Disease Prevalance

What are the most common inherited health issues in Aussies?

Arranged with the most serious in respect to the dog’s health and quality of life:

– Hemangiosarcoma
–  Lymphoma
–  Epilepsy
– Laryngeal paralysis
–  Hip dysplasia
– Elbow dysplasia
– Autoimmune diseases
– Moderate to severe allergies
–  MDR1
–  Umbilical  hernia
–  Assorted eye diseases (cataracts, CEA, PRA, etc.)

How can I avoid genetic problems?  Which do I need to watch out for?

ASHGI’s 2009-10 health survey indicated that the breed has about two dozen inherited diseases and defects that occur often enough to be called common.  Some, like bite faults, missing teeth and retained testicles, are easy for you to evaluate simply by examining the dog you are interested in and as many of its near relatives as possible.  Others require vet screening.  Several more have no screening test and you can only estimate a particular animal’s risk through family history of the disease.  By using the open health database and pedigree analysis service offered through ASHGI’s IDASH program you can determine whether your dog carries risk for various diseases and defects.

This website contains considerable information about health and other genetic issue in Aussies, as well as breeding advice.  Use the search box in the upper right corner of this website to find articles pertinent to your specific concerns.

What health screening should I do?

Every Aussie should be MDR1 tested unless both of its parents tested clear.  All puppies should have an eye exam before being sent to their new homes.  Breeding dogs should have at a minimum:

– Eye exams within a year prior to each breeding
–  X-rays for hip and elbow dysplasia
– thyroid panels as per OFA recommendations
– DNA tests for cataracts, Collie Eye Anomaly, and any other eye disease with an available DNA test which may have been identified in a relative within two steps of relationship
– Other screenings (heart, patellas, or others) should there be an affected relative within two steps of relationship
– Stud dogs offered for fee should have the above plus any other DNA tests applicable to the breed.