)

Good Resources

PetsMD Resource on Cushings 

Washington State College of Vet Medicine

FDA on treating Cushings 

Compounding Pharmacy recommendation:
A member of our Facebook page highly recommends the following compounding pharmacy for obtaining lower cost Cushings medications:

Diamondback Drugs

Horner's Syndrome

Horner's Syndrome:

Addison's Disease

Addison's Disease (hypoadrenocorticism)