As with any breed of dog there is always the risk of health problems.
With the Collie there are different health concerns, such as Collie nose,
CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia), CEA (Collie eye abnormalities), Epilepsy,
Bloat and Kennel Cough.
Collie nose is a condition that causes lesions to the nose, lips and
eyelids. This condition is caused by a lack of skin pigment and is
aggravated by sunlight. Treatment can include applications of sunscreen,
limited exposure to direct sunlight and permanent tattooing of the skin
to make the pigment darker.
Due to the Collie being a large breed of dog they have a higher risk for
certain health problems, one of which is Canine Hip Dysplasia, where
there is an abnormal formation of the hip joint. This will commonly
develop after eight months of age when the Collie reaches skeletal
Possible causes could be genetics, lack of activity, poor diet or
obesity. Dogs that are given little exercise and fed a low protein dog
food have both a lack of activity and a poor diet and will have a higher
chance of developing Canine Hip Dysplasia then that of an active dog who
is fed a healthy diet. Canine Hip Dysplasia can either have a gradual or
sudden onset and can sometimes cause severe pain. This can be diagnosed
with an x-ray of the hips.
Untreated, it can lead to crippling lameness and arthritis, which can
both be very painful. A preventive treatment for CHD includes keeping
your dog active, on a healthy diet and weight management. Treatments can
include medication or surgical intervention.
CEA (Collie eye abnormalities) is an inherited disease caused by a
genetic defect, and is where the eyes do not develop normally. It
involves the cornea, sclera and retina. Collie eye abnormality can have
mild effects or total blindness; unfortunately there is no treatment for
this disease. There are tests that can be done on the parents to assess
the risks of the offspring developing this condition before breeding the
Collie health problems can also include epilepsy, which is a neurological
condition that causes the development of seizures. Epilepsy can be either
a congenital (inherited) or acquired disease. The seizures can be
controlled with medication.
Bloat can be a serious condition which involves gastric dilation, where
the stomach fills with air and puts pressure on the other organs. When
this happens the stomach can twist and pinch off the blood supply to the
stomach. When this happens the health of the animal will deteriorate
rapidly. This condition requires immediate assistance of a veterinarian
and is very painful to the animal, not to mention costly.
Kennel Cough is a dry cough accompanied by thick nasal drainage, fever
and lethargy. This can be caused by one of many factors, including
overcrowded kennels and a stressful environment. Luckily, this condition
can easily be treated with a course of antibiotics.
As you can see there are many health concerns for the Collie, as there
are with any animal. Keeping Collie health problems from affecting your
Collie can be as simple as following a good exercise and diet plan. Keep
kennels clean and spacious, and pay attention to your Collie so that you
will be quick to recognize unusual behavior. These simple steps can help
to assure that you and your Collie will have many wonderful years