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Sheltie: Health of the Shetland Sheepdog


You don't usually have to worry too much about Sheltie health - the Shetland Sheepdog is considered relatively robust. Responsible breeders also take care to rule out possible hereditary diseases as far as possible. Nevertheless, you can do a lot yourself to increase the wellbeing and life expectancy of your Shelties. The Sheltie or Shetland Sheepdog is a fairly healthy dog ​​breed - Shutterstock / J HIME

Good breeding is important for Sheltie health on the one hand, and appropriate nutrition and care on the other. The Shetland Sheepdog tends to be overweight due to its small size, which can lead to various health problems. Its long fur should be brushed through once a week, and quietly every day when changing fur. The following tips reveal what else you can keep in mind so that your Sheltie is well.

Sheltie health starts with breeding

The chances that your Sheltie will stay healthy for as long as possible can be increased by responsible breeding. The well-being of their protégés is important to good dog breeders and they have regular, extensive health examinations carried out on the parents and the puppies to rule out possible inherited diseases. In addition, the small Shelties grow up with reputable breeders in a loving, stimulating and dog-friendly environment, get to know everyday noises, strangers, other dogs and possibly other pets, so that they are later well socialized. Then they are less frightened, less aggressive and it is easier for them to trust their new owners. This reduces the risk of behavioral problems.

Shetland Sheepdog: Lively sports cannon

Possible hereditary diseases in the Shetland Sheepdog

Like many small dog breeds, shelties also tend to dislodge patella, a dislocation of the kneecap. This disease occurs in different degrees of severity - sometimes it can be treated with massages, but in severe cases surgery is required. Symptoms of patellar luxation are limping and tightening of the affected leg. Otherwise a problem for large breeds of dogs, Sheltie health can also be affected by hip dysplasia (HD). A malformation of the hip causes the hip joint to become excessively worn and result in arthritis. The disease manifests itself, for example, in a hopping walk or a fearful hesitation on the landing. Detected early, hip dysplasia can be treated with dog physiotherapy, warmth and movement that is easy on the joints as well as weight loss if necessary. Surgery can also help later. Patellar luxation and HD usually affect middle-aged dogs.

Young representatives of the small herding breed can get a skin disease called collienosis (lupus erythematosus). The causes are partly genetic, but can also be caused by too much sun exposure or trauma. Hair loss, redness, dandruff and crusting appear on the face of affected dogs. The rash can be alleviated with medication, and you can alleviate the suffering with a certain diet and supplements such as vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Even in puppy age, your Sheltie can suffer from the so-called Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), various eye defects such as twisted retinal vessels, dilated pupils, undesirable developments or retinal detachment. However, good Sheltie breeders are aware of these health hazards and perform an eye examination on their puppies. Before you sign the purchase contract, he will inform you of a possibly positive result.

Increase Sheltie Life Expectancy: Health Tips

Sheltie life expectancy averages 12 to 15 years. So that your Shetland Sheepdog lives as long as possible, you should pay attention to its diet and that it does not become too fat. If the ribs of your four-legged friend are no longer palpable on the sides, it is time to reduce the food portions and bring a little more movement into the Sheltie life.

The fluffy herding dogs are very smart and love to be challenged both physically and mentally. For example, agility is often great fun for shelties, but they also enjoy obedience training and can be trained for the companion dog exam.