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The Healthy Sheltie: a Wellness Program

I am committed to the pursuit of optimum health in the Palisades Shelties through the following:

  1. Genetic Testing/Screening
  2. Natural, fresh food diet
  3. Active lifestyle with plenty of exercise
  4. Holistic Veterinary Care, with emphasis on prevention
  5. Modified Vaccination Schedule
  6. Working & Training: Obedience Training, Tracking, Agility or other activities enhance your relationship and direct your Sheltie’s keen intelligence and working ability
  7. Regular grooming, with attention to feet (nails) and ears
  8. Spaying and neutering at appropriate time


Genetic Testing/Screening

Exciting new advancements are being made in this field which will ultimately help breeders limit the incidence of serious inherited problems in dogs. Although Shelties are generally healthy, there are problems that can be inherited and which concerned breeders are seeking to eliminate from their lines. These include:

Inherited Eye Disorders, notably PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), Sheltie Eye Anomaly (also known as "Collie Eye"), corneal dystrophy, and others,

Hip Dysplasia. Although Shelties rarely have to be euthanized when dysplastic, it is a crippling condition that can lead to early arthritis and seriously compromise quality of life.

Von Willebrandt’s Disease, a blood clotting disorder. Though rarely fatal, it too can seriously undermine the health of the dog, especially as s/he ages

Thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism is widespread in many breeds, including Shelties, and the contributing factors are varied. Research (and controversy) is ongoing in this area, with promising developments which may help identify dogs at risk for later thyroid problems.

Dermatomyositis, also known as "Sheltie Skin Syndrome" is an inherited skin and muscle disease affecting Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs. The mode of inheritance has not been established, but research is underway to develop a DNA test for carriers of the disease, which is disfiguring in mild cases, and fatal in severe ones.

Heart Defects: PDA (patent ductus arteriosis, a failure of ducts in the heart to close around the time of birth), several atrial/septal valvular defects

Seizures / Epilepsy Although epilepsy is not considered to be a widespread problem in the breed, any young dog that has seizures should receive a thorough workup.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease - a crippling disease of the hip joint, believed to be a recessive inherited condition

Poor temperament. Extreme fearfulness, sound sensitivity and emotional instability have been found to be strongly hereditary traits. Although a dog with a good temperament may be made shy or aggressive through neglect or abusive treatment, s/he can usually adapt with surprising ease to a nurturing environment.


All Palisades Shelties used for breeding have been:

1. Examined by a board-certified veterinary opthamologist and cleared of hereditary eye disorders; have been radiographed and had hips evaluated by either the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) or the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA), and have been found to have normal levels of Von Willebrands factor antigen (VWD normal), and are thoroughly examined by a veterinarian experienced in detecting cardiac irregularities.

2. In many cases, a test of thyroid function (the MSU thyroid profile) has been done to verify normal thyroid function

Despite every precaution, there can be a genetic problem with a puppy (even one that does not show up early on), but by carefully evaluating and selecting parents, we hope to minimize the number of Shelties with preventable health problems. The Palisades Sheltie is guaranteed for life against hereditary or congenital defects.



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Copyright 1997 Palisades Kennels
This site created by: WEBFeat!!   Last edited: Monday, January 05, 1998