Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Border Collie puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Border Collies, the best dog food diet for feeding Border Collie puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Border Collie dog breed

Border Collie Health Problems and Raising a Border Collie Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in Border Collies:

Hip dysplasia is the most common orthopedic disease in Border Collies. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 6870 Border Collies and found 11% dysplastic. That's high for a medium size dog, and the true rate is higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. In comparison, the rate for Collies is 3% and the rate for Australian Shepherds is 6%.

Another orthopedic disease found regularly in Border Collies is osteochondritis.

The most common eye disease is collie eye anomaly. It is estimated that about 2.5% of Border Collies in North America are affected with CEA, with another 25% being carriers.

Other eye diseases in Border Collies include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), lens luxation, corneal dystrophy, and coloboma.

Epilepsy (seizures) is being reported more and more often in Border Collies – this is a growing concern.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 17% of Border Collies have hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels).

Other health issues that occur in the Border Collie are heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus), cerebellar ataxia, lysosomal storage disease, and inherited deafness in Border Collie puppies with a lot of white on their head.

Border Collies and other collie-type breeds often react adversely to certain drugs such as ivermectin (in heartworm prevention products such as Heartguard), Imodium A-D, flagyl, and certain anesthetics. If your dog has a mutant gene called mdr1, he cannot pump these drugs out of his brain, which results in neurological toxicity. Don't give any of these drugs to your Border Collie unless he has been tested for this mutant gene. It's a simple DNA test offered by the Washington State University Veterinary School.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Border Collie?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Border Collies today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Border Collie puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Border Collie puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Border Collie puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Border Collie lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Border Collie
The best diet for feeding your Border Collie is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Border Collie. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Border Collie
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Border Collie. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Border Collie puppy really need? Does your adult Border Collie need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Border Collie. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Border Collie. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Border Collie.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.