Health

The Border Collie is generally a healthy & hardy breed of dog.
Although there are several health issues that can affect the breed, we are fortunate that most of these have either a physical or DNA test available.

For more in-depth information on health & the current situation within the breed please refer to the <PBHF website>

The following is a list of conditions which are known to affect the breed & the tests which are currently available.

DNA testable disease:

TNS (Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome)

Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS) is an immune system disease where the neutrophils (white blood cells) produced by the bone marrow become “trapped” and cannot be effectively released into the bloodstream.  The dog is unable therefore to fight infection, and will become very ill & eventually die from infections.
There Is a DNA test available for this disease to distinguish the genetic status of the dog.

CL (Ceroid Lipofuscinosis or Storage Disease)

Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CL), also known as storage disease is a rare disease which affects the nerve cells of the body.  Most symptoms do not appear until the age of 18 months, but then increase rapidly with dogs rarely living past the age of 2 ½ years.  Symptoms, which include unreasonable apprehension, abnormal gait & demented behaviour – which increase rapidly after onset.
There Is a DNA test available for this disease to distinguish the genetic status of the dog.

CEA (Collie Eye Anomoly)

Collie Eye Anomoly (CEA) is an inherited eye disease - whereby there is a lesion on the back surface of the eye, near to the optic nerve.  Chorioretinal Hypoplasia (CH) is the pale patch which can be seen by an opthamologist via a physical examination in a young dog (preferably before 7 weeks of age), however this can be very difficult to determine accurately as changes in the eye development can make the patch difficult to see – hence cases of dogs being known to “go normal” (appear to be affected at 6/7 weeks and clear a while later).  In the most severe cases dogs have been known to lose their sight.
There Is a DNA test available for this disease to distinguish the genetic status of the dog.

MDR1 (Multi Drug Resistance gene)

The MDR1 gene is responsible for ensuring that the body’s natural P-glycoprotein functions normally by protecting the body from toxins.  In MDR1 affected dogs the function is compromised and therefore toxins (from environmental or administered toxins -drugs etc) may leak into the major organs.
There Is a DNA test available for this disease to distinguish the status of the dog.

NON DNA testable disease - physical testing only

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Eye testing

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited eye disease of the retina.  These dogs have eyes which are genetically programmed to go blind.
A PRA test is routinely performed by a BVA eye panellist to check for PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) at 12 monthly intervals.

KC/BVA Hip Displaysia scheme

Hip Displaysia is known to affect the Border Collie.  It is the abnormal formation of the hip socket, which in the most severe cases may cause lameness and arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is also affected by environmental factors.
Hip x-raying by a veterinary surgeon & subsequent submission to the BVA for scoring is a procedure to establish the condition of the dogs hips.

Gonioscopy Eye Testing (for pre disposition to glaucoma)

Glaucoma, which is an increased pressure within the eye – in worst cases resulting in eye loss, has recently been seen in a small amount of Border Collies. Goniscopy is the test which is performed to check for the drainage angles in the eye, as an eye with poor capability to drain the aqueous fluid can lead to glaucoma. 
A Gonioscopy is performed by a BVA eye panellist to assess the drainage angles of the eye, & the possibility of a predisposition to glaucoma.

KC/BVA Elbow Displaysia scheme

Elbow displaysia is a condition involving developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint, specifically the growth of the cartilage or the structures surrounding it.  These abnormalities give rise to osteoarthritic processes.
Elbow x-raying by a veterinary surgeon & subsequent submission to the BVA for scoring is a procedure to establish the condition of the dogs elbows.

BAER Hearing testing

It has been ascertained that a small percentage of Border Collies suffer from either partial or total hearing loss (deafness).  There is current testing available, as well as more research being undertaken into the condition.
BAER Hearing testing can be performed on on puppies & adult dogs to establish the status of their hearing.

Other conditions

Epilepsy is known to affect Border Collies.  Unfortunately there is currently no available test to ascertain the status of a dog for this disease. 

About us

The inaugural meeting of the Border Collie Club of Great Britain took place on the 6th August, 1973. 40 years on, the club remains the premier Border Collie breed club in the UK.