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A Guide to Caring for Your Border Collie

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The Border Collie Puppy is one of the most intelligent, hard-working canines around. Whether you need an athletic animal companion to help you stay active or an excellent farm-working dog, a developing Border Collie is a perfect fit. The energy and trainability of the Border Collie Puppy are what make them such a unique medium-sized breed. A Border Collie Puppy can grow to roughly eighteen to twenty-two inches tall at the shoulders and can weigh between thirty to fifty-five pounds. The physical characteristics of Border Collie Puppies and adult collies are what make them such eye-catching pets for dog lovers. The muscular, yet nimble build, double wavy coating, and intelligent gaze are all contributing factors to the Border Collie Puppies’ distinctness.

What makes Border Collie Puppies and growing collies such special dogs is their ability to learn routine tasks and follow through with completing them. This type of work ethic is a trait that makes them one of the best pet choices for industrious, active families. For example, raising farm animals and protecting them can be challenging without a little help. It’s common practice for a farmer or rancher to train their little Border Collie Puppies and grown collies to handle herding and protecting the farm animals. It’s quite impressive to watch the YouTube videos of a Border Collie Puppy following commands as if they’re naturally tuned in to listen. This dog breed has even gained fame in the film industry, as a Border Collie named “Rex” was featured in the classic 1995 film, Babe. One of the memorable lines from the movie includes Rex telling Babe, “You and I are descended from the great sheepdogs…” Interestingly enough, in 1995 the Border Collie Puppy was officially accepted into the American Kennel Club’s herding group.

Don’t be surprised if you find the sudden motivation to get active when you have a Border Collie Puppy in the house. When they aren’t kept busy focusing on routine tasks, they love to play. Imagine, you’re training for a marathon and finding it difficult to reach your physical goals. A Border Collie Puppy or adult collie will gladly run alongside you, putting in the daily road work without complaint. The stunning fur coating is commonly black and white, but can also range from red and blue to gold, sable, and brindle. They have conscientious personalities, with famed poets like Robert Burns writing about them in his poem, The Twa Dogs. He held his Border Collie Puppy in high esteem, describing them as honest and faithful animal companions.

Origins of the Border Collie Puppy

According to AKC, this tough dog breed is believed to be the descendent of sheep-herding dogs of Southeastern Europe and the Nordic countries. This fact is evident in their behavior, as they have been proven to be outstanding herders and dedicated canine homestead workers. Border Collie Puppies and grown collies have striking, medium-length fur coating, protective natures, and lively personalities that only add to their popularity. Border Collie Puppies are farm-friendly and family-friendly canines with an inclination for being alert and engaging. Originally bred to herd sheep and other livestock, the history of the Border Collie Puppy is just as intriguing as their character traits.

Did you know, the Border Collie Puppy is descended from the herding dogs used by the Roman Empire? Roman sheepherding dogs were large, with dense bones and strong wills. They were bred for herding and protecting livestock. For three centuries, the Roman herding canines dominated the livestock farms of those regions. Once the Scandinavian forces, commonly referred to as the Viking raiders, invaded Britain, the sheepdogs that accompanied them proved to be just as reliable and valuable for farms and livestock. The Scandinavian dogs were similar to the spitz-type herding dogs of the Icelandic regions. They were smaller than the large Roman sheepdogs and just as skilled. The tough, large, and domineering Roman herding dogs bred with the Viking’s intelligent and agile spitz-type canines. This union resulted in one of the best sheepdog breeds known today as the famed Border Collie Puppy. With such athletically talented, strong-willed ancestry, it wasn’t long before Border Collie Puppies became commonplace in the rocky, hill-scape highlands of Scotland and Wales. Labeled as excellent work stock dogs, this cattle-raising breed grew in popularity over the centuries. The Border Collie Puppy was eventually used as herding dogs across many territories of the United Kingdom. Border Collie Puppies also caught the attention of royalty and became a regular presence on royal grounds.

They are often associated with other sheepdog types, and there are historical photographic accounts of growing Border Collie Puppies aiding in homesteads across Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, and other European countries over the past century. This dog breed originated along the border of Scotland and England, which contributed to the first half of the breeds’ name, “border.” The second half of the designation, “collie” has multiple meanings that possibly stem from Scottish, Gaelic, English, and German words. Collie, as a Scottish word, is used when referring to sheepdogs. According to the Irish etymology of a Border Collie Puppy, the Gaelic meaning of collie is “useful.” In English, the word collie is believed to stem from the word “coolie” meaning “worker.” This same meaning is associated with the German word “kuli” which is also suspected to be another root word for “collie.”

Border Collie running through grass field

Border Collie Puppies and Intelligence

One of the leading character traits of Border Collie Puppies and grown collies is their trainability. They can learn simple and complex tasks. These mid-sized canines can easily follow keywords, hand signals, or whistling commands. Known on the global stage as diligent, extremely smart canines, Border Collie Puppies and adult collies can be trained for a variety of jobs. Take helping first responders, for example. The Border Collie Puppy, once fully grown, has proven to be just as helpful in search and rescue operations as they are working on any homestead.

Border Collie Puppies and fully grown collies have garnered celebrity-status attention due to their record-breaking history. For instance, this dog breed has set records for being able to recognize hundreds of objects. They’re able to understand a wide array of hand signals and auditory commands. A Border Collie Puppy can also be trained to balance objects on their heads while moving an impressive distance. They have even gotten the spotlight for learning to ride a skateboard and for rolling down car windows.

Border Collie Puppies are rambunctious, and grown collies are known for being workaholics with the athleticism and intelligence to prove it. Their ability to comprehend verbal and non-verbal commands, recognize objects, and learn complicated tasks is what makes them such a desirable breed. Not only are they lovable and loyal to their families, but they also excel at obedience training, conditioning and agility lessons, and herding or similar farming, cattle-raising, or homestead tasks. Growing Border Collie Puppies, also known as BC’s, continues to dominate competitions in sheepdog events across the British Isles.

