australian kelpie breed information

common health issues

The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.

The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for regulating and coordinating the body's movement. Affected dogs are normal at birth, but the cerebellar cells deteriorate prematurely. Symptoms include poor coordination, lack of balance and a high-stepping gait. At this time, there is no treatment for this progressive disease.

Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or more of the testicles to drop into the scrotum. Because retained testicles are prone to testicular torsion and cancer to a much higher degree, they should be surgically removed. Your veterinarian can perform surgery at your pet's normal neutering age.

A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its groove � sometimes referred to as a "trick knee". It is usually caused by several inherited factors including a shallow patella groove. In individuals with moderate or severe disease, surgical correction in often recommended to prevent a progression that includes severe lameness, chronic pain and thickening of the knee.

Cutaneous asthenia is an inherited connective tissue disease. Clinical signs are caused by abnormal collagen formation and include loose, fragile and easily torn skin. There is no cure or treatment for this disease other than avoiding trauma. It is fairly easy to recognize this condition in dogs, but can be confirmed with a skin biopsy.

As you may have guessed, the Australian Kelpie originated in Australia, where she mostly works as a sheepdog (there are rumors that the Kelpie has some Dingo blood in it, but very few would actually admit to cross breeding with Dingos, given their predatory nature in the outback!). The Australian Kelpie has two registries in Australia — working dogs and show dogs — but is not recognized as a registered breed by the American Kennel Club in the United States.

As a working dog in Australia, the Kelpie stands at about 20 inches at the shoulder and stays busy guarding and managing almost every type of livestock. Sheep, cattle, goats or pigs – you name it, the Australian Kelpie will manage it! His signature move is walking across a flock of sheep on the sheeps’ backs – without his paws ever touching the ground!

The Kelpie as a whole is friendly and loyal, but he needs to be kept busy. Without an outlet for mental and physical energy, he can become destructive and high-strung. For this reason, Kelpies are not appropriate for apartment living. Luckily, grooming is easy with this short-haired dog – an occasional brushing is all he needs.

Energetic though they are, Australian Kelpies are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Kelpies are prone to include eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy; knee problems like medial patellar luxation; brain conditions such as cerebellar abiotrophy; muscle conditions such as cutaneous asthenia; and developmental problems such as cryptorchidism.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Australian Kelpie inherits more than a strong herding instinct, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)