Like any breed of dog, Collies have their problems as well. Many are the usual type of issues that arise for most dogs that are generally brought about by very little, or no training at all. These Collie issues (Collie barking, whining, jumping etc) are covered in other articles on this website. The Collie problems covered in this article are more aligned to the health issues that are commonly associated to Collies.
Whilst Collie dogs are resilient animals they are prone to several health conditions. Here is a list of the most common Collie problems Collie owners should be aware of:
- Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is a common problem in Collies. Puppies should be checked for this disease at around 6 weeks old. Note that this is a job for an Ophthalmologist and not your local veterinarian.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a rare disease these days thanks to breeding efforts to eradicate it. This is unrelated to CEA. This disease can affect 1 or 2 eyes in your Collie. In basic language PRA relates to retinal degeneration.
- Hypoplasia of the optic nerve. This condition can lead to blindness.
- Corneal Dystrophy is often confused with eye cataracts. This can be brought about by stress in your Collie, or as a dog ages.
- Heartworm, anti diarrheal and ear medications inparticular can create very serious side affects in your Collie dog. The problem is all medications have some side affects. There are some to avoid at all cost and can cause very serious or even fatal Collie problems. Ask your veterinarian before using any medication.
Other Collie problems:
- Epilepsy. It is not the intention of this article to get too technical however in very simple terms this is the explanation or the label often given to Collies if they start having seizures. Why? Currently there is no 100% proven test that says a dog has epilepsy. Regardless of the labels – just ensure you are aware this can be one of those Collie issues to watch out for.
- Bloating. This is a serious condition that can often be overlooked or not even noticed. If your Collie dog gets this call your veterinarian immediately. The good news is that there is a bloat kit available on the market for around $30 – just ensure you know how to use it until you get professional help. It could save your Collies life.
- Grey Collie Syndrome. (Canine Cyclic Neutropenia) -This is a blood disorder that is present at birth. A tell tale sign is weaker or smaller puppies with a pale grey or lightish beige tinge/color about them. Puppies rarely survive this. Some dogs can live longer with treatment but rarely live beyond 2 years.
The above conditions are the main Collie problems that are generally encountered by Collie dog owners. The good news is that medications are improving and breeding programs are focused on producing stronger more resistant dogs.
As a guide, around 1/3 of all Collie dogs are affected by a range of drugs on the market today. Nearly half of all Collies carry these affected genes. If you are one of the lucky ones, around 1/5 of all Collies do not have this predisposition to these genes.
If you are concerned about your Collie having some of these conditions, you can seek out a genetic test that simply involves getting a cheek swab from your Collie dog.
Collie problems can be managed, if not totally avoided, by ensuring your dog stays fit and healthy and making sure that you are aware of the above Collie issues that can arise. Its also important to note that the more information and awareness you can get, the better off both you and your Collie dog will be.