Health Conditions

Data shows Border Collie Puppies may be prone to particular health conditions. For instance, research has shown that developing Border Collie Puppies might be at risk of bone and hip issues, eye conditions, or cerebral problems. If your adorable Border Collie Puppies experience a retinal problem, blindness, hearing issues, or deafness, as long as there is an effective, veterinarian-approved treatment plan, they can live a happy, fulfilling life. Taking a holistic approach to your animal companions’ health and well-being will have a significant impact on their quality of life. This means considering all health aspects of your Border Collie Puppy, such as addressing their physical, cognitive, and emotional needs.

Like all dogs, there are several root causes to any mental or physical problems the aging Border Collie Puppy may experience. For example, if you adopted a Border Collie Puppy or adult collie, they may have come from a negative living situation. Or, they might be experiencing increased anxiety due to being separated from their previous family. This transition can be shocking for them, so don’t be surprised if they need time to adjust to a new family. Aside from their emotional needs, Border Collie Puppies and adult collies do have health problems related to their genetics. Cognitive or physical health issues could be hereditary. Taking a deeper dive into the health of your Border Collie Puppies and their family history could help explain some of the current mental health or physical issues your beloved pets might be enduring.

Psychological Health

Border Collie Puppies are intelligent, trainable, hard-working, and loyal, however, their genetics reveal a predisposition for psychological health issues. These problems aren’t common, but veterinarians can help examine the mental health of your collie. Getting regular checkups for your Border Collie Puppy is a must to rule out cognitive diseases. A Border Collie Puppy is naturally energetic and prefers to be active. If you notice your playful canine is lethargic, has low energy, or struggles to listen to your commands when they were once so attentive, these could all be signs of possible mental health problems. Instances where their mood seems low and then they become aggressive or have incessant barking are also examples of possible psychological stressors. They can experience separation anxiety when there are random changes to their routine or if they are being dog-sat by someone they aren’t familiar with. Ask yourself, are they getting enough exercise or mental stimulation? Adequate exercise and mental stimulation are important for Border Collie Puppies and fully grown collies because they like to stay busy and are mindful of their tasks. A lack of physical or mental work could have negative results on the psychological well-being of your Border Collie Puppies.

Neural problems, such as epilepsy, can be an inherited trait or caused by head trauma. Border Collie Puppies and grown collies favor physical activity. As the Border Collie Puppy grows, they can become agile, athletic canines. This doesn’t mean that they are immune from head trauma due to clumsiness or accidents. For example, a growing Border Collie Puppy that helps raise cattle may jump onto large hay bales. Falling from such a height could cause them some injury if they hit their heads. They can sustain head trauma without anyone ever knowing what happened. Aggressive encounters and fights with other dogs or violent animals can cause trauma as well. If this is the case, your Border Collie Puppy could be feeling heightened anxiety, stress, mood swings, or even bouts of depression. If they seem more hyperactive, exhibit unpredictable, or negative behaviors, these could also be signs your Border Collie Puppy might have a cognitive or psychological health issue. Negative changes to their attitudes include excessive jumping or bouncing, increased excitability, an increased state of fear triggered by sounds or people, incessant panting, or acting as though they may have a panic attack. Accurately tracking and monitoring the behaviors of your Border Collie Puppy and adult collie will make it easier to figure out the root cause of the mental health issue.

Border Collie sitting in field of heather

Seizure or Epilepsy in Border Collie Puppies

Sadly, seizures in Border Collie Puppies and grown collies do happen and there are several root causes. A seizure can happen during moments of transitioning brain activity, like times of excitement, just as they’re falling asleep or waking up, or when they’re experiencing high stress, and even while they’re feeding. Seizures could also be due to an inherited health issue. In some cases, the seizures can be related to underlying health causes or trauma. A seizure can happen if your Border Collie Puppy or adult canine consumed poison, has high or low blood sugar levels, anemia, electrolyte imbalance, liver disease, kidney disease, strokes, brain cancer, encephalitis, or head injury. What are the symptoms of a seizure in your Border Collie Puppy or adult collie? The signs of a possible seizure can vary, however, recognizing the symptoms is integral to their health. If your Border Collie Puppy or adult doggo suddenly collapses, begins jerking as if they’re treading water, they stiffen, experience uncontrollable muscle twitching, lose consciousness, drool uncontrollably, begin chomping, tongue chewing, foaming at the mouth, lose control of their bladder, peeing, or defecating, these could all be signs they’re suffering from a seizure or having an epileptic episode. There are severe cases that can be life-threatening, so learning what the signs are is important.

Data has shown that seizures or epilepsy can be genetically related diseases in Border Collie Puppies. When repeated episodes of seizures happen, this is medically referred to as an epileptic episode. The most common type of seizure disorder a Border Collie Puppy may experience is idiopathic epilepsy or IE. This neurological disorder is defined by recurring seizures that may begin at a young age, when your Border Collie Puppy is just six months old or by the time they are five years old. These epileptic moments may occur just a few times in one day, days apart, or even weeks apart. IE is used to describe seizures that don’t have a known cause.

The different types of epilepsy include active epilepsy, status epilepticus, cluster seizure, and discrete seizure. There’s also a difference between seizures. The most common type of seizure is the grand mal seizure, also referred to as generalized seizures. If this happens, your Border Collie Puppy or aging collie may lose consciousness and start to convulse. The grand mal seizure can last for a few seconds or a few minutes. This is known as active epilepsy. Any seizure lasting longer than five minutes is known as status epilepticus and requires medical attention right away. A focal seizure or discrete seizure happens when only part of the brain is experiencing abnormal electrical activity. If you notice your Border Collie Puppy or adult collie is seizing and only part of their body is twitching or exhibiting abnormal movement, they could be having a focal seizure. This can also turn into a full-blown grand mal seizure. A cluster seizure occurs when your canine goes through multiple seizures in a short time. Your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie may also be confused and panic during or just after having a seizure. The times in-between these seizures, your doggo might exhibit normal behaviors and physical activity levels. Treatment for epileptic seizures usually involves medication to address the convulsions. Depending on the severity of the seizures, the veterinarian may require your Border Collie Puppy or other collies to take this medicine for the rest of their lives.

