So what are the genetic diseases for shetland sheepdog ?
- Collie Eye Anomaly / Choroidal Hyperplasia (CEA)
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) is more technically known as Choroidal Hypoplasia (CH). It is an inherited eye disorder due to recessives that causes abnormal development of the layer of tissue under the retina of the eye. There is no treatment or cure for CEA/CH. The mild form of the disease is very common in the US Collies and is found in Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Lancashire Heelers, and Shetland Sheepdogs. It is easy to recognize with an opthalmologic exam on puppies between 5 and 8 weeks of age. The severe form of the disease can result in serious vision loss in approximately 25% of the dogs with CEA/CH. In 5-10% of dogs with CEA/CH, colobomas (lesions of the eye) occur and can lead to secondary problems such as retinal detachment, hemorrhage and vision loss, although it very rarely results in total blindness. Multi Drug Sensitivity Including Ivermectin (MDRI)
- Von Willerbrand’s Disease Type III (vWD)
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWd) is an inherited bleeding disorder, similar to hemophilia. It comes in 2 major types, type I and type III (Type II is rare and is not found in shelties). Type I is a mild bleeding disorder with the risk coming mostly from trauma or surgery. It is most commonly found in Doberman Pinschers. Type III is a severe bleeding disorder that results in a high risk of bleeding due to simple reasons as a nail cut too short as well as the risk of serious bleeding due to trauma and surgery. It is most commonly found in Scottish Terriers, but is also the type found in shelties. It is possible that Shelties may have Type I due to a less prevalent defect. There are 3 status levels of the disease – clear (does not have the disease and can not pass on the efective gene for the disease), carrier (does not have the disease but can pass on the defective gene for the disease), and affected (has the disease and passes on the defective gene for the disease).Knowing the status of breeding dogs is significant if the disease is to be eliminated from the breed.The implications of various breeding combinations are as follows
Clear x Clear = 100% Clear
Clear x Carrier = 50% Carrier, 50% Clear
Clear x Affected = 100% Carrier
Carrier x Carrier = 25% Clear, 50% Carrier, 25% Affected
Carrier x Affected = 50% Carrier, 50% Affected
Affected x Affected = 100% Affected
- Patellar Luxation (Kneecap Dislocation)
This is more common in small and toy breeds and is where the knee cap floats out of position, causing pain and difficulty straightening the leg.If your Sheltie has patellar luxation, he will limp and hold his hind leg up. This may only last for 10 minutes before he returns to normal, but it will be a recurring problem.
It most often affects dogs in their middle years, and can be caused by an injury or a genetic defect. Ongoing treatment involves massaging the affected knee, but in chronic or severe cases, he will need surgery with a 30-60 day recovery period.
- Hip Dysplasia
This is usually a large breed health problem, however it can also appear in smaller purebreds like Shetland Sheepdogs as a genetic abnormality.Hip dysplasia is caused by a subluxation in the hip joint, which causes extra wear and tear of the joint, leading to painful arthritis.
It usually shows up in middle age and you’ll see your Sheltie limping on his hind leg (or hopping like a rabbit while running) and hesitating when climbing stairs because of the pain it causes.
A vet can diagnose hip dysplasia with a physical exam and x-rays. You then have two options: medical management or surgery.
The former means maintaining your dog’s healthy weight, giving him low-impact exercise like slow jogging and swimming, a warm sleeping area, and massage therapy.
If you can afford it, there are many types of surgical treatment available depending on the age of your dog and the severity of the hip dysplasia.
- Degenerative Myelopathy
Degenerative myelopathy 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. This can first occur in one hind limb and then affect the other. As the disease progresses, the limbs become weak and the dog begins to buckle and has difficulty standing. The weakness gets progressively worse until the dog is unable to walk. The clinical course can range from 6 months to 1 year before dogs become paraplegic. If signs progress for a longer period of time, loss of urinary and fecal continence may occur and eventually weakness will develop in the front limbs. Another key feature of DM is that it is not a painful disease.
What causes Degenerative Myelopathy?
Degenerative myelopathy begins with the spinal cord in the thoracic (chest) region. If we look under the microscope at that area of the cord from a dog that has died from DM, we see degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord. The white matter contains fibers that transmit movement commands from the brain to the limbs and sensory information from the limbs to the brain.
This degeneration consists of both demyelination (Stripping away the insulation of these fibres) and axonal loss (Loss of the actual fibres), and interferes with the communication between the brain and limbs.