Ensuring the health of our Beardies is the concern of all. The breed is generally a very healthy one, with a life span of about 12 to 14 years, and ages up to 15, 16, or older are not uncommon. Problems such as hip dysplasia and eye disorders that plague some other breeds have been kept to a minimum in Beardies due to their medium size and weight, x-raying and eye testing of breeding stock by responsible breeders.
Autoimmune disorders such as Addison's Disease, Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) and thyroiditis, an increasing concern in all dogs, are seen occasionally in Beardie. Research on these diseases and how to prevent them is ongoing, but it is thought the manifestation of the disease may be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Food sensitivities or allergies seem to be a problem for some Beardies. Again Allergies are related to the immune system. Research has shown a relationship between vaccination/over-vaccination and some autoimmune disorders.
Sound sensitivity is also common in the breed, usually manifesting itself as a fear of thunder or large trucks. Extreme fear reactions to even mild noises should warrant a trip to the vet as it may be a symptom of a medical problem such as hypothyroidism.
While we do not cover all of these areas here, there are a number of articles relating to Beardie health here. We hope to be able to add to this list.
Finally, it is important to remember that the Bearded Collie is considered a health breed and only a small percentage of Beardies are effected with health problems ; however, we are aware, if it is your dog, that it really matters!