Neurological Disorders

Border Collie Puppies between two and seven months old are at some risk of sensory neuropathy which affects the nervous system. This disease is a serious neurological disorder in which the sensory and motor nerves begin to degrade. This degenerative neural disorder is considered an inherited disease. This means Border Collie Puppies of any type are at risk of developing this disorder. A neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a group of degenerative diseases affecting the central nervous system (CNS). This disease is a rare inherited disease that usually affects Border Collie Puppies between one and two years old. If you notice your growing Border Collie Puppy has high anxiety, increased aggression, compulsive behavior, is constantly circling, or no longer remembers the learned skills they’ve developed, these could all be signs of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. Other symptoms of this disorder include focal or generalized seizures, loss of vision, lack of coordination, or tremors. Cerebellar abiotrophy is an inherited cognitive disease that can affect Border Collie Puppies as young as four months old. It impacts the CNS, progressively degrading the neurons. Studies indicate the degeneration is connected to an unknown metabolic defect. Get the right diagnosis by finding a veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet can help you find a treatment plan that will alleviate the symptoms and decrease stress factors. Unfortunately, this disease has no cure and is life-threatening. The quality of life should be a primary focus for any Border Collie Puppy owner who wants to help their terminally ill canine companion live a fulfilling life.

Help your Border Collie Puppy Overcome Stress

Border Collie Puppies and grown collies love to stay busy. This could mean doing routine tasks on the farm, acting as an alert guard dog, being your physical training partner, or a combination of all of the above. Sadly, when they’re stressed, these tasks may become too challenging to complete. When your Border Collie Puppy or adult canine is stressed, verbal cues that show their emotional or mental state include increased whining, barking, growling, or making unfamiliar noises. They may behave this way due to external factors such as strangers passing by or loud, unexpected noises. Border Collie Puppies and adult collies, especially well-loved, loyal ones are more aware of their family’s emotional state and may mirror those feelings. If people in the household are feeling anxious or stressed, your Border Collie Puppy and other canines might be picking up on it as well.

Compulsive behavior could be a sign of high stress and anxiety, particularly in cases where your Border Collie Puppy or adult collie isn’t getting enough of a physical outlet. If they are kept busy and remain as active as ever, but you notice a random behavioral change, like compulsiveness, it could be a symptom of a cognitive issue manifesting itself as stress. Symptoms of stress in your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie include hyperactive behaviors such as constant pacing, restlessness, shaking, trembling, hyperventilating, or unbalanced breathing. They may exhibit repetitive compulsive behaviors like compulsive digging or rolling, excessive grooming and/or chewing, obsessing or fixating on toys or other objects, and tail or shadowing chasing. Physical behaviors that might indicate your Border Collie Puppies or grown collie is stressed include itchy skin, colitis or diarrhea, weight loss, increased or decreased appetite, vomiting or upset stomach, and lower physical conditioning or energy.

Further signs of stress include unpredictable nipping or aggression, clinginess, loss of concentration, disobeying, accidents or purposeful breaks to housetraining, marking their territories with urine, heightened defensiveness, ignoring you or being unresponsive, dilated pupils or glazed over stares, and they could become withdrawn. A Border Collie Puppy is well-known for listening and understanding commands, and all Border Collie Puppies can be trained in the same way. If they gradually stop following your directions or avert their gaze as you address them, they could be stressed out. Finding ways to manage their stress and keep them calm doesn’t have to be difficult. No one wants to witness their once active and playful dog exhibit signs of stress. Consider getting a calming cuddle bed or calming dog treats to help your Border Collie Puppy and adult canines relax and destress.

Two Border Collies sitting on gravel path

Collapse Disorders Related to Stress

Stress can also be caused by various types of exertion. Emotional exertion, in which your Border Collie Puppy or growing collie seems worried and anxious all the time, can lead to bouts of high stress or depression. During these states, they could develop separation anxiety, have excessive vocalizations, or go through character changes. Although they’re physically active dogs, there is a limit to their activity, and an otherwise athletically fit dog can experience physical exertion. Ensuring they get proper rest and nutrition to recover from hard work or highly active play is important. Border Collie Collapse (BCC) is a disorder that affects your animal companion’s nervous system and is triggered by physical exertion. Other terms for this condition include exercise-induced collapse, stress seizures, ‘the wobbles,’ and exercise-induced hyperthermia. Signs your dog might be suffering from BCC are they might seem confused, lacking coordination, are disoriented, could begin to stagger, sway, lose their footing, and fall or collapse to the ground after intense physical activity. They may love to work and complete tasks set before them, but remember, like humans, they deserve breaks and regular times to relax and unwind. To maximize their athletic potential, getting sufficient rest and adequate nutrition is integral to physical and mental health and well-being. If vigorous exercise seems to be a recurring problem for your Border Collie, you might have to reconsider the extent of physical activity they should receive. Decreasing their work, training, or exercise load will help minimize BCC and similar disorders. Keep in mind, regardless of whether your family pet is elderly or not, if they are retired from high octane working or exercise, you will have to make adjustments to their diets. Ensure your Border Collie Puppies and growing canines eat nutritious foods that will help maintain their weight and decrease the chances of weight gain, obesity, diabetes, or other gut health issues.

Anxiety

Many dog breeds suffer from different types of anxiety, including Border Collie Puppies and grown collies. They are known for their high energy and athleticism, which is what makes them such outstanding work dogs. It’s common to see a Border Collie tending to livestock on a ranch, farm, or homestead. This energetic trait is why they need space to run, play, or work. If they aren’t kept busy, it will open the door for anxiety-related behaviors, whether you are home or not. Sometimes, it’s from sheer boredom that a Border Collie Puppy or growing collie will act out, which makes keeping them busy while you’re away so important. As stated by the Merck Veterinary Manual, a dog with anxiety can exhibit behavioral problems. No dog-owner wants to come home to chewed-up furniture, fecal droppings, or a home that looks like a tornado ripped through it. Examples of keeping them busy at home include having a safe area and proper equipment for them to play with toys, jump, and run. Playing dog-friendly radio or TV programs while you’re away may also help deter negative behaviors. Anxiety, as experienced by humans and animals, is an emotional response to a possible threatening situation. This perceived threat to whatever triggering situation or stimulus can lead to changes in behavior and sometimes results in a physical reaction. According to AKC, there are three main types of dog anxieties; aging-related anxiety, fear-related anxiety, and separation anxiety.

