Corgis are a popular breed that is generally pretty healthy. However, because they are genetically a dwarf breed – a small breed dog that is built proportionally like a “normal sized” breed – they have several health issues that can arise from their long spine and short legs. Whether you own a Pembroke Welsh Corgi or a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the following are the top three health concerns you should know about.
#1 – Intervertebral Disc Disease
Intervertebral disc disease is when the discs between the vertebrae bulge or herniate into the spinal cord space. When that happens, it can cause pain, nerve damage, and paralysis. Corgis are more likely to have Hansen Type I, which is a sudden herniation of a disc. If your Corgi is having trouble walking, refuses to jump, is incontinent, won’t eat, or appears anxious, take him to the vet as soon as possible.
#2 – Hip Dysplasia
Common to many breeds of dogs, hip dysplasia is often seen in the Corgi. It’s best to make sure any breeder you are thinking of getting a puppy from tests for dysplasia in all breeding dogs. If you are rescuing a Corgi, have her checked out by a vet to see if she has or is prone to getting dysplasia so you know what your Corgi will be able to handle in terms of activities and exercise.
#3 – Degenerative Myelopathy
A progressive disease in your Corgi’s spinal cord with no cure or treatments available, degenerative myelopathy causes eventual paralysis in the hind limbs. It usually appears after the age of eight. Luckily, there is a gene that, if present, indicates an increased risk for the disease, so be sure the breeder is testing for this as well as dysplasia prior to breeding.