Genetic Problems

As in any pure bred dogs, Australian Shepherds has a list of Genetic Diseases the breed can have. As breeders, we feel it is important to know the problems that can happen, know the lines and try to breed away from any problems. We also do realize that problems can occur stand by any dog and their owners if a problem happens.

We can provide some information about genetic problems but for more information please visit the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute website. We are strong supporters of this group and feel they are a benefit to our breed. We have the utmost respect for C.A. Sharp, who heads this organization. Over the years Heidi and her company have donated multiple logos and ad designs to help with the cause.

A Partial List of Genetic Diseases and Defects Known to Occur in Australian Shepherds by C.A. Sharp

In terms, this C.A. Sharp feels the most common problems in order of frequency:

  • Cataracts - most common form dominant with incomplete penetrance, other types unknown
  • Epilepsy - unknown
  • Dental Faults - polygenic
  • Autoimmune Disease - genetic predisposition
  • Hip Dysplasia - polygenic with environmental influcence
  • Iris coloboma - unknown but almost always seen in merles
  • Allergies - polygenic (?) with environmental influence
  • Cancer - various, not all hereditary
  • Persistent Pupilary Membrane - unknown
  • Distichaisis - unknown
  • Retained Testicles - polygenic
  • Collie Eye Anomaly - autosomal recessive

    The following are less common but occur often enough to cause concern:
  • Corneal Dystrophy - unknown
  • Elbow Dysplasia - polygenic
  • Hemophilia A & B - X-linked
  • Muscular Dystrophy - X-linked
  • Osteochondritis Desicans - unknown, body morph/growth rate may predispose
  • Patellar Luxation - unknown
  • Patent Ductus Arteriiosus - possibly polygenic
  • Pelger-Huet Anomaly - incomplete dominant
  • Porto-systemic (Liver) Shunt - unknown
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - autosomal recessive (possibly not occurring at all, but mis-diagnosed in cases with retinal damage secondary to trauma)
  • Rage Syndrome - unknown
  • vonWillebrand's Disease - unknown in Aussies

C.A also has a wonderful testing protocal chart on her website like to follow.





  © Western Hills Australian Shepherds 2011 - Scott and Heidi Mobley - Sanger, Texas