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Border Collie Health

February 15, 2022 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CL) is also sometimes referred to as storage disease.  It is a disease that affects the cells of the body and in particular the nerve cells.  It is a rare but serious disease.  CL is not contagious and it is inherited from a simple recessive gene in the dog’s parents.  Affected dogs are normal at birth until about 18mths of age, afflicted dogs rarely live past two years of age.  The mutation causing the form of disease found in Border Collies was identified by Scott Melville in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Wilton of the school of Biotechnology of Biomolecular sciences at the University of NSW.  There is no treatment and no cure, but a DNA test is now available to detect carriers as well as affected dogs.  All reputable breeders in Australia would have their breeding stock DNA tested before producing a litter.

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a congenital, inherited eye disease affecting Border Collies and other breeds involving retina, choroids, and sclera.  In Border Collies it is a generally mild disease and rarely significantly impairs vision.  There is now a DNA test available for CEA and, through its use, breeders can ensure that they will not produce affected pups. 

Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS) is a hereditary disease which inhibits the release of neutrophils produced in the bone marrow into the blood stream.  Puppies affected with this disease will eventually succumb to infection.  Because this is an autoimmune deficiency disease the puppies present a variety of symptoms depending upon what infections they fall susceptible to, and so it has gone undiagnosed in the past. Once thought to be rare, it is now believed to be responsible for many cases of “fading puppies”.  There is no cure, but a DNA test is now available to detect carriers as well as affected dogs.

Hip Dysplasia ( H.D.) Like most medium and large sized dogs, the Border Collie is prone to hip dysplasia (CHD). There is no available genetic test available for hip dysplasia, although careful breeding practices are known to lower the incidence of both.

Unlike other breeds though the Border Collie does not usually show physical signs of H.D. Border Collies can appear normal and have good movement, but on examination by x-ray clearly show that they are affected by H.D. To varying degrees.