Life is full of adventure! Parks to explore, things to sniff, balls to chase! But in all that excitement it’s important to ensure you’re keeping your corgi in good health.
Your corgi will only live for 10 to 13 years; only a fraction of what us humans live. So make sure you fill them with love and happiness.
Corgis are susceptible to certain health issues including join pain, obesity, eye and skin problems, and Von Willebrand Disease. It’s important for you to be aware of these health problems and to work closely with your veterinarian to monitor your corgi’s health and catch any problems early on.
Here are the Top 5 corgi health issues that you should look out for in your corgi.
The top 5 common corgi health problems
1. Corgi health issue: back pain and joint pain
Corgis are known for their short legs and long backs, which can put them at risk for certain health issues, including back and joint pain.
One day they’re happy and zooming around the bedroom, and then your realise a decade has passed, and everything is a little slower than it used to be.
If your corgi is a little sluggish, or having difficulty moving, they may have joint or back problems. Some of the important issues that affect corgi’s backs and joints include:
a) Hip dysplasia in your corgi
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint in dogs. It is where the hip socket doesn’t fully cover the ball of the upper thighbone, causing the joint to become loose and unstable.
Hip dysplasia can cause damage the cartilage that lines the joint. It can also damage the soft cartilage around the socket of the hip join.
This can cause your corgi pain and make it difficult for your corgi to walk. Surgery is usually required to fix.
b) Intervertebral disc disease (aka ruptured discs) in your corgi’s spine
Intervertebral disc disease, also known as a ruptured disc, is a common health issue in Corgis.
It occurs when one or more of the discs that cushion the vertebrae in the spine becomes damaged, moved or ruptured.
This then causes the vertebrae to press on sensitive nerves, which can result in pain, paralysis, and other problems.
c) Degenerative myelopathy in your corgi’s spine
Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord in corgis.
It is caused by a loss of nerve cells in the spinal cord, which can lead to muscle weakness, difficulty moving, and eventually paralysis.
Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive condition, which means that it gets worse over time. It typically starts with weakness in the hind legs and gradually progresses to paralysis of the hind legs and then the front legs.
Ultimately, this makes it difficult (or impossible) for your corgi to walk.
This disease is triggered by a rogue gene in the corgi’s DNA, and a good breeder will be able to test for the risk of passing it on, before making the decision to produce puppies.
Common corgi joint and back health problems include hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease, degenerative myelopathy.
How to diagnose back pain and joint pain in your corgi
When you first get your puppy, they’re full of energy and excitement. But as they get older, they may start to slow down and not be as sprightly as they once were.
If you notice your corgi struggling to keep up on runs or having a harder time getting out of bed, they may be experiencing joint or back problems. Common symptoms to look out for include:
- Weakness in the hind legs
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Dragging of the hind legs
- A lack of desire to exercise
These problems can get worse as they age, so it’s important to pay attention to your Corgi’s mobility and watch for signs of discomfort or pain.
What to do if your corgi has back or joint pain
If your corgi is experiencing back or joint pain, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and may recommend X-rays or other imaging tests to assess the cause of your Corgi’s pain. They may also recommend blood tests to check for underlying conditions that could be causing the pain, such as infection or arthritis.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your veterinarian will work with you to develop a treatment plan, which may include medications, physical therapy, weight management, and other measures to help alleviate your corgi’s pain and improve their mobility.
It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and to keep them informed of any changes in your corgi’s symptoms.
2. Corgi health issue: obesity
It’s just one more slice of cake, you say to yourself. What’s the harm? Unfortunately, our bad human habits often follow through to our pets, and obesity is certainly one of those.
Yes, being overweight is not just a problem faced by us mere human mortals, it’s also one to look out for in our four-legged friends. Especially since corgis often give the appearance of being perpetually hungry (they’re tricksters, after all!).
Overeating is a big problem for corgis. Your corgi needs a balanced diet of about half a cup of dog food, twice a day. For bigger corgis, slightly more; for smaller corgis, slightly less.
You can also add in some meat, but don’t overdo it. And make sure they get plenty of exercise. It’s easy for those pounds to pile up if they’re not being burnt off.
Obesity in corgis can lead to other health problems down the line, including joint and back pain, as mentioned before, so keeping an eye on the scales is very important for your little loved one.
How to diagnose obesity in your corgi
There are a few signs you can look for to determine if your dog is overweight.
One of the most obvious signs is if you can see and feel their ribs easily when you run your hands over their sides. You should be able to feel their ribs without pressing too hard, but not see them through their fur.
Another sign of obesity is if your dog is sagging around the belly and hindquarters. Dogs who are at a healthy weight will have a more defined waistline and a more tucked up appearance.
Additionally, if your dog is reluctant to play, run, or climb stairs, or if they seem to be experiencing difficulty with these activities, they may be overweight.
It’s important to consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about your dog’s weight
Your veterinarian will likely perform a physical examination and may recommend weight and body condition scoring to assess your Corgi’s weight and overall health.
They may also recommend blood tests to check for underlying conditions that could be contributing to your Corgi’s obesity, such as hormonal imbalances or thyroid problems.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your veterinarian will work with you to develop a weight loss plan for your Corgi. This may include changes to their diet, increased exercise, and regular weigh-ins to monitor their progress.
