Pastoral Breed Health Foundation – What’s been happening?

Gonioscopy Project

In the U.K. the border collie has been placed on Schedule B by the BVA which means the breed is currently under investigation.

In 2015 the UK Kennel Club started recording the date of any goniodysgenesis performed on any border collies by owners submission.

The results of the eye test is not recorded just that the dog has been examined and the date.
 A paper is awaiting publication by our researchers and is being reviewed for publication. Please look out for updates on our latest news section.

Research into epilepsy project

By combining the expertise of the clinicians to diagnose dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and state of the art genetic research capability we hope to identify the genetic factors that influence a Border Collie’s risk of developing epilepsy. If the research is successful the end product will be a DNA test that can identify any Border Collie’s risk of developing epilepsy and passing it on to future generations. The project is likely to take several years to complete but the first, and arguably most important, step is DNA sample collection. Once sufficient samples have been collected we will analyse genetic markers distributed evenly across the dogs genome to identify those that are shared by all affected dogs and different from those carried by dogs that don’t suffer from epilepsy. These markers will point us to the region(s) of the DNA that contains mutation(s) that are responsible for causing epilepsy. Once we have determined the region of DNA that contains the mutations we can undertake additional experiments to identify the mutations themselves. If we are to be successful we need DNA samples from dogs affected.

The research project has been in progress for many years now and the two main researchers the AHT and Finland have decided to put their efforts into different groups of border collies with Finland using samples mainly from the working dogs. The AHT has access to the samples and information already in Finland and will work in liaison with Finland.

The PBHF have been assisting the research and currently we are able to take swabs at any of our clinics.  Please contact us for you would like a swabbing kit. The dogs required for the project are any dogs that have been confirmed by a vet as having epilepsy and a form is available for completion around the history and tests undertaken by the owners vet. Samples for dogs over the age of 7 that have never had a fit are also required to form part of the control group.


Kathie Kinton