Separation Anxiety

The most common type of anxiety a Border Collie Puppy and adult collie can experience is separation anxiety. Anytime your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie is left alone, they cannot handle it. Your dog isn’t able to process being away from you or the family, or simply isn’t comfortable being alone. In this situation, their anxiety usually manifests in several ways. Your Border Collie Puppy or older doggo could destroy things in the house, have incessant barking, or relieve themselves all over the house. Other signs that your Border Collie Puppies or growing collies might be living with an anxiety disorder include excessive drooling, depression, pacing, restlessness, destructive behavior, panting, and repetitive or compulsive behavior. When these behaviors are revealed, it’s important not to respond too harshly. These undesirable behaviors are simply an indication that they miss you and the family. How to react and treat the problem is vital to their mental health.

Fear-based Anxiety

Border Collie Puppies are brave and loyal canines, but they aren’t exempt from feeling fear, especially your little Border Collie Puppy. The common ways that fear-related anxiety can manifest are they can shake, bark, whine, urinate or defecate without much warning, or they might be more aggressive. Some of the things that can trigger their fear factors include strangers, changes to their living environment, new places, or visual stimuli like family members wearing hats, sunglasses, or holding an umbrella. Auditory triggers like loud noises, such as knocking, truck or car engines, and ambulances or police sirens can cause them anxiety. If your pet begins to act out while on car rides or when you arrive at the veterinarian’s office, these two situations might be the reason for their fear-based anxiety.

Border Collie laying in sand on beach

Age-related Anxiety

Age-related anxiety in your Border Collie is often connected to mental or cognitive decline. For example, if they are diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS, your dog’s capacity to learn and retain memory will begin to decline. Their overall awareness and perception will begin to deteriorate as well. These symptoms are similar to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. According to veterinarian experts, owners worried about their dog’s aging cognitive health can use the DISHAL acronym. It stands for disorientation, interactions (behavioral changes to relationships and interactions), sleep-wake cycle changes, house soiling (marking their scent everywhere or simply relieving themselves anywhere), activity changes, and learning difficulty or memory loss.

Sadly, it’s common for your senior dog to be anxious when they are struggling to recognize their family members and living space. They are naturally athletic, and that agility decreases as they age. If they are suffering from cognitive decline, not being able to remember their age will impact their behavior. For instance, your fluffy Border Collie Puppies have aged and they have developed hip dysplasia or restricted mobility. They’re in the early stages of CDS. They will experience age-related and fear-related anxiety as they attempt to move around. Regardless of the progressiveness of the disorder, keeping them calm and relaxed is a must. Make sure you get them to the veterinarian for a treatment plan that may include medications and supplements. To keep your attentive, hard-working, and well-deserving animal companion stress and anxiety-free, invest in calming products. From zen chews and calming sprays to cozy, comfortable bedding, your aging Border Collie Puppies will be happier for it.

Physical Health

It’s natural for your Border Collie Puppies to be full of energy for most of the day. This means they need physical activity to be healthy and happy. As studies have shown, the lack of ample exercise will have negative effects on the active breeds’ mental and physical health. This dog breed is descended from canines who were generally used for herding livestock. A physical characteristic today’s Border Collie Puppy has inherited includes that natural “herding eye” or alert gaze. Of course, not all Border Collie Puppy owners live on a homestead. Working in such an environment does get them enough physical activity. That doesn’t mean, however, that they have to work for hours on end every day. If you live in an urban area, going on plenty of walks with your pet is a must. For the average Border Collie Puppy, at least two hours of daily exercise should be adequate. Their level of activity also depends on what you train them for. An active show dog, for instance, can be trained to get through obstacle courses, run at top speeds, and obey various commands that require quick, physical reactions. Whether you have a relaxed animal companion, a farm-working one, or a show dog, make sure they are getting at least the minimum amount of exercise. Not meeting the bare minimum can lead to a decrease in athleticism and increases the chances of developing physical and mental health issues.

The majority of the physical health issues your animal companion is experiencing could be due to external factors, such as allergies, parasites, or their diet. These factors are easier to address because you can act on these root causes. The changes you introduce can range from using necessary prescribed medications to modifying their nutritional needs and living environment. Obesity only worsens existing health conditions and can increase overall health risks. If your Border Collie Puppy is suffering from serious bone and eye conditions, it may be hereditary. Regardless of the cause of their physical health issue, there is sufficient research on the topic to help you find some answers. When analyzing the root cause of any health issue, referring to your veterinarians’ expertise on the subject is recommended. Many of these inherited issues only impact a small percentage of this breed, so you shouldn’t worry about a lack of treatment options. Although there may be a genetic predisposition for certain health factors, there’s no reason why your Border Collie Puppy and adult collie cannot live a happy and fulfilling life.

Allergies

Although Border Collie Puppies and adult collies love the outdoors and prefer working or playing outside, they aren’t immune from different types of allergies, such as seasonal (atopic), food, or skin allergies. As the season changes, drastic increases or drops in temperature can trigger allergies for your pooch. Much like humans, canines can get irritated sinuses and throats from indoor or outdoor allergens. Pollen in the warmer months and crisp, cool air in the cooler months could give them itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, or make them sneeze more than normal. To avoid causing these irritants to upset your dog, you can research the allergens in your local area. There are online resources available that track detectable allergens and let you know if the outdoor environment is safe for people and domesticated animals with health sensitivities.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are one of the leading causes of allergies for dogs. What are the signs of food allergies? The symptoms that your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie might have a food allergy include, but aren’t limited to, skin rashes or hives, inflammation of the face (your canine may look like their nose and eyes are puffing up or swelling), and constant itchiness. If your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie is experiencing upset stomach, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive gas, it might be time to take a closer look at what they eat. Maybe there’s an ingredient in the dog food that just isn’t sitting well with them. To find out if your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie is allergic to something you’re feeding them, a small adjustment can make all the difference. It’s highly recommended you meet with an expert veterinarian who can help with the allergy prognosis and find out whether your Border Collie Puppy or adult canine is experiencing a true food allergy, where their immune system reacts, or a food sensitivity where the immune system doesn’t react. The signs of potential food sensitivity are similar to an allergic reaction, except it wouldn’t lead to anaphylactic shock. You might see swelling of the face, throat, lips, eyelids, earflaps, or notice canker sores around their gums. Your sweet Border Collie Puppies might get chronic ear or foot infections, get itchy ears, or could be constantly licking. Their medium-length, voluminous coating might be dull and less smooth. Finding the ingredient the Border Collie Puppy is sensitive to and eliminating it from their diet can help reverse the adverse health effects. Most swelling associated with allergies isn’t fatal to Border Collie Puppies and treatment for it often includes administering an antihistamine.