What to do if your corgi is obese
If your corgi is obese, it’s important to take steps to help them lose weight and improve their overall health.
Obesity can lead to a number of health issues, including joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes.
To help your corgi lose weight, it’s important to feed them a healthy diet and provide them with plenty of exercise. Work with your veterinarian to determine the right amount of food and the type of food that is best for your corgi.
It’s also important to make sure your corgi is getting enough exercise, which can help them burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Regular walks, runs, and playtime can help to keep your corgi active and healthy.
It’s also a good idea to monitor your corgi’s weight regularly and to check in with your veterinarian regularly to make sure they are on track to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
3. Corgi health issue: eye problems
As your corgi starts to get older, you may notice they have trouble seeing. They may go bumping into things, or misstep when traversing difficult paths.
This is because corgis often develop eye problems as they age. The eye is made up of very delicate parts, that all must work together. If one thing doesn’t work, eyesight is severely compromised.
Here are a few ways that eye problems for your corgi can manifest.
a) Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in corgis
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a genetic condition that affects the retina of the eye.
The retina is the part of the eye that is responsible for sensing light and converting it into nerve signals that are sent to the brain.
In corgis with PRA, the retina starts to degenerate, which can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.
There are two forms of PRA: generalized PRA and central PRA.
Generalized PRA affects the entire retina
Central PRA affects only the central part of the retina.
The form of PRA that a dog has can affect the severity of the condition and the age at which symptoms begin to appear. Symptoms of PRA in dogs may include:
- Decreased vision or night blindness
- Difficulty seeing objects in low light or darkness
- Dilated pupils
- Cloudy or blue-gray appearance of the pupils
Unfortunately, there is no cure for PRA, and treatment is focused on managing the symptoms and helping your Corgi adjust to vision loss.
b) Retinal dysplasia in corgis
Retinal dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the development of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye.
In dogs with retinal dysplasia, the retina does not develop correctly, which can lead to vision problems.
The retina sitsat the back of the eye, and is made up of light-sensitive cells. When the light hits the retina, it transforms it into information for the corgis’ brain. With retinal dysplasia, this process does not occur as expected, which causes vision issues.
c) Lens luxation in corgis
Lens luxation is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes dislocated or displaced from its normal position. This can occur in any breed of dog, including corgis.
The lens is responsible for focusing light onto the retina. It must be held between the iris and the retina.
There are two key types of lens luxation, including anterior luxation, in which the lens is displaced forward in front of the iris, and posterior luxation, in which the lens is displaced backward.
Lens luxation can be caused by trauma to the eye, glaucoma, or other underlying medical conditions.
Symptoms of lens luxation may include sudden onset of eye pain, redness, swelling, and vision loss.
If left untreated, lens luxation can lead to glaucoma and eventually blindness. Treatment may include medications to reduce inflammation and pressure in the eye, surgery to reposition the lens, or removal of the affected eye (enucleation).
It is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible if you suspect that your corgi may be experiencing lens luxation. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to preserve vision and prevent further complications.
Progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, and lens luxation are all common corgi eye problems to look out for as they can warrant a trip to your veterinarian .
How to diagnose eye problems in your corgi
It is important to regularly check your corgi’s eyes for any signs of problems. Here are some steps you can take to diagnose eye problems in your corgi:
- Observe your corgi’s eyes: Look for any changes in the appearance of your corgi’s eyes, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or cloudiness.
- Check for discomfort: Pay attention to your corgi’s behavior, as they may show signs of discomfort or pain if they have an eye problem. This can include rubbing their eyes, squinting, or holding their head tilted to one side.
- Consult with a veterinarian: If you suspect that your corgi has an eye problem, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. A veterinarian will be able to examine your corgi’s eyes and determine the cause of any problems.
- Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations: If your corgi is diagnosed with an eye problem, your veterinarian will provide you with treatment recommendations. It is important to follow these recommendations to help your corgi’s eyes heal and prevent further problems.
It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your corgi’s health and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.
What to do if your corgi has eye problems
If you suspect that your corgi has an eye problem, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. A veterinarian will be able to examine your corgi’s eyes and determine the cause of any problems.
If your corgi is diagnosed with an eye problem, your veterinarian will provide you with treatment recommendations. It is important to follow these recommendations to help your corgi’s eyes heal and prevent further problems.
Treatment for eye problems in corgis may include:
- Medications: Your veterinarian may prescribe eye drops or ointments to help treat the problem.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct an eye problem. This may be a small incision or it could be the removal of the entire eye.
- Eye protectors: If your corgi has an eye injury or condition that requires protection, your veterinarian may recommend the use of eye protectors.
- Follow-up care: It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for follow-up care, which may include regular check-ups and medications.
It is crucial to regularly monitor the health of your corgi and seek professional veterinary care if you have any concerns or suspicions about their well-being.
4. Corgi health issue: skin problems
When you spend a lot of time outside, there’s always a chance that you’ll come into skin problems with your corgi.
Here’s the most common causes, and what to do.
a) Bugs on corgis
It is important to regularly check your corgi for any parasites or bugs that may be present on their fