Our Aussies are all tested for the “Aussie Panel” This is important information to have, especially as breeders, as some inheritable diseases can be dominant, recessive, etc. Listed below is a direct link to Paw Print Genetics Australian Shepherd Panel, you can click each individual disease to learn about the symptoms. We are simply going to list the diseases here, and highlight the problems they can cause. The diseases in BOLD are the ones that are dominant. Dominant means that the dog only needs 1 copy of the disease in order to show symptoms. The diseases that are not bold are recessive, meaning that if the dog only carries 1 gene, they will not have any issues, but should not be bred to another carrier.
Linke to Paw Prints Genetics: https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/breeds/199/
- Collie Eye Anomaly (also known as CEA, CH): Can very from case to case, mild vision defects to severe. CEA/CH is recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Cone Degeneration: May develop blindness in light. Cone Degeneration is recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (also known as DM): Neurologic disorder, usual onset at 9 years. Muscle atrophy, eventual paralysis. DM is recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Hereditary Cararacts (also known as HC): Cataracts develop between 2-7 years. HC is DOMINANT, but inherits by incomplete penetrance meaning not all dogs inheriting 1 or both copies will develop clinical disease.
- Hyperuricosuria (also known as HUU): Effects urinary tract, causing stones, blockages, UTIs. HUU is recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Intestinal Cobalamin Malabsorption: Dog can’t absorb nutrients like normal, causing malnourished, lethargy, poor muscles. It is recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Multidrug Resistance 1 (also known as MDR1): Dogs can have reactions to certain medications. Often times this doesn’t happen with first dose, but second can cause seizures or even death. Vet should be notified of MDR1 status. All collie breeds (including australian shepherds) should err on the side of caution, and avoid certain medications regardless of mdr1 status. MDR1 is DOMINANT, but inherits by incomplete penetrance, meaning not all carriers will react to certain medications.
- Multifocal Retinopathy 1 (CMR1): Lesions of retina, sometimes causing vision problems. CMR1 is recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 6: progressive neurologic disease, usually results in euthanasia by 2. Recessive (2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (also known as PRA, PRCD): Loss of vision, usually starts ages 3-5. PRA/PRCD is recessive ((2 copies must be present for a dog to have issues)
Another thing any breeder with breeds that have the color merle, should test any dog before breeding to double check for the merle gene. It is now well documented that many “tris” or non merle looking dogs can in fact be hidden merles. This is not just in the color “yellow” but any color, including black. Any good breeder would never want to chance breeding a “double merle” because the pups may be born with vision, hearing and other health problems.