The Collie is most normally, a healthy sturdy dog that can live a good long life. There are a few ailments that Collies are more prone to coming down with though, so regular check-ups with the Vet are always a good idea.
One such ailment is called Canine Cyclic Neutropenia, or better known as “Gray Collie Disease”. Unfortunately this condition is quite commonly fatal to the puppies that are born with it. It is a disease that affects the immune system, the digestive system and the stem cells in the puppies blood. Owners and breeders can usually tell if a new puppy has Gray Collie Disease soon after birth. A puppy with this condition will be smaller and weaker then its litter mates. Sadly, Collies that are born with Gray Collie Disease usually only live for a few weeks, due to severe problems with bleeding, respiratory and gastrointestinal issues. If a Collie manages to survive puppy hood, they will usually only live to be about three years old. This disease effects gray puppies, although not the Merle’s. The owner may also notice that the puppy has a gray nose instead of the usual black that healthy Collie pups have. The best way to avoid having a puppy with this disease is to have the parents checked through DNA testing to see if either are carriers.
Another health problem that Collie owners may need to be aware of is called CEA or Collie Eye Anomaly. It is a genetic disease that can cause blindness. Other eye problems are also commonly found in the Collie breed. PRA, or Progressive Retinal Atrophy can often times cause blindness. It is also a genetic disease that could possibly be eradicated by testing the parents before breeding. Puppies can be tested by a qualified Vet early, to see if they have PRA.
Hip Dysplasia is a common ailment in many large breeds of dogs, not only Collies, although Rough Collies tend to suffer more from hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can be treated if diagnosed when the dog is young, but it can be quite expensive in most cases. Deciding whether to have surgery on a dog with hip dysplasia is a topic that should be considered after having the dog thoroughly checked out by a qualified Veterinarian.
All in all the Collie breed is a wonderfully sweet natured dog that is usually quite healthy. They do need to have at least yearly check-ups with the Vet to be on the lookout for health problems. The Collie is known to be a loyal and extremely intelligent breed that not only make wonderful house pets, but are also fun for owners that enjoy agility competitions.
Sources: Personal and http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/collie.htm