Border Collie sitting in front of yellow background

Anaphylactic Shock

A serious allergic reaction that requires medical attention is if your Border Collie Puppy or other pooches ever go into anaphylactic shock. This is considered an acute allergic reaction to food, insect stings, and bites, or from getting certain injections. Although it’s rare in Border Collie Puppies and other dogs, it’s still good to know the signs of anaphylaxis which should be treated as a health emergency. This type of allergic reaction often occurs immediately after ingesting the allergen, after getting stung by a hornet or other insect, or from a vaccine. The liver is the main organ that reacts, leaving gastrointestinal signs of an acute allergic reaction. If you notice sudden uncontrollable diarrhea or vomiting, increased drooling, cold-to-the-touch limbs, a fast heartbeat but slow pulse, extremely pale gums, or difficulty breathing, immediately find emergency veterinary aid. Treatment includes possible intravenous injections to counteract the body’s reaction.

Parasite-related Allergies

It’s easy to mistake a skin rash or colitis for allergies, but don’t exclude a possible parasitic cause. Worms, for instance, can wreak havoc on the intestinal health of Border Collie Puppies and grown collies. Excessive intestinal worms can cause colitis in your adult canine and Border Collie Puppy. If you notice their feces are slimy, watery, or looks like it has little specs of rice in it, these are signs of colitis caused by a worm infestation. Border Collie Puppies and other collies love to play and roam outside, which means they could come across worm-infested soil. Have regular veterinary checkups and recommended deworming medications to ensure their digestive tract, hearts, and skin are worm-free.

One of the common causes of skin allergies is fleas, ticks, or mites. For example, flea allergy dermatitis is when fleas continually bite your Border Collie Puppy’s or adult collies’ skin. The fleas are often noticeable around the tip of the tail. It’s there that you might notice small specs on their skin which indicates they’ve got flea dirt on that area. Treatment for this type of skin allergy includes a topical product that helps kill any infesting fleas and their eggs, as well as clears the area of flea byproducts. A canine’s skin can also react to food sensitivities and allergies, or environmental allergies. If you notice irritated skin around their ears, increased ear itchiness, or paw licking, these are dermal signs of atopic allergies.

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Heart Health of Border Collie Puppies and Adult Collies

Border Collie Puppies and growing collies are well-known for their athleticism, which for most animals and humans is a good sign of a healthy cardiovascular system. However, being physically fit doesn’t exclude them from getting heart disease. There are some heart problems they might have developed in-utero, while other issues could have arisen from poor nutrition, weight gain, parasitic infection, or cardio exertion.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart defect that occurs while the Border Collie Puppy is in-utero. Border Collie Puppies should be kept under close watch to ensure normal heart function. The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel within the Border Collie Puppy heart that helps regulate blood flow between the heart and lungs. Shortly after birth, this blood vessel valve is supposed to shut, allowing oxygenation of the lungs. This process helps the Border Collie Puppy’s lungs naturally strengthen from normal breathing function. If this valve doesn’t close, abnormal amounts of blood could be pumped by the heart. Since the heart is the main driver of blood pumping throughout the body, the limbs and body of your Border Collie Puppy might move slowly and be too weak to move around. Signs of this condition include trouble breathing, coughing, low energy, general weakness, and intolerance to physical activity. After the prognosis, the veterinarian may suggest surgery to close the ductus arteriosus valve so your Border Collie Puppy can function throughout the day.

Obesity, Parasitic Infection, and the Heart

Strenuous exercise and prolonged physical activity can be detrimental to the cardiovascular system of your Border Collie Puppies and grown collies. Pushing a Border Collie Puppy or fully grown collie beyond their limitations is sometimes necessary to increase their overall strength and conditioning. Nevertheless, too much exercise can cause major heart issues for your Border Collie Puppies. If you notice your dog can’t handle the same amount of exercise it used to, is more fatigued than usual, has difficulty breathing following physical activity, is fainting or collapsing after walking, working, or exercising, these could all be signs of heart disease. It’s also important to remember, even just slight weight gain in any dog, regardless of their breed, can lead to physical health issues. Obesity caused by an unhealthy diet can lead to clogged arterial walls within the heart. This plaque build-up can lead to stroke or heart attack. If your Border Collie Puppy or grown collie isn’t obese but their nutritional needs aren’t being met, this could impact heart function as well. If your dog does suffer from heart disease, figuring out your canine’s diet needs is important to maintain cardiovascular function.

There are times when your dog may have no outward sign of heart problems, except for an incessant cough. The cough might be dry, meaning there’s no phlegm, the throat may not look irritated, and their sinuses could be clear. If your Border Collie Puppies or grown collies have this constant cough coupled with breathing or respiratory issues, it could be a symptom of heartworm infection. This parasite settles in the heart and feeds off the nutrients and blood the heart needs to function at optimal levels. These parasitic worms can grow as long as twelve inches and will cause major cardiovascular issues if left untreated. If the worm burden is too much, it could ultimately lead to heart failure. If you suspect heartworms, it’s important to seek a veterinarian who can make the proper diagnosis and recommend an effective treatment.

It’s highly advised that you seek a veterinarian in any situation where your Border Collie Puppy or adult collie displays signs of heart disease. They can help you find a method that will help address the issue, improve healing times, and possibly reverse the effects. Acting within a timely manner can also make a difference in the health outcome.

