JavaScript Free Code
Chocabloc Border Collies

Border Collie Health

The health and happiness of our dogs here at Chocabloc is our utmost priority and that's why we know the DNA status for hereditary disease of each of our family members.

There are 3 main hereditary health issues when it comes to the Border Collie. These are known as Collie Eye Anomoly (CEA), Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CL) and Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS).

COLLIE EYE ANOMOLY (CEA)

CEA is the most common inherited disease for Border Collies. It is interesting to note that this is not the only breed that can be affected, many of the larger breeds can pass it on.  CEA is an inherited disease affecting eye development. The major issue is 'choroidal hypoplasia', a pale patch in the back of the eye caused by abnormal development of the choroid layer. In severe cases can cause blindness. CEA refers to an inherited abnormality in the development of the retina, optic nerve and choroid of the eye. These are all structures at the back of the eye involved with the vision. CEA is a multigenetic trait, is present at birth and does not change with age. There are varying degrees of abnormality with CEA. It can affect one eye or both, from a mild case where vision may be reduced to severe CEA with retinal detachment and total loss of vision.

We are very fortunate that there is a DNA test for CEA to help breeders to choose appropriate mating combinations. Please see the chart at the bottom of the page for mating combinations.

 CEA test results are either Normal/Clear-  which means that the dog is completely free of both the disease and also does not carrying the gene which will produce the disease. This dog can be mated to a clear dog or a carrier dog without passing on the condition.

 Carrier- this means that the dog does not have the disease but carries the gene which may produce the disease. A dog that is a carrier of a disease can be mated with another that is clear and all of the progeny from this litter will be free of the disease. Under no circumstances should a carrier of a disease be mated with another carrier or affected of the same disease.

 Affected- A dog has the described disease. A dog which is affected with a disease can be bred with another dog that is clear of the same disease and all of the puppies from the mating will be not be affected with the disease but will all be carriers.

 Mating combinations are chosen to make sure that no puppy will ever have the disease, be affected by it.

It is never possible to guarantee that puppies will not suffer from eye problems because although their parents may have been tested, some problems only appear when the dog is older. Some eye conditions are inherited recessively which is why we test our dogs to hopefully ensure that no puppy bred at Chocabloc will have those diseases able to be tested for.

 

NEURONAL CEROID LIPOFUSCINOSIS (CL)

This is an inherited disease, which is not contagious, but it is fatal and cannot be treated. It affects the nervous system including the brain. Ceroid Lipofuscinosis is known as Battens Disease in Humans.

CL has been found in other breeds of dogs i.e. Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, English Setters, Miniature Schnauzers, Rough Collies, and Salukis as well as in Devon Cattle, South Hampshire Sheep and in Siamese Cats

The occurrence of CL in Border Collies is not the fault of any one person or group. The defective gene was carried by an imported dog at a time when the disease was unidentified. Since then, CL has occurred sporadically, as most Australian bred Border Collies are descended from that dog. Affected animals appear normal until aged approx 15 months. From that age any or all of the following signs may be noted:

  • Unreasonable apprehension or fear of familiar objects/surroundings
  • sight disturbance,
  • abnormal gait – is unsteady on feet and has difficulty in climbing or jumping, tends to prop or goose step,
  • demented behaviour,
  • mania,
  • hyperactivity,
  • rage,
  • disorientation,
  • fixations,
  • loss of toilet training,
  • strange or abnormal behaviour

The progress and effect of the symptoms will steadily continue to deteriorate and medication cannot improve the condition. Affected animals have all been euthanased by the age of 3½ years. CL symptoms can be confused with other brain disorders.

 

We are very fortunate that there is a DNA test for CL to help breeders to choose appropriate mating combinations.

 CL test results are either Normal/Clear-  which means that the dog is completely free of both the disease and also does not carrying the gene which will produce the disease. This dog can be mated to a clear dog or a carrier dog without passing on the condition.

 Carrier- this means that the dog does not have the disease but carries the gene which may produce the disease. A dog that is a carrier of a disease can be mated with another that is clear and all of the progeny from this litter will be free of the disease. Under no circumstances should a carrier of a disease be mated with another carrier or affected of the same disease.

