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Clearvu Collies: Prioritizing Health Through Genetic Testing

At Clearvu Collies, we take a long-term approach to breeding healthy, happy dogs. We believe responsible breeding means ensuring only healthy traits are passed down to future generations. That's why every Collie at Clearvu undergoes comprehensive genetic testing to identify potential health concerns.

We utilize a variety of tests from GenSol to screen for the following:

Collie Disorder Panel, which includes tests for:

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): This inherited eye disease can affect vision in varying degrees. We take all Clearvu puppies to a board-certified ophthalmologist for examination between 6-9 weeks of age.

  • Multidrug Sensitivity (MDR1): This genetic mutation affects how a dog metabolizes certain medications. MDR1 testing helps us avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.

  • Dermatomyositis (DMS): This autoimmune disease causes inflammation of the skin, muscles, and blood vessels. Early detection and management are crucial.

  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM): This progressive neurological disease affects the spinal cord, causing hind leg weakness and eventual paralysis. While there's no cure, genetic testing allows us to make informed breeding decisions.

  • Collie Cyclic Neutropenia (CN): Also known as Grey Collie Syndrome, this condition causes fluctuations in white blood cell count, leaving dogs vulnerable to infections.

  • Hyperuricosuria (HUU): This genetic mutation can cause painful urinary stones.


Collie Disorder Panel

What is Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)?

Collie Eye Anomaly, or CEA, is a genetic eye illness that affects a variety of breeds, particularly herding dogs such as collies and Shetland sheepdogs. This mutation damages the eye's interior tissues, including the choroid, retina, and optic disk. The degree of vision loss varies from dog to dog and is determined by the severity of the developmental abnormalities. Some dogs with CEA may have normal eyesight, however others may suffer visual loss or blindness.

Collie Eye Anatomy
Eye Anatomy - Collie Health Foundation

Researchers first noted this problem in the 1960s, but the mutation was only pinpointed in 2007. It was found to exist in most Collies and in most Collie families. CEA’s physical symptoms are present prior to birth. It can present, however, with different degrees of severity.” (Collie Health Organization) 

To check for this anomaly all Clearvu puppies go to a Board Certified Ophthalmologist located in Richmond, VA when they are between 6-9 weeks old.

To learn more we highly recommend reading the articles linked below:

What is Multidrug Sensitivity (MDR1)?

Multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1) drug sensitivity is caused by a genetic condition that exposes dogs to the risk of serious or fatal consequences when they take certain medications at specific levels. 

“In 2001, Katrina Mealey, DVM, PhD, discovered that collies and other dogs with herding-breed heritage have a defect in the MDR1 (multidrug resistance 1) gene.” (Today’s Veterinary Nurse)

MDR1 drug-sensitive dogs can live normal lives as long as drug interactions and dosages are carefully considered.

Severe and sometimes fatal consequences can result if medications are administered incorrectly, combined with other drugs, or if at-risk dogs are mistakenly exposed to issued pharmaceuticals (for example, ivermectin used to deworm horses).

To learn more we highly recommend reading the article linked below:

What is Dermatomyositis?

Dermatomyositis is a genetic hereditary illness that causes severe inflammation of the skin, muscles, and blood vessels in the body. This illness is often detected before a puppy turns six months old. Common skin issues include hair loss, redness, scaling, crusting, and scarring. More severe cases may also include skin erosions and ulceration. Typical affected locations include the face (eyes, nose, and muzzle), feet, tips of ears and tail, mouth, and paw pads. 

Dermatomyositis is best considered a condition that is managed rather than cured. Most dogs with dermatomyositis can be managed at home, rather than in the hospital. It is important to avoid activities that could traumatize the skin or muscles of affected dogs.” (VCA Animal Hospitals)

To learn more we highly recommend reading the article linked below:

What is Degenerative Myelopathy?

Degenerative myelopathy (DM), also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), is a spinal cord disorder that causes gradually progressing hind-end limb weakening and paralysis.

These symptoms are caused by degeneration of the white matter of the spinal cord. DM is similar to various kinds of human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

DM is an autosomal recessive genetic illness, which means that inheriting one or two copies of the gene (SOD1) increases the likelihood of acquiring the disease. However, not all dogs who possess these genes, including both copies, will be affected. Other genetic and environmental variables are thought to contribute to the development of DM. 

There is still much unknown about DM in dogs and its causes. The specific cause of DM is uncertain. In its early stages, the symptoms of DM match those of osteoarthritis (arthritis), which frequently occurs related to hip dysplasia in many large breed dogs, making diagnosis difficult.

Currently, there is no effective treatment for DM. Treatment for other concomitant conditions, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, may provide some relief. Obesity prevention requires both food and activity (walking and swimming). The idea is to keep the dog on its feet as long as possible. Physical treatment has been demonstrated to reduce disease progression, improve quality of life, and maintain muscle mass. Any dog with DM should be kept physically active for as long as possible.

To learn more we highly recommend reading the articles linked below:

What is Collie Cyclic Neutropenia?

Cyclic neutropenia, commonly known as Grey Collie Syndrome (GCS) or canine cyclic neutropenia, is a hereditary condition affecting collies that cause oscillations in blood cell count. 

This is caused by an anomaly in the bone marrow's stem cells, which results in a significant decrease in the number of neutrophils, a kind of white blood cell that helps prevent bacterial and fungal infections. Puppies neutrophil levels dip every 10-12 days before returning to normal, with 11-14 day intervals between low counts. These neutropenic dips can last five to six days.

Affected puppies sometimes die within a few days of birth or have impaired growth. Affected dogs have a gray coat and are more susceptible to infections during periods of low neutrophil numbers. Symptoms of this illness are typically observed during or soon following a period of low neutrophil levels. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, gingivitis, lameness, and minor bleeding episodes. Even with medical care, the majority of dogs pass away before the age of two from either liver or renal failure.

To learn more we highly recommend reading the articles linked below:

What is Hyperuricosuria (HUU)?

HUU is an autosomal recessive mutation. An autosomal recessive mutation is one that can be passed down from either parent and requires two copies of the gene to cause symptoms. In dogs with Hyperuricosuria (HUU), waste materials are metabolized as uric acid in the urine. Uric acid hardens in the bladder, producing pain and irritation as the stone passes through the urinary tract.

A dog who has trouble peeing or appears to have an irritated bladder could develop HUU. Other indications may include blood in the urine and frequent urination. If the dog cannot pass the stones without medical assistance, surgery may be necessary to remove them. A clogged urinary tract can be fatal.

To learn more we highly recommend reading the article linked below:


Building a Healthier Future for Collies

By prioritizing comprehensive genetic testing, we aim to breed Collies less susceptible to these health concerns. This commitment ensures not only the physical well-being of our puppies but also contributes to a healthier Collie gene pool for future generations.

Tri Smooth Collie Female
Clearvu's Addie

Looking for a Collie Puppy?

If you're interested in a Clearvu Collie puppy, contact us today to learn more about our breeding philosophy and available litters. Please remember that a healthy puppy starts with responsible breeding practices!

Sable Smooth Collie Female
Clearvu's Delilah
Tri Rough Collie Male
Clearvu's Altas


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