Common Border Collie Health Issues: What To Be Aware Of?

Border Collie Health Issues. Photo of a Border Collie in the vet doing a checkup.

Border Collies are extremely active dogs, but they do have some potential health issues that all owners should be aware of.

In this article, we’ll go over some common Border Collie health concerns and how to best prevent them from occurring in your beloved pet!

Border Collies are susceptible to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, heart disease, and eye problems, including cataracts and retinal atrophy.

Given the Border Collie’s intelligence and high energy levels, it is important to keep them in shape by giving them proper exercise and keeping their weight down.

Do Border Collies have a lot of health issues?

The Border Collie is a healthy breed with relatively few genetic defects.

But, like all purebred dogs, they are more susceptible to specific health problems that can be passed down genetically. There are many different Border Collies in the world, and some of them have certain diseases or disorders that others do not have, which is why it’s best to purchase your pup from a reputable breeder.

Top 6 Common Border Collie Health Issues

The only downside to this breed is that there are some common health issues to them. As responsible Border Collie owners, we must be aware of these issues, so that we can be more diligent in caring for our beloved Border Collies helping in increasing their lifespan and living a long life.

Here are six most common Border Collie health issues are as follows:

Malignant Hyperthermia (MHS)

If you know that your dog has the Malignant Hyperthermia gene, then you need to be aware of this issue so you can take steps to prevent overheating.

Malignant Hyperthermia is a serious but rare disease. It can result in muscle strokes and organ failure.

Epilepsy Seizures

Epilepsy in Border Collies is a disorder that leads to seizures. Border Collies can get two main types of seizures: focal and generalized.

Focal seizures occur when there is an abnormal electrical discharge in a small area of one hemisphere of the brain.

Generalized seizures are when there are abnormal electrical discharges in both hemispheres of the brain.

A seizure is scary to watch, but you should keep your distance during this time. It is important not to put anything in their mouth during a seizure or try to restrain them. It’s also essential for pet owners to recognize seizures and take their furry friends to the vet as soon as possible.

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

Collie eye anomaly is a congenital disorder that affects the eyes. Collie eye anomaly affects the retina of your dog’s eyes, which can result in impaired vision or even blindness.

The retina is considered a part of the central nervous system, so CEA is categorized as a neurological disorder.

The retina can detach or degenerate when affected by this condition, leading to blindness.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD or OD)

Osteochondritis dissecans is a condition where the cartilage in joints dies due to poor blood flow. This can result in loose bone chips forming, which cause pain and lameness.

Border Collies are predisposed to OCD, but only a small percentage of them will actually develop it.

This type of OCD usually occurs when there is rapid growth of the long bones.

Although OCD cannot be cured, it can be managed with pain medications and special diets.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery and the aorta. These two parts of the cardiovascular system work in opposition, so this vessel allows for them to be connected while still allowing blood to flow through both vessels when necessary.

In Border Collie puppies less than three weeks old, their bodies do not have a mechanism to keep this vessel open, allowing for blood flow to become separated between the two.

In some Border Collies, this vessel never closes on its own. This results in an inability to supply the puppies’ bodies with enough oxygen throughout their lives.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that affects the retina, which can lead to blindness.

This disorder has a number of different causes, but it is believed to be genetic in origin.

There is no known cure for Progressive retinal atrophy, so affected dogs will eventually go blind. The average age of diagnosis is 3 years, although it can only be detected with testing.


The canine eye can be affected by several different types of cataracts, which is a clouding of the lens. This can lead to impaired vision and even blindness.

Border Collies are more susceptible to cataracts than other breeds, but they can occur in any dog at any age.

If your Border Collie is diagnosed with cataracts, there are several treatments available, including surgery.


Like humans, Border Collies can also suffer from allergies. Allergies in dogs can be caused by environmental factors, such as pollen, or they can be food-related.

Some common signs that your Border Collie may be suffering from allergies include itching, scratching, and sneezing.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are two conditions that affect the joints. These conditions can lead to pain, arthritis, and even lameness.

Both of these disorders are caused by abnormal joint development, which is often genetic.

Border Collies are predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia, but it can also occur in any breed of dog.

There are several treatments available for Border Collies with these disorders, including surgery and physical therapy.

Metabolic and Digestive Disorders

Border Collies can also suffer from a number of disorders, such as pancreatitis, liver disease, and intestinal blockages.

If your Border Collie is displaying any signs of a metabolic or digestive disorder, take him to the vet as soon as possible. These disorders can be life-threatening if not treated.

Border Collie collapse

Border Collie collapse is a condition that is still being studied. This disorder appears to be caused by a neurological problem, and it can cause sudden weakness, seizures, or even death.

This condition has been reported in Border Collies all over the world, but there is still much that is unknown about it.

There is no cure for Border Collie’s collapse, but there are ways to help manage the symptoms.

What is the most common cause of death for Border Collies?

Several causes can affect this breed of herding dogs, the most common cause of death is actually old age and heart failure.

This is because Border Collies are predisposed to several different heart diseases and conditions, including cardiomyopathy.

But, keep in mind that, Border Collie’s life span is typically 10-12 years, and with proper care and management many of these health conditions can be successfully treated.

Preventing some of these common Border Collie health issues

Although some of these diseases are genetic, there are also many things that you can do to help prevent them.

For example, making sure your Border Collie gets regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can help keep their joints healthy.

If you are concerned about your Border Collie developing one of these health issues, be sure to talk to your veterinarian. They will be able to give you more specific advice on how to keep your Border Collie healthy.

Regular Veterinary Checkups

Regular veterinary exams can help keep your Border Collie happy and healthy for years to come.

Routine blood testing prior to breeding can also help minimize the risk of passing on any genetic disorders to your puppies.

It also would be a good idea to get pet health insurance for your Border Collie. There are a number of good companies out there, so be sure to do your research.


As you can see, Border Collies can suffer from a variety of health issues. It’s important to be aware of these conditions and take your furry friend to the vet if you think they may be suffering from one of them. By doing so, you can help ensure that your Border Collie lives a long and healthy life.

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Andre Neves

Hi, I'm Andre and I'm the owner of Sula the Border Collie. I love writing about this amazing dog breed here. I joined the Council to be able to reach and educate more people on the joy of having a pet dog.