 Affected- A dog has the described disease. A dog which is affected with a disease can be bred with another dog that is clear of the same disease and all of the puppies from the mating will be not be affected with the disease but will all be carriers.

 Mating combinations are chosen to make sure that no puppy will ever have the disease or be affected by it. See table at the bottom of the page for clarification. 

TRAPPED NEUTROPHIL SYNDROME (TNS)

TNS stands for Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome. It is an immune deficiency in Border collies. It is an inherited disorder that is very common in all populations of Border collies with more than 10% of both working and show dogs carrying the defective gene and capable of having affected puppies. Please note that occurrences of dogs affected with TNS are quite rare.

  • TNS is a condition where the bone marrow produces neutrophils but they are not released into the bloodstream. This results in an impaired immune system that cannot fight infections.
  • Symptoms are variable, many of the reported TNS puppies have been born looking normal but others have been born small.

  • Some puppies with TNS have been small and fine boned with narrow heads at some point but this may not be evident until approx 16 weeks.

  • A common first sign is a bad reaction to vaccinations with signs of fever.

  • Blood tests may show an abnormally low segmented neutrophil level but TNS can only be definitely diagnosed by bone marrow biopsy.

  • Any puppy that shows any signs of infection or failure to thrive is a possible case of TNS.

  • There is no cure for TNS and it appears to always be fatal eventually. Antibiotic and steroid treatment can help affected dogs live a relatively active life.

  • TNS is an autosomal recessive condition.

  • The symptoms are extremely variable and will depend on the bacteria that the pup encounters. There may also be other genes that effect the disease expression.

  • Some dogs do not show symptoms until later in life. Older puppies & young adult dogs diagnosed with immune system problems may have TNS so they should also be tested with the DNA test

TNS test results are either Normal/Clear-  which means that the dog is completely free of both the disease and also does not carrying the gene which will produce the disease. This dog can be mated to a clear dog or a carrier dog without passing on the condition.

 Carrier- this means that the dog does not have the disease but carries the gene which may produce the disease. A dog that is a carrier of a disease can be mated with another that is clear and all of the progeny from this litter will be free of the disease. Under no circumstances should a carrier of a disease be mated with another carrier or affected of the same disease.

 Affected- A dog has the described disease. A dog which is affected with a disease can be bred with another dog that is clear of the same disease and all of the puppies from the mating will be not be affected with the disease but will all be carriers.

 

Other issues and diseases found in Border Collies are also shown below, once again the incidence of these is small but can occur in the breed, hence the need for careful planning in the mating of 2 animals.

CANINE HIP DYSPLASIA

Hip Dysplasia in dogs is a disease that is characterised by instability of the hip joint (laxity), pain and eventually degenerative joint disease. Like most medium and large sized dogs, Border Collies can be prone to Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) which can cause mild to severe lameness. As a dog approaches middle age, symptoms of CHD often show up as mild arthritis- the dog limps or appears somewhat stiff after hard exercise or upon getting up from a nap. Often the dog seems fine after he moves around and stretches himself a bit. These symptoms can become worse as the dog ages. Treatment varies from pain management to several choices of surgery (including total hip replacement). Please note: One of the major causes of CHD is rough play, or slipping on floors or stairs as puppies.

 

 

Expected Results of Mating Combinations for Inherited Recessive Diseases
Parent 1
Parent 2    
Normal Carrier Affected
Normal All = Normal 1/2 = Normal
1/2 = Carriers
All = Carriers
Carrier 1/2 = Normal
1/2 = Carriers
1/4 = Normal
1/2 = Carriers
1/4 = Affected
1/2 = Carriers
1/2 = Affected
Affected All = Carriers 1/2 = Carriers
1/2 = Affected
All = Affected

 

Acceptable Mating Combinations

DNA tested clear dog to clear dog = all offspring clear.
DNA tested clear dog to carrier dog = acceptable as this will not
produce any affected pups. Offspring will be clear or carrier.
DNA tested clear dog to affected dog = acceptable as this will not
produce any affected pups. All offspring will be carriers.