When you are looking at adopting a Border Collie (and many other dogs) two health issues are frequently discussed, the genetic health of the dog and hip & elbow scoring.
Hip & Elbow scoring
The hips and elbows of any dog can often
be impacted by injury, disease or deterioration. This impacts the dog's quality of life and often, the whole family.
When adopting a pup you can enquire about the parents' hip and elbow scores which can give you some guidance as to the soundness of
Hip and elbow scoring involves xrays being taken of an adult (more than one year old) dog's hips and elbows and a specialist then examines the xrays and gives each joint a score. The score can be expressed as the number for each joint: 1:1
or as a total combined score: 2.
The highest possible score for hips is 53:53 or total 106, and the border collie average is 6.3 total. When looking at these scores, the lower the number and the more even the number the better. For example, 4:4
is better than 1:7 even though the total score for both is 8.
Elbows are scored in Grades - Grade 0 (normal) Grade 1, Grade 2 & Grade 3. The numbers represent degrees of change from normal. When looking at these scores, the lower the number and
the more even the number the better too.
Genetic testing is improving all the time. Breeders can now test for a wide range of gentic traits including colour and coat length and type, as well as many health traits
The most serious diseases which can affect Border Collies which we can test for are listed below. All our dogs are genetically tested before breeding to ensure that we can breed out genetic disease where possible, and ensure that
any dog we breed will never develop one of the following diseases.
TNA, Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome
This disease stops the puppy's immune system working properly, and pups often die because of infections. They very rarely survive beyond their
first few months.
CEA/CH, Collie Eye Anomaly / Choroidal Hypoplasia
This is an inherited eye condition where parts of the eye do not develop properly. The condition can impact the dog's sight a little, or a lot. It does not progress so some dogs
can live with the impaired vision it causes.
CL, Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
This is a very rare condition where the dog's body cannot remove waste products from the blood. This waste builds up and kills off brain cells. This leads to problems with
movement, vision and behaviour. Symptoms do not appear until the dog is an adolescent and most dogs who develop the condition cannot survive.