Close up of Border Collie in front of gray background

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Gut Health

Your Border Collie Puppies and other canines’ gut health is just as important as their mental health. Being overweight, for instance, can have a domino effect on their psychological and physical well-being. If they struggle to move around and aren’t able to do the physical feats they were once capable of, it can be frustrating. They can gradually become withdrawn which can lead to depression. No dog-lover wants to see a sad Border Collie Puppy, let alone a doggo who is struggling to play or sleep because they are obese. This dog breed is genetically predisposed to obesity, but there are other causal factors. Hormonal imbalances, such as changes related to spaying and neutering, or diseases associated with any pituitary or thyroid gland issues.

Regardless of the root cause, your dog must maintain the average weight for a Border Collie Puppy and fully grown collie. An adult collie’s weight average is between thirty and fifty-five pounds. A healthy weight depends on the height of your canine, its general physical fitness, and its’ average weight over the years. A weight increase of approximately twenty percent can lead to obesity. Obesity can lead to serious gut health issues for all your household animal companions.

What are the consequences of long-term obesity in Border Collie Puppies or fully grown collies? The problems that can arise from a dog being overweight range from damage to the heart, liver, and digestive tract to permanent damage to the bones and joints. If your pet was thirty pounds for most of their adult life, gaining just six pounds is enough to cause gut health issues. If you notice some fatty deposits around their gut, legs, neck, or base of the tail, it could be time to exercise some strict caution concerning your dog’s diet. Obesity can be reversed by following a healthy nutrition plan, preferably one that is recommended by your veterinarian, and should be implemented before the weight gain causes long-term damage to the gut health and other vital organs of your Border Collie Puppy and other canines. If left unchecked, obesity can increase the risk of your dog getting canine diabetes.

Canine Diabetes

Unfortunately, dogs that develop diabetes, an endocrine disease, suffer similar health issues that humans do. When the body’s blood glucose levels are too high or too low, it can be devastating for their health. Border Collie Puppies need a healthy diet as this breed is one the most common ones that are prone to getting diabetes mellitus. It tends to occur during middle-age years and is a result of decreased insulin production or insulin resistance. This chronic disorder is when the body doesn’t metabolize carbohydrates or glucose levels as it normally should. Obesity and stress can make insulin resistance worse for your fur-coated canine. Your veterinarian will collect blood and urine samples from your furry friend to study the glucose levels and determine how severe the disease is. The samples will give them an idea of the hyperglycemia and glycosuria that is indicative of diabetes.

Hyperglycemia is when there is an excess of glucose in the blood. Glycosuria is when excess glucose is detected in the urine. Some other signs of diabetes mellitus include weakness, lethargy, weight loss or weight gain, and cataracts. They may get hepatomegaly which is an enlarged liver, commonly known as fatty liver disease. Other symptoms are polyuria, polydipsia, and polyphagia. Polyuria is the abnormal production of diluted urine, which causes a diabetic dog to frequently urinate. Polydipsia is an increase in thirst and polyphagia is when your pet has an excessive appetite. Any Border Collie Puppies diagnosed with this illness will have to live with it for the rest of their lives, but it’s quite manageable. Treatment typically involves prescribed insulin at the onset of prognosis. A possible regular oral medication of hypoglycemics may be necessary. The veterinarian will also help you develop a nutritious diet that is low fat while high in complex carbohydrates and fiber.

Intestinal Parasites

A dog’s digestive tract is tough. However, because most dogs are curious and use their sense of smell and taste to explore, they could be exposing themselves to invasive intestinal parasites without knowing it. Invasive intestinal worms that a Border Collie Puppy or adult collie may be exposed to include hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, and whipworm. The symptoms of a health-compromising worm burden include, but aren’t limited to, diarrhea or colitis, abdominal pain and upset stomach, weight loss, bloated belly, vomiting, poor skin and coat, lethargy, dehydration, anemia, bloody or slimy stools, intestinal blockages, pneumonia, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies. The signs may also vary between dogs, especially if there are pre-existing conditions that could make it difficult to detect. If left untreated, the worm burden can be life-threatening for your Border Collie Puppies. The veterinarian can help determine the worm burden after noticing if eggs or larvae are present in the canines’ fecal matter. With regular checkups and effective deworming medications, your dog’s digestive health can improve.

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Eye Health for Border Collie Puppies and Adult Collies

Border Collie Puppies are genetically predisposed to eye problems. Get regular checkups to make sure their eyesight isn’t degrading, to take preventative measures, or to find treatment for any eye health issues they’re currently experiencing. Some examples of common retinal issues that a Border Collie Puppy or growing collie may be genetically predisposed to include PRA, CEA, and lens luxation.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA is a degenerative disease that affects the photoreceptors of the retina, otherwise known as the rod cells and cone cells. The rod cells are responsible for detecting and following movement as well as sight adjustment in low-light environments. The cone cells help to detect color. Dogs are color-blind because they tend to have many more rod cells than cone cells.

There are two types of progressive retinal atrophy. The early-onset form is referred to as retinal dysplasia, which is when both types of photoreceptor cells begin to deteriorate, leading to complete blindness. Border Collie Puppies should be checked for early-onset signs of retinal dysplasia, which is more progressive than the late-onset form. Although the deterioration of the photoreceptors in late-onset PRA doesn’t happen until the canine is an adult, between three and nine years old, it’s still a progressive disease. This means, regardless of the form of PRA, both can lead to blindness in a short period. This disease can be inherited, so learning about your Border Collie Puppies’ family history is important to keep track of their overall health and potential sight issues.

Border Collie sitting behind a log on the beach

Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)

Collie eye anomaly or CEA is also referred to as collie eye defect or choroidal hypoplasia. This is an inherited “bilateral” eye disease that research has shown is more common in Border Collie Puppies and similar herding breeds. The eye uses the choroid, a group of blood vessels found beneath the retina, to get enough blood supply and to absorb light. When these blood vessels fail to properly develop, it results in this eye condition, which could lead to blindness. CEA can also cause the dog’s retina to detach. A thin, underdeveloped choroid can be found in Border Collie Puppies as young as five to eight weeks old. If your pup has already reached adulthood, watching for the warning signs can be difficult. Vision loss as a result of holes or pits found in the layers of the retina might cause slight, partial, or total blindness. Your veterinarian can run tests to determine how bad the CEA is. Luckily, for most dog’s this disease doesn’t cause total vision loss. If it’s detected early, surgery might be suggested to help minimize the progressive effects of the condition.

