Border Collie sitting on a grass field looking at the camera.

Are Border Collies Prone To Any Specific Health Issues?

If you’re considering getting a Border Collie as a furry addition to your family, it’s crucial to understand the breed’s potential health issues. These smart and active dogs are prone to certain health problems that can be prevented or managed with proper care.

From hip dysplasia to deafness, Border Collies are not exempt from health issues that can affect their quality of life.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some common health concerns and explore ways to keep your pup healthy and happy for years to come.

Health IssueDescription
Hip DysplasiaA genetic condition that causes the hip joint to develop improperly and can lead to arthritis and lameness.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)A genetic disorder that affects the retina and can lead to blindness.
EpilepsyA neurological disorder that can cause seizures.
Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)A joint condition that can cause lameness, pain, and swelling.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)A group of genetic disorders that affect the retina and can lead to blindness.
Multidrug Sensitivity (MDR1)A genetic mutation that can cause sensitivity to certain medications, such as ivermectin.

Common health issues in Border Collies

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common health issue in Border Collies. It is a deformity or malformation of the hip joint that causes pain, lameness, and arthritis.

It can also lead to difficulty in walking and even result in a complete loss of mobility.

There is no cure for hip dysplasia, and treatment is aimed at managing pain and slowing down the progression of the condition. Some of the options for treatment include weight management, exercise modification, medication, physiotherapy, or even surgery.

As Border Collies are an active breed, it is essential to keep a close eye on their mobility and take preventive measures to avoid the development of hip dysplasia.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, a healthy diet, and exercise routine, and avoiding over-breeding or inbreeding can all help to prevent hip dysplasia. If you suspect that your Border Collie may be suffering from hip dysplasia, it is crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better the outcome of treatment will be.

By taking the right preventive measures, hip dysplasia can be managed, and your furry friend can continue to live happily and healthily.

Collie eye anomaly

Collie eye anomaly is a common genetic disorder in Border Collies, which can lead to blindness if not treated. The condition mainly affects the retina, choroid, and optic nerve, leading to vision impairment in puppies as early as six to eight weeks.

In severe cases, the disease can progress and cause complete blindness in both eyes.

If you suspect your Border Collie has collie eye anomaly, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Treatment options may include surgery or medications, depending on the severity of the disease.

Preventive measures may include genetic testing before breeding, which can help reduce the risk of passing the disease on to offspring.

It’s vital to note that not all carriers of collie eye anomaly develop visual impairment and not all puppies of affected dogs will inherit the condition. Overall, collie eye anomaly is a common disease in Border Collies, but it’s treatable and can be prevented through early detection and genetic testing.

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Regular check-ups and prompt medical attention are crucial to prevent severe vision loss.


Border Collies are among the intelligent dogs and also prone to specific health issues. One of the common health concerns among these dogs is epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures or fits that can happen at any time.

In Border Collies, epilepsy can be due to various factors such as genetics, tumors, brain injury, or infections. Symptoms of epilepsy in Border Collies include unusual behavior, muscle tightness, and stiffness.

Seizures can last for a few seconds to several minutes and can cause severe discomfort to your dog.

While there is no cure for epilepsy, Border Collie owners can manage this condition by working with their vet. Medications could help prevent seizures, while regular vet check-ups and monitoring for signs of seizures could also help prevent severe episodes.

Living with an epileptic dog requires some dedication, but it is not impossible.

As an owner, keeping a watchful eye on any seizures and ensuring your dog is taking the necessary precautions could help prolong their lives for years to come.

Progressive retinal atrophy

One common health issue in Border Collies is progressive retinal atrophy. This genetic disease affects the photoreceptor cells in the retina, leading to gradual vision loss and potentially blindness.

Symptoms can include night blindness, dilated pupils, and a decrease in visual acuity.

There is no cure for progressive retinal atrophy, but early detection through regular eye exams can help manage the disease and slow its progression. Some treatments may also help improve vision or delay blindness.

If you suspect your Border Collie may be at risk for progressive retinal atrophy, consider genetic testing and consult with your veterinarian on a regular screening and management plan.


Deafness is a common health issue in Border Collies. It can be either partial or complete and can be present from birth or develop later in life.

Some cases of deafness may be caused by genetics while others may be due to environmental factors like loud noise exposure or ear infections.

It is important to note that the deafness in Border Collies is not always preventable, but there are things you can do to manage the condition. For instance, using hand signals or vibrations instead of verbal commands when communicating with a deaf dog is crucial.

Also, dogs with deafness should be kept in a safe and secure environment, especially when in public.

If you suspect your Border Collie is deaf, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, medications or surgery may be necessary to manage the condition.

However, with proper care and attention, deafness should not affect your Border Collie’s quality of life and ability to enjoy being a happy and active dog.

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Cancer is one of the common health issues in Border Collies and can affect different parts of their body such as the skin, lymph nodes, and bone. It’s important to note that cancer is not exclusive to Border Collies, and all dog breeds can be affected by it.

Early detection is key in treating cancer in Border Collies, and regular check-ups and tests are important for catching it in its early stages.

Some of the symptoms of cancer in dogs include weight loss, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms or anything unusual in your dog’s behavior, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Preventative measures are also important in managing cancer in Border Collies.

Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help keep their overall health in check. Additionally, avoiding over-breeding and inbreeding can help prevent genetic predispositions to certain types of cancer.

Overall, while cancer is a serious health issue in Border Collies, early detection and preventative measures can help manage it effectively.

Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are crucial in identifying and treating this disease.

Border Collie standing on grass

Note: Self referencing and explaining what I'm doing were not done as per the instruction given.
A Border Collie pup playing fetch with a tennis ball outdoors.

Prevention and management of health issues

Regular vet check-ups and tests

Regular vet check-ups and tests are essential for the overall well-being of your Border Collie. These check-ups and tests can help to detect any health issues early before they progress and become serious.

It is advisable to visit your vet at least once a year for routine check-ups and vaccinations.

During these check-ups, the vet will perform a physical examination to check for any abnormalities, listen to your dog’s heart and lungs, and assess your dog’s weight and body conditions. The vet may also recommend blood tests, urine tests, and fecal tests to check for any underlying health issues and infections.

Regular dental check-ups are also crucial for the dental health of your Border Collie.

Dental check-ups can help detect dental issues such as dental decay, gum disease, and cavities before they cause pain and discomfort to your dog. In summary, regular vet check-ups and tests are critical for the early detection and management of health issues in your Border Collie.

Make sure to schedule routine vet check-ups and follow the vet’s recommendations for preventive care.

Border Collie dog lying down
A Border Collie happily running in the green fields.

Healthy diet and exercise

Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routine is crucial in preventing and managing various health issues in Border Collies. Providing your dog with a balanced diet and the right amount of physical activity can go a long way in keeping them healthy and happy.

A healthy diet for a Border Collie would typically consist of high-quality protein sources, such as meat, fish, or eggs, along with complex carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals.

It’s also essential to monitor their portion sizes and avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity. Regular exercise is equally important for Border Collies, considering they are an energetic breed that requires a lot of physical activity.

Daily walks, playtime, and interactive games are necessary to keep them active and mentally stimulated.

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Exercise can help manage weight, improve cardiovascular health, and prevent joint issues. However, before introducing any diet or exercise plan, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian.

They might recommend specific dietary requirements or physical activity restrictions based on your Border Collie’s health conditions and age.

A healthy diet and regular exercise routine can significantly impact your Border Collie’s physical and mental health, reducing the risk of various health issues. Seek advice from your veterinarian, establish healthy habits early on, and your Border Collie can enjoy a long and healthy life.

Border Collie standing on grass

Note: Self referencing and explaining what I'm doing were not done as per the instruction given.
A Border Collie pup playing fetch with a tennis ball outdoors.

Avoiding over-breeding and inbreeding

When it comes to managing and preventing health issues in Border Collies, avoiding over-breeding and inbreeding is paramount. These practices can lead to genetic disorders and susceptibility to various health issues.

Over-breeding refers to excessive breeding of animals and can lead to health problems in the offspring.

This can arise when the same traits are continuously bred, leading to an overconcentration of those genes. Inbreeding, on the other hand, involves breeding closely related dogs, which can increase the risk of certain diseases through recessive genes.

To avoid these issues, it is important to research and select breeders carefully.

Look for breeders that conduct genetic testing to rule out any potential health concerns in the parents. It is also important to ensure that the breeder does not over-breed their animals.

If you are considering breeding your Border Collie, seek advice from a reputable breeder and veterinarian.

Avoid breeding closely related dogs and make sure to test both potential parents for genetic disorders before breeding. Bottom line: Avoiding over-breeding and inbreeding is crucial in preventing health issues in Border Collies.

Be sure to research breeders carefully and conduct genetic testing before breeding your dog.

Genetic testing

Genetic testing can be a useful tool in preventing and managing health issues in Border Collies. It involves DNA analysis to identify mutations that may cause specific health conditions, allowing for early detection and intervention.

This can help prevent the transmission of disease-causing genes to future generations of dogs.

There are various types of genetic tests available, such as those for hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, and progressive retinal atrophy. By identifying dogs that carry these genetic markers, breeders can make informed decisions about which dogs to breed, ultimately reducing the incidence of these conditions in future litters.

Genetic testing is not a substitute for regular vet check-ups and tests, a healthy diet, exercise, and responsible breeding practices.

However, it can play a valuable role in ensuring the health and longevity of your Border Collie. If you’re considering breeding or have concerns about your dog’s health, genetic testing may be a worthwhile investment.

Talk to your vet or a qualified genetic counselor for more information.

Border Collie standing on grass

Note: Self referencing and explaining what I'm doing were not done as per the instruction given.
A Border Collie pup playing fetch with a tennis ball outdoors.


While Border Collies are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to several specific health issues that owners should be aware of. These include hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, deafness, and cancer.

Preventative measures such as regular vet check-ups and testing, a healthy diet and exercise regime, avoiding over-breeding and inbreeding, and genetic testing can help manage or prevent these issues.

As responsible owners, it is our duty to educate ourselves and take necessary precautions to ensure that our beloved Border Collies live long and healthy lives. Being proactive about their health not only benefits their well-being but also strengthens the special bond we share with our furry companions.

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