There can be a lot of health issues with Border Collies, but some of them are rare. Common Border Collie health issues are usually inherited or developed later in their life.
Dental problems - Dental problems are common in all dogs but more so in Border Collies. Plaque and tartar build up on their teeth which can infect the gums and cause the teeth to decay. It's important to have your dog's teeth cleaned by a vet, but also to brush them at home.
Epilepsy - A common inherited condition in this breed of dog. Seizures are the most common effect and medication is usually used to control it.
Hip and elbow dysplasia - Common in many breeds of dogs, not just Border Collies. This is when the femoral head is not in place. It causes pain, stiffness and problems walking.
Hypothyroidism - This is a condition when the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone.
Multidrug Resistance - This is a genetic defect in the MDR1 gene. If your Border Collie has this defective gene it can affect the processing of many drugs. Having your dog tested when they are young can prevent issues from medications.
- Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) - This is a joint disease where the cartilage in the joints break down. Cartilage is the cushion inside a joint. When this breaks down the joint becomes unstable and painful. Usually surgery or arthroscopy is recommended by a veterinarian.
Patent ductus arteriosis - This is a heart condition involving a small vessel that carries blood between two parts of the heart, but does not close properly. Your dog may cough, get tired easily, lose weight, be short of breath or have weak hind legs as symptoms. A veterinarian needs to listen to your dog's heart to diagnose. Surgery may be recommended to close the vessel.
Portosystemic shunt (PSS) - More likely than in other breeds, is PSS which causes blood to go around the liver instead of to the liver. The liver is unable to remove toxins from the blood effectively. Sometimes changing a dog's diet and medication can correct it, but surgery may be needed.
- Eye Problems
Cataracts - This is when the eye becomes cloudy which can be caused by diabetes. Surgery has a high success rate to correct.
Collie eye anomaly (CEA) - This is an inherited disorder that affects the choroid (tissue that supplies oxygen to the retina). CEA can cause blindness and intraocular hemorrhaging if severe. Severe cases could require surgery.
Pannus - Is a hereditary condition that primarily affects Border Collies, German Shepherds and Belgian Shepherds. This is when a pink mass develops on the cornea that if not treated will cause blindness.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) - This is when the retina starts to deteriorate which causes partial or full blindness. This happens usually in dogs 4 years old or older. Currently there is no treatment for PRA.
About The Author
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