There are several health problems that can affect Australian shepherds. These can range from Multiple Drug Sensitivity, Epilepsy, Allergies, and Cancer. This article will look at a few of these issues. Ultimately, we’ll be talking about the overall health of your dog, and how to treat any potential problems.

Multiple Drug Sensitivity

Multiple drug sensitivity (MDR) in dogs is caused by a mutation in the MDR1 gene. This mutation prevents the brain from flushing certain drugs out of the body. As a result, the drug accumulates in the brain, permeating the tissues. This buildup results in neurological toxicity.

The MDR1 mutation is very rare in dogs, but it can cause serious side effects if your dog takes medications that contain this drug. The symptoms of multiple drug sensitivity in dogs may include lethargy, weakness, and disorientation. In severe cases, the condition can lead to death. For this reason, it’s important to discuss the condition with your veterinarian before administering drugs.

The cause of multiple drug sensitivity in dogs is unknown, although some breeds are more prone than others to serious drug reactions. This disorder is caused by a mutated MDR1 gene, which blocks harmful drugs from entering the CSF. When a dog with this condition is exposed to an ineffective drug such as ivermectin, it may show serious neurological symptoms and even cause death.

The MDR1 gene mutation is most common in Australian Shepherds, but other herding breeds are also susceptible. Other breeds of dogs with this mutation include Collies and French bulldogs. Although mixed breeds are less likely to be affected, it is still recommended to get your pet tested to see if it’s present.


Epilepsy in Australian Shepherds is a complex condition. Various genetic mutations can cause epilepsy, and environmental factors may also contribute. Researchers at the ASPCA are studying these mutations and developing genetic screening tests. Their research also examines microRNA levels in the blood of epileptic dogs. These microRNA levels can help differentiate epileptic dogs from non-epilepsy dogs.

While epilepsy is a complex medical condition, it is treatable. Medications are the mainstay of treatment for Australian Shepherds with epilepsy. Several types of medications are used to control seizures and control their severity. Typically, a veterinarian will prescribe a daily medication to help the dog avoid seizures. Some common medications include Keppra, Phenobarbital, Potassium Bromide, and Zonisamide.

The cause of epilepsy is not known in most cases, but it is believed to be inherited. While there is no cure for this condition, seizure episodes will occur periodically throughout the dog’s life. If seizures are not controlled with medication, they will get worse over time. Medication is not always effective, and side effects can occur.

Epilepsy in Australian Shepherds can have a range of outcomes. If diagnosed early, seizures can be treated with medication or alternative therapies. While some owners have to put their dogs down because of epilepsy, others are cured with a combination of treatments. In some cases, seizures are a result of a primary condition, such as brain tumors.


Australian Shepherds are very intelligent dogs, but they can be prone to allergies. These dogs shed a lot of fur, which can be harmful to people with allergies. Proper training and care can reduce your dog’s risk of developing allergies. Proper care and maintenance will also help keep your home free of the dog’s coat.

Australian shepherds can develop allergies to several things, including foods and environmental elements. In fact, food allergies can begin as early as the age of one or two. As a result, it’s very important to identify any symptoms immediately. The sooner you can identify a dog’s allergy to food, the better.

The first step in treating Australian shepherd allergies is to identify the underlying cause of your pet’s allergies. This can be genetic or environmental. For food allergies, a wholesome diet with adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate the itching and discomfort. Some good sources of these acids include fish oil, blackcurrant seed oil, and sunflower oil. Other critical ingredients to include in your Aussie’s diet include zinc, essential amino acids, and B-vitamin complexes.

Generally, Australian shepherd allergies develop in the second year of a dog’s life. These allergies cause skin rashes, itchy ears, and even rubbing body parts against surfaces. A veterinarian can help diagnose your dog’s allergy and prescribe treatments.


Australian Shepherds can be prone to several different types of cancer, including lymphoma and lymphosarcoma. These cancers originate from abnormal lymphocytes, white blood cells that are found throughout the body. These cancers are treatable, and chemotherapy can often be an effective treatment for them. A blood test can help veterinarians detect cancer in your dog. Your veterinarian may recommend a complete blood count twice a year.

In the event that your Australian Shepherd does develop cancer, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Early detection is the best way to ensure a dog’s health in the future. Early diagnosis is the best way to maximize the chances of a successful treatment. While no known cure exists, treatment for cancer in Australian Shepherds can improve their quality of life and extend their lifespan.

Two types of cancer in Australian Shepherds are inherited and have a genetic link. By noting cases and avoiding breeding dogs with cancer in their recent family history, breeders can minimize their dog’s risk. Since 2008, the ASHGI has included cancer risk factors in its pedigree analysis service.

The iris can become clouded, causing difficulty seeing. Cataracts are often surgically removed. Distichiasis, a condition in which extra eyelashes grow on the oil gland, can irritate the eye. Treatment for distichiasis involves freezing excess eyelashes with liquid nitrogen, known as cryoepilation. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Hip dysplasia

Although Australian Shepherds generally have good health, there are certain cases of hip dysplasia. This common condition also affects Border Collies. Because these breeds are herding dogs, they are at risk for bone and joint disorders. However, there are treatments available. Your vet will be able to advise you on what your options are.

Hip dysplasia is not a life-threatening condition, but it does affect the hind legs and is a painful issue. In order to prevent this condition from getting worse, keep your dog healthy. Regular checkups will help detect early symptoms. It is important to have your dog screened by a veterinarian every six months.

The most obvious symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs are lameness and pain in the hind legs. Your dog may also be hesitant to get up from a sitting position or to climb stairs. In some cases, the condition may occur in a puppy and show no symptoms until it is much older. However, in the more severe cases, a dog will begin to lose muscle mass and limp.

Your veterinarian will need to perform a series of tests to determine the cause of the symptoms. One of the most important tests is an X-ray of your dog’s hip joints. It will show whether it has hip dysplasia and how severe it is. A vet will use this to decide the course of treatment your dog needs.


Australian Shepherds may suffer from eye health issues, including coloboma, which is a hole in the iris that causes an irregular pupil. This condition is hereditary and occurs in both male and female dogs. Dogs with this problem may have trouble seeing in bright lights and may squint if the light is too bright. Veterinary examinations can detect colobomas during a routine checkup.

The condition is often treated with antibiotic eye drops. It may also cause eye discharge that contains mucus or pus. A vet may prescribe oral antibiotics to treat this eye problem. In some cases, the condition is irreversible. If your dog develops coloboma, you should spay or neuter him or her as soon as possible to prevent it from passing on the condition to any offspring.

Australian Shepherds are known to be prone to developing tumors and different forms of cancer. The most common types of canine cancer are hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma, which affect the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver. Treatment for lymphoma typically involves chemotherapy. Hemangiosarcoma is another type of cancer, which often presents itself as a bleeding tumor in the abdominal area. If left untreated, it may lead to lethargy, collapse, and death.

Optic nerve colobomas may be hereditary, acquired during embryologic development, or be acquired in the pet. In either case, the condition affects one or both eyes. In some cases, the problem can be detected during a fundoscopic exam. The affected eye will often have a misshapen optic disc. Usually, the affected eye is at the six-o-clock position.