Corgi's have recently gained popularity over the last 10 years, and many corgi parents are unaware of the health issues to look out for in your adorable, goofy corgi friend! Here are the top 5 health problems corgis can face.
Pembroke Corgis have a very high risk of developing Degenerative Myelopathy or DM. DM is very similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease in humans. DM is a pain-free disease that degrades the nerves of the spinal cord causing paralysis overtime, your corgi may start to exhibit symptoms when they get to 8 years old or older. There is no cure for DM but there are studies that show early intervention with physical therapies such as laser therapy and hydro therapy can slow the progression in the disease. You are able to test your corgi to find out if they are a carrier of the DM gene.
IVDD is another spinal cord illness that causes paralysis in corgis. Intervertebral Disk Disease is one of the most prevalent health problems in corgis.
Unlike DM which has a higher instance in Pembroke Corgis, IVDD is slightly more common in Cardigan Welsh Corgis, impacting up to 20% of the breed. IVDD affects your corgi's spine and the cushion in between the vertebrae that allows your dog to run and play without pain. Over time the cushion hardens in dog's with IVDD and makes movement painful and dogs become more likely to herniate or rupture their spines. The condition can cause temporary or permanent paralysis.
Hip and Elbow Displasia
This is an inherited disease that causes the joints to develop improperly and results in pain. Stiffness in your Corgi's elbows or hips may become a problem for them, especially as your corgi gets older, making it difficult for your corgi to go for long walks, climb stairs, and play. Over time you might start to notice signs of lameness in his legs or that he has difficulty getting up from lying down. He might show signs of pain when you pet his hip area like yelping or shying away from your touch.
Eye Disease and Blindness
Corgi's have been know to have cataracts, glaucoma, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA. These diseases will cause progressive blindness in your Corgi. Blind dog's would greatly benefit from a Blind Dog Halo to halo them navigate their surroundings and protect them from bumping into objects.
In older Pembroke Corgis you will want to watch out for the lenses their eyes, if they start to look cloudy instead of clear, cataracts may be the cause. Many dogs adjust well to losing their vision and get along just fine with a bit of help.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PRA is a degenerative condition that affects the photoreceptors in a dog’s eyes, degrades vision over time. PRA will typically first start as night blindness and progress from there.
Corgis are bred with achondroplasia, a genetic mutation that causes the limbs to stop growing prematurely. Achondroplasia gives your corgi their cute, stubby legs but because of this they are much more likely to develop arthritis. You can manage the severity of the arthritis by keeping your pup's weight under control! While corgis look like patatos, they love to run and play. Keep your corgi's weight managed to avoid putting excess pressure on their joints.