How long do Border Collies live?
The Border Collie is generally healthy and can live up to 12–15 years. However, he is predisposed to certain medical conditions, including:
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
It is a hereditary eye disease in the Border Collie breed that can afflict puppies as young as 2 years old. CEA causes the choroid, which a thin tissue in the eye, to thin out. This can result in a slew of other eye disorders including coloboma, retinal detachment, staphyloma, and even blindness.
If a Border Collie starts having cloudy eyes and smaller and sunken eyeballs, these are the signs that he is suffering from CEA.
Unfortunately, this condition has no treatment. However, laser surgery for Border Collies with severe CEA can help lessen the disease's adverse effects.
In mild cases, CEA may not exacerbate and may not require temporary treatment. However, always get your dog checked by the vet to monitor his condition.
Another common Border Collie inherited disorder is hip dysplasia. This painful condition happens due to the inability of the thighbone and hip joint to fit each other.
Lack of proper treatment can lead to lameness on the hind limbs, loss of thigh muscle mass, and stiffness of the joints. It can also cause arthritis as the dog ages.
The treatment of hip dysplasia can vary depending on how severe it is. Pain medication and physical therapy may be needed for Collies with mild hip dysplasia. For severe cases, surgery may be advised.
The Border Collie breed is prone to developing this neurological problem. It can lead him to experience seizures that can range from mild to severe. Dangerous situations may arise once seizures occur as it can cause the dog to lose consciousness, stagger, or fall down. Symptoms of epilepsy may show within the first 6 months.
Be sure to get a proper diagnosis from the vet to rule out any other underlying causes for this condition. Once the root of the seizure is determined, proper treatment will be administered.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Another common Border Collie disease is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which is a group of eye issues. It is a degenerative problem that slowly deteriorates the retina.
This can weaken the dog's vision, cause night blindness, and induce permanent blindness. PRA usually occurs in 3-year-old Border Collies, but younger puppies can develop it as well.
Blind Collies are known to adapt to their surroundings quickly. With that said, keeping your home safe for your dog is a big priority to avoid accidents. Avoid rearranging furniture, instal baby gates, and use a shorter lead during walks are some of the few things required to keep a blind Collie safe.
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
The Border Collie is prone to acquire osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is a joint disease characterised by abnormal cartilage growth in the joints. This causes the joints to break down, which can lead to extreme pain. OCD usually occurs in the elbows and sometimes on the shoulders too. Border Collie puppies as young as 3–9 months old can suffer from this condition.
The Border Collie breed can suffer from lameness, swollen joints, and wasting of muscles if he has OCD. Overfeeding Border Collie puppies with high protein food or puppy food containing growth formula is linked to the development of this disease. Treatment for OCD often involves arthroscopy or surgery.
Be sure to buy a Border Collie puppy from a reputable breeder whose breeding stocks are health-screened. When potential parent breeds are tested, it shows what kinds of diseases they may pass off to their offspring.
Health screening lessens the probability of breeders to produce sickly puppies. Suggested testing for the Border Collie dog breed includes hip, eye, and thyroid evaluation and DNA exam.
How much exercise does a Border Collie need?
The Border Collie herding breed requires plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation. As a workaholic canine, a Bored Collie will find something to amuse himself, which is usually destructive. His exercise routine can be a mix of 40–60-minute walk, along with agility training or games throughout the day.
The Border Collie would greatly enjoy living on a farm where he can play dog sports or herd live stocks. As a highly energetic dog, the Border Collie excels in different canine sports such as agility, fly ball, flying disk competitions, and tracking.