Border Collie Health Problems
Border Collie health problems may arise due to genetic predisposition or just common everyday illness. Certain Border Collie health problems can be identified early using a little common sense and some good education. By educating yourself about the diseases most prevalent in Border Collies you can help your dog avoid pain and long-term suffering.
Hereditary Border Collie Health Problems
Border Collies, like many pure-bred dogs, are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Your dog may exhibit symptoms like limping in the back legs or having difficulty getting up after lying down. Unfortunately, Border Collies can be suffering from hip dysplasia without showing physical symptoms. When this occurs the only way to determine if your dog has this condition is by x-ray. Border Collie breeders should have all their breeding dogs x-rayed and scored to determine the likelihood of their puppies having the condition. If breeders have had several generations of dogs x-rayed and they all have low scores then this is a very good indication that their puppies are free from hip dysplasia. This condition is at the top of the list of Border Collie health problems so speak to your breeder before your choose a dog and if you suspect symptoms in your own dog speak with a vet about x-rays to reach a diagnosis.
Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CL) is an hereditary disease which can be found in Border Collies due to a recessive gene. A puppy only gets the disease if it inherits the gene from both parent dogs. Fortunately, it is very rare. Dogs are only known to have it once they produce offspring with the disease, that is, there is no test for it. It is a serious disease which results in healthy brain cells being destroyed and a Border Collie will usually not survive with it beyond about 22 months of age. The symptoms exhibit at about 18 months of age when there is a change in behaviour and the dog’s health deteriorates rapidly. As already mentioned, it is extremely rare, but worth mentioning because, again, it is something you can ask a breeder about before choosing a puppy.
Border Collie health problems include those associated with the eyes. Glaucoma is a possibility in all breeds of dog, including Border Collies. It can be easily tested for by a vet.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is also an eye health issue that occurs in some Border Collies. It is an hereditary disease and may affect one eye or two. The case may be mild or it may cause total loss of vision. When a parent dog has a mild case of CEA it cannot be assumed that its offspring will only have a mild case. Also, a Border Collie can be a carrier without exhibiting the disease. If two carriers of the gene produce offspring the puppies may be affected by CEA. Ideally, all Border Collie puppies should be tested for CEA between 6 to 10 weeks of age. Find out if your dog has been tested and what the result was. If you have a young puppy you can take it to the vet to get tested.
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Other Border Collie Health Problems
Apart from hereditary diseases, Border Collies health problems may also include everyday ailments common in most dogs. These include infection, allergies, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, stomach and intestinal problems etc. The most common of these afflictions is infection.
Border Collie health problems often involve infection. Infection may occur in the ears, on the gums, on paws, and in the eyes just to name a few. The best way to deal with infection is to prevent it or catch it early. It is wise to get hold of a good dog medical book to educate yourself on how to examine your dog for Border Collie health problems. You should also learn how to keep your dog’s eyes and ears and teeth clean and even his coat groomed to reduce the amount of bacteria in all these areas. This helps prevent infection. Learning about your dog’s health helps catch problems early and this can save your Border Collie from pain and suffering (and save you from expensive trips to the vet).
Fortunately, Border Collies are usually very active healthy dogs and this means there is a very low incidence of obesity and diabetes in this breed. You still need to ensure your Border Collie eats a healthy diet and gets the nutrition he needs to maintain all that energy. Many Border Collie health problems, and indeed many other dog breed’s health problems, can be avoided by steering clear of obesity.
If you are concerned about Border Collie health problems before you choose a new puppy, be sure to speak with the breeder about the tests that can be done for certain hereditary diseases. If you already have a Border Collie, invest in a good dog medical book and educate yourself ahead of time. When your dog becomes sick you need to know when it is crucial to get him to a vet and when you can ride it out. It is a relief to have a good reference, especially if your Border Collie gets sick after business hours and you can’t get in touch with a vet easily. A little dog health education goes a long way with a dog owner. A good reference book is always good value for money.