Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog Health Concerns

The Australian Cattle Dog is a relatively healthy and long-lived breed. However, as with other breeds, they are susceptible to some health problems, some of a genetic nature, others viral. The following is a brief listing of some of the known health issues that affect the Australian Cattle Dog breed. For more indepth information, references are listed at the end of this article.


The Australian Cattle Dog as a breed is known to have occasional problems with deafness. The exact genetic mode of inheritance of deafness in the Australian Cattle Dog to date is not known.

It should be noted, that as in other genetic anomalies, but especially in the case of deafness (as so little is understood about the inheritance), the clear testing of the sire and dam of a litter does not mean that the puppies will have full hearing.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia (HD) occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joints just don’t fit properly together. HD can afflict just one joint or both joints of a dog and is a serious problem in Australian Cattle Dogs.

Through selective breeding strategies, veterinarians and breeders are attempting to eliminate Canine Hip Dysplasia. All breeding dogs should be x-rayed and certified clear by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and/or by the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP).

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA is an inherited disorder that affects the retina of the eye. Recent research has shown that there are two types of PRA in the Australian Cattle Dog breed. One form is the late-onset Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (PRCD) and is an autosomal recessive form of PRA. The second type is known to be caused by another gene causing PRA or a PRA-like disorder in the breed and research is continuing to try to isolate the gene.


Note: This section is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters. The information provided here is a brief outline of some of the health issues which may be of concern for the Australian Cattle Dog and should not be considered as a complete listing. For more details and links to some indepth websites, please see the Health & Nutrition section of the website.

— is an Amazon Associate as well as a participant in various affiliate programs, as such fees are earned from qualifying purchases.