Caring for Border Collies

The Most Common Border Collie Health Problems

A very popular pick in breed for those who enjoy the great outdoors and love to exercise and take long walks is the Border Collie. Historically the Border Collie is well known as a working dog and although nowadays they are not viewed so much as herding dogs meant to be on farms and more like pets, when it comes to working dog perfect for herding and popularly used on farms the world over, the Border Collie is the top choice.

A dog who is extremely active and loves to be on the go spending a great deal of time outdoors, generally the Border Collie is one of the healthiest dogs in existence, they are hardy and very robust. That being said, pedigree dog breeds have their own set of health problems to be aware of and Border Collies are no exception, here are a few common Border Collie health problems.

The Life Span of a Border Collie

The average lifespan of an Border Collie is around twelve years, the range can naturally and normally be between ten to seventeen years. That being said there are Border Collies who have been known to live a much longer time than that, there are times that they live far into their twenties.

stevelancaster / Pixabay


A very common Border Collie health problem is epilepsy, this is considered to have a certain genetic factor involved. Epilepsy can lead to periods of unconsciousness, seizures and fugues. Although there is no cure to epilepsy, the condition can for the most part be manageable, for starters there are anti-seizure medications which can be used and for the most part Border Collies are known to lead otherwise healthy and full lives even when dealing with epilepsy.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia in Border Collies is an inherited condition which will generally become apparent by the time a Border Collie turns two years of age. This can be accompanied by elbow dysplasia, it is a bit more uncommon, however both conditions may present concurrently. It is a fact however that Border Collies who do suffer from dysplasia in the hip or elbows will have and ancestral history of one or both conditions, these Border Collies should not be used for breeding purposes.

Border Collie Eye Anomaly

Another very common Border Collie health problems is known as Collie eye anomaly, this defect is inherited and could lead to blindness. This is not a progressive disease, it will not imply the worsening of the dog’s level of vision as time goes by.

Collie Hearing

There are a couple of hearing conditions which are inherited and can affect the Border Collie and those are adult onset hearing loss and a defect in hearing or deafness that accompanies a gene associated with the color pigmentation if a Border Collie’s coat.

Kaz / Pixabay

Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome

This is a disease which is hereditary in Border Collies, it causes the inability of the bone marrow to effectively release the much needed white blood cells into their bloodstream. The immune system is by default seriously weakened and the dogs susceptibility to contracting infectious illnesses and disease and being able to fight them is greatly increased. This is a disease which can be fatal, there is no cure for it but there can be DNA tests performed to see if the dog is a carrier.

Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

This condition is unique to Border Collies, it is however not found in working dog lines, only in show dog lines. This will cause not only serious neurological impairment but will also dramatically shorten their lifespan.

These are the most common Border Collie health problems,some can be avoided with proper eating and exercise while other can only be detected with DNA testing to prevent breeding and passing the condition on.

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