Border Collies are bred as working dogs, and as such they are very resilient and hardy. However, there is a number of conditions, some genetic some not, that often afflict these beautiful dogs. The list given her is not complete and you should consult your vet if you want a fully comprehensive set of possible conditions. You need to get acquainted with these problems in order to be able to notice the initial symptoms and report them to the vet before the condition gets the chance to progress and become a serious threat to the health of your pet.
One of the more common genetic conditions afflicting border Collies (as well as many other dog breeds) is hip dysplasia. This condition is characterized by the irregularities in hip bones and cartilage. If left untreated for too long the chafing between the bones can become rather serious and impede the dog’s walking ability. If you notice that your dog is limping and you can’t link that to a recent injury you should contact the vet and tell him or her about the problem. Surgical solutions are available and they can help your dog recover completely.
Another genetic disorder related to Collies is Collie Eye Anomaly. This disorder causes some parts of the eye to develop improperly. The negative effects of this condition can vary from complete blindness to no ill effects at all. The disease is not progressive and dogs that suffer it might lead completely normal lives. It can be diagnosed with most certainty before the dog reaches 12 weeks of age. Some dogs might have undetectable from of the condition because of the fact that sometimes healthy tissue can grow over the afflicted and completely conceal it.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Another eye condition that often afflicts Border Collies is progressive retinal atrophy. As its name implies this is a progressive condition that can, over time, cause the destruction of the dog’s retinas. It initially makes the dog lose the ability to see in dimly lit areas, and can in time cause complete blindness.
It is not uncommon to find Collies suffering from epileptic seizures. They are quite easy to notice and usually harmless, but the dog can be set on a medication therapy that was shown to be successful in most cases.
One of the more insidious diseases that occur in Border Collies is ceroid lipofucinosis. Also known by the name “storage disease”, this condition attacks the nerve cells and, sadly treatment is not available. Its symptoms usually occur when the dog is 12 to 18 months old, but it can quickly progress from then on. There were no dogs afflicted by this disease that lived past two and a half years of age. Vets usually recommend euthanasia in such cases. Early symptoms of the disease are unsteadiness in walking, unreasonable fear of previously familiar people or objects as well as odd behavior, possibly coupled with bursts of rage. Luckily the disease is not too often occurring, but it has been known to target Border Collies.