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 maturity.
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 animal.
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 together.