BORDER COLLIE HEALTH

 

 

Border Collies are generally considered a healthy breed.  Each breed does have its predisposition to certain conditions that you need to be aware of.  As a breeder of working dogs I, and most others, strive to produce pups that are sound mentally and physically and have herding ability greater to or equal their parents.  Genetics is always a roll of the dice and you are not guaranteed good results. 

 

There are some diseases that can be tested for and others that can not.  Some problems can be weeded out of lines by testing and good choices other problems are not as simple and thought to be caused by a combination of things.

 

 Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) CEA is a congenital disorder where the parts of the eye do not develop normally. The severity of the disease ranges from no visual impairment to blindness. It is not a progressive disease and affected dogs usually have only mildly impaired vision. There is now a DNA test for CEA so depending on the status of the parents you can be assured the pups will not be affected.

 Deafness Border Collies are known to have deafness in some lines.  A BEAR test can test for normal hearing.

 Elbow dysplasia Elbow dysplasia is degenerative elbow disease affecting the joint and often leading to osteoarthritis.

 Epilepsy Epilepsy is a disease characterized by seizures. Border Collies can be affected with epilepsy, the incidence and heritability is unknown. There can be many causes and often the cause can not be determined.

 Hip Dysplasia (HD) HD is by far the most prevalent known genetic disease that affects Border Collies. It is a laxity in the hip joint that leads to arthritis and is painful, in some dogs to the extent of being debilitating.

  Osteochondritis Desicans (OCD) OCD is a disease of the cartilage usually occurring in pups 4 to 9 month old. The shoulder joint is the most commonly affected site but it can be seen in stifles, elbows, hocks or other joints. OCD is thought to be caused by a problem in the growth rate of the joint cartilage relative to the underlying subchondral bone.  The causes of OCD are unknown, it is generally thought that rapid growth, over nutrition, trauma all influence the joint but genetics are bound to be involved.  At this time there is not a specific test to determine which dogs may be at risk or have affected pups.  The cartilage in mildly affected joints is able to rebuild and on xray it appears identical to normal cartilage.  Mildly affected dogs may become sound with rest but once there is loose cartilage in the joint it is painful and muscle atrophy generally occurs.  In this case surgery is recommended and is very successful at bringing dogs back to full function..

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Central Retinal Atrophy (CPRA) are both eye problems.  PRA generally shows up in dogs around two years of age. It can show up as night blindness and slowly progresses over years to total blindness.

** This is not a comprehensive list and you should always consult your veterinarian with medical concerns