Health & Longevity

Genetic Testing



Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), also known as choroidal hypoplasia (CH), is an inherited disease affecting several dog breeds including the Australian shepherd. The choroid is the layer of tissue in the eye responsible for supplying blood and nutrients to the Retina.


Cone Degeneration (CD) causes day blindness; affected dogs can’t see in bright light but have normal vision when the light level is low.


Hereditary Cataracts (HC) are a leading form of blindness in the dog. During 2006 our researchers identified a genetic mutation in a small number of Australian Shepherds affected with Hereditary Cataract (HC). The results show conclusively that the mutation is a risk factor for the development of cataract in the Australian Shepherd.


The OFA maintains a database for hip dysplasia and now also maintains databases on other genetic disorders. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has defined 7 categories to describe canine hip joints. They are: Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mild, Moderate, Severe.


Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a group of eye diseases featuring the gradual degeneration of the retina.  Each type has a different genetic cause.  Aussies are known to have a form of PRA called progressive rod cone degeneration (prcd.)


Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The affected dog will wobble when walking, knuckle over or drag the feet.


MDR1  Multidrug Sensitivity gene, or multi-drug resistance gene, codes for a protein that is responsible for protecting the brain by transporting potentially harmful chemicals away from the brain. In certain breeds, including Australian Shepherds, a mutation occurs in the MDR1 gene that causes sensitivity to Ivermectin, Loperamide, and a variety of other drugs. The defective protein inhibits the dog's ability to remove certain drugs from the brain, leading to a buildup.  As a result of the accumulation of these toxins, the dog can show neurological symptoms, such as seizure and even death.

Long Term Health Risks & Benefits with Spay/Neutering

Spay & Nueter (pdf)


Message for Women & Dogs

Should You Neuter Your Male Dog for BEHAVIOR Problems?

Neuter your male or not (pdf)


Ovaries and Longevity