Lens Luxation

Lens luxation is another inherited condition found in Border Collie Puppies. Although it isn’t common, this dog breed might be prone to inheriting the mutation as a result of being related to similar herding breeds like the Lancashire heeler. Primary lens luxation or PLL is when the lens of the eye dislocates due to the zonules or ligaments that hold the lens in place being weak, damaged, or broken. The lens is located behind the iris and pupil. Its primary function is to help focus light to the retina in the back of the eye, which in turn allows the brain signals to interpret those lights and “see.” The luxated or dislocated lens, if not treated, can result in various degrees of vision loss and even glaucoma.

Posterior lens luxation occurs when the lens falls backward into the eye, and anterior luxation is when the lens falls forward in the eye. The signs of this condition include sudden and constant eye irritation, eye tearing, and excessive blinking or squinting. Although most cases of PLL are due to a genetic mutation, there are rare cases where the lens dislocates as a result of trauma to the eye, severe infection, or other anomalous eye conditions. Your veterinarian may recommend surgery to remove the dislocated lens. This condition can be extremely painful for your Border Collie Puppy. Keeping them calm through the pain is important while finding an effective treatment plan. Pain can increase their stress. Managing pain may require a mix of pain-relieving medications while introducing them to calming products like calming dog chews, soothing sprays, and a comfortable bed.

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Ear Health

No one wants to witness their Border Collie Puppy lose its hearing and struggle with getting around. Slowly losing their hearing could increase their stress and anxiety. Just imagine, your Border Collie Puppy is playing in the yard and someone goes outside to keep them company. The playful doggo didn’t hear you come out, nor did it hear you approach. Your “sudden appearance” will easily startle them and this will become a regular occurrence. Studies have shown Border Collie Puppies may be prone to congenital deafness, meaning they experience partial or serious deafness from birth. If the hearing loss is gradual, this might make things easier to adjust. Cases where the hearing loss is progressive or sudden could be more challenging to treat.

Early Adult-Onset Deafness

Early Adult-Onset Deafness, EOD, or EAOD is an inherited mutation that the collie could be prone to. The data showed that elderly canines were the ones that typically experienced some sort of hearing loss, particularly dogs twelve years old or older. Nevertheless, EOD was detected in the collie dog breed when they were as young as five years old. This indicated they may carry the mutation that causes reduced hearing or deafness in this breed. There is no warning sign that your Border Collie Puppy may be a carrier of this genetic mutation and only a DNA test can determine if they are. If your once obedient dog struggles to follow your commands, doesn’t respond to sounds, or seems to ignore you when they are nearby, these could all be symptoms of gradual hearing loss or early-onset deafness.

Close up of Border Collie puppy

Immune Health: Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS)

You know the immune system of your Border Collie Puppy is functioning normally when they can fight off mild illnesses and pull through serious infections. Sadly, there are immune disorders that affect this dog breed. Trapped neutrophil syndrome or TNS, for example, affects Border Collie Puppies. This immune disease is an inherited trait and signs the little pup is suffering from this condition include chronic infections, being of smaller stature than the rest of the litter, having developmental delays, or having a narrow head and slender limbs. This syndrome means your canine has a compromised immune system, which makes them prone to infections. Their white blood cell count is low because the cells are “trapped”, unable to be released from the bone marrow. Without sufficient white blood cells, their immune systems cannot fight off infections which can lead to their death. Consulting a veterinarian is recommended to determine if your young pup has this syndrome. It doesn’t have a cure, but their lives can be prolonged if the infections are treated with antibiotics or other medications.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)

Border Collie Puppies may also be prone to Discoid lupus erythematosus or DLE, which is an autoimmune skin disease. It’s also referred to as “collie nose”, even though other dog breeds can get it too. The signs of this disease include loss of pigmentation around the canine’s ears, eyes, lips, nose, or genitals. Taking measures to protect your dog’s immune system and skin is important. Affected dogs are usually fine, aside from occasional skin irritation. Since this disease is associated with too much UV radiation or sun exposure, getting a trusted sunscreen lotion should be at the top of your to-do list. DLE is diagnosed via skin biopsy. A veterinarian will take a tissue sample from the affected areas. There is no cure for this disease. Once the prognosis is made, the vet will recommend immunosuppressant medications to treat it. Depending on the severity of the disease and possible bacterial infections, the vet may also prescribe antibiotics and soothing, medicated baths.

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Bone and Joint Health

The bone and joint health of your Border Collie Puppy and growing collie are integral to their overall mental and physical health. As a naturally active dog, limits to their physical activity can trigger a variety of health issues. Paying close attention to their mobility can give you an idea of whether they have any bone or joint issues.

Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia or CHD mainly affects larger dog breeds, but can also affect highly athletic breeds, like Border Collie Puppies. Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal condition, and it’s hereditary. It’s also an extremely painful condition for any animal that has it. It’s caused when the hip socket or joint grows abnormally. The hip socket could be shallow and the femoral head, the bone that normally rests in this socket, could be deformed. This abnormally shaped hip socket and femoral head eventually wear down the cartilage, resulting in a loose hip joint. This leads to arthritis, limited hind leg mobility, and muscle atrophy. Signs of hip dysplasia range from lameness and limping to cracking or popping sounds around the joints. Limited mobility includes if they struggle to stand, sit, jump, run, or move on and off of furniture. Witnessing your lovable dog live with this disease is heartbreaking. Getting regular checkups for your Border Collie Puppy and growing collies is recommended. A veterinarian will be able to run tests on your Border Collie Puppy or adult canine to determine if they have this disease and what treatment options should be followed. Surgery might be needed for severe cases, while medications can help manage less serious cases.

Elbow Dysplasia

Border Collie Puppies may be genetically predisposed to developing elbow dysplasia. Although this bone disease isn’t common, getting regular checkups for the hip should also include having the elbow examined. It’s a great preventative measure to avoid skeletal issues that can lead to arthritis. Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia occurs when the joint, sockets, radius head, or ulna head develop abnormally. As movement occurs, the connective tissues between the bones wear out. This can cause the elbow bones to dislocate until eventually there’s no cartilage and it becomes bone rubbing on bone. This can be painful for your Border Collie Puppy, although they might not let you know they’re in pain. If you notice your Border Collie Puppy or adult doggo has a limp or unusual gait, experiences bouts of lameness with certain limbs, or their elbow joints crack and pop, these could be signs of elbow dysplasia.

Close up of Border Collie in the woods

Osteochondritis Dissecans

Osteochondritis dissecans or OCD is a type of bone and joint disorder that affects Border Collie Puppies. This condition occurs when normal cartilage found between bone joints is gradually replaced with bone. Over time, the cartilage gets thicker and that excess growth within the joints starts to break and loosen, creating flaps. The resulting cartilage flap exposes any underlying bone to joint fluid, which in turn causes joint pain. This joint disorder typically affects the shoulders but has been found in the elbows, knees, and ankles. If you notice your dog has restricted mobility or lameness, especially following exercise or play, this could be indicative of OCD.

This condition can be detected in Border Collie Puppies as young as four months to one year old. Catching it early can make a difference in the quality of life for your Border Collie Puppy. Consulting with a veterinarian is recommended, as they can make a proper diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan. Surgery is often suggested as research has shown successful recoveries. Non-surgical treatments typically include activity restrictions, anti-inflammatory medications, and pain medications. These are usually coupled with glucosamine and chondroitin supplements to support bone and joint health. Your canine healthcare provider may also advise surgery and post-operative medications to ensure a full recovery. Clinical studies have shown this option has outstanding results.

Just remember, a Border Collie Puppy and adult collies prefer activity. Restricting their activity could have an emotional and mental impact on them. Make sure you are prepared with healthy calming snacks and a comfortable bed in an area where they can relax during rehabilitation.

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Skin and Coat Health

Border Collie Puppies have two types of fur coating, rough and medium-length coats or smooth shorter-length coats. The medium-length coating is feathered while the shorter-length has a coarser feel. Border Collie Puppies love the outdoors and their fur coating is conditioned for it. These hard-working canines have double coats, meaning their fur is thick, and this trait gives them a more weather-resistant coat than other dog breeds. Nevertheless, this beautiful coating doesn’t mean they are immune from skin and coat issues.

Dermatomyositis

Border Collie Puppies and grown collies are at risk of developing dermatomyositis, a disorder that affects the skin and muscles. Dermatomyositis is an inherited condition and occurs when there’s extreme inflammation of the blood vessels, muscles, and skin. This disease often impacts Border Collie Puppies and other younger dogs. The symptoms might appear in pups as young as seven weeks to six months. The signs of this skin condition include lesions on the skin, muscle inflammation, serious skin sores, or decreased muscle mass. The skin around the eyes, lips, face, ear flaps, and the tip of the tail are the main areas where the skin is most affected. You might also notice hair loss in these areas. The footpads and nail area could also show ulcerations.

If they suddenly develop oral ulcers or have difficulting eating, drinking, and swallowing this could indicate severe chewing muscle inflammation. Sadly, this condition does not have a cure, but it can be managed from home. Your veterinarian can help you with the right treatment plan. This may include making adjustments to their diet, restricting their activity and sun exposure, and switching to sensitive skin, hypoallergenic shampoos.

Parasites

A Border Collie Puppy has medium to long-length coating and it’s beautiful, but can still be prone to parasites. Fleas, ticks, and mites can attach themselves to your doggo’s hairs. These undesirable, invading insects can slowly make their way to the skin, causing irritability as they bite, feed, and leave dirt or germs behind. The dog’s thick hair makes it challenging to spot the bugs. Signs include constant itching, skin redness, scabs, hives, raised dots on the skin, and even patchy hair loss. Discuss treatment options with your veterinarian to find the best way to heal any irritated skin and rid your Border Collie Puppy of parasites.

Thyroid Issues

Hypothyroidism is another health condition that Border Collie Puppies might be prone to. This illness occurs when the body doesn’t produce sufficient thyroid hormones, and it can lead to negative changes in behavior such as anxiety, skittishness or fearfulness, and aggression. The physical signs of this illness include dry skin and coat, skin thickening, hair thinning and loss, and increased skin infections. Weight gain and obesity can happen, which should be concerning, as this can occur without any change to their eating habits. Further symptoms of hypothyroidism or thyroid disease in your collie include mental dullness or inability to listen attentively, lethargy, intolerance to cold, and intolerance to physical activity. Blood tests will help your vet make a prognosis. Once it’s diagnosed, the vet will prescribe medications like thyroxine, which works to offset the low thyroid hormone production. This is a life-long disease, however, with proper medications, diet, exercise, and regular checkups, your Border Collie Puppy can live a long and happy life.

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Life Expectancy: Help Them Live a Fulfilling Life

Most illnesses, whether chronic or inherited, that your Border Collie Puppy or adult collie is diagnosed with have effective treatment options. Regardless of their pain levels or activity status, these health problems are manageable. Following the recommended treatment plans set out by the veterinarian will make a difference in your animal companion’s quality of life. The average life span of a collie is between twelve and fifteen years. A Border Collie can live several years longer than that, some as old as seventeen.

Even if they live with a life-long disease, there’s no reason why they can’t live a prolonged, fulfilling life when the necessary healthcare steps are being taken. Many household pets like to reciprocate their owners’ love and care by being loyal, affectionate, and playful. These traits are common in a Border Collie Puppy, and like most dogs, they will continue to be loving despite any health problems they’re experiencing. Through every health adversity, ensuring your adorable canine doesn’t have anxiety or stress is integral to their healing process. Investing in a calming cuddle bed and giving them daily zen treats can help keep them relaxed enough to combat any emotional stress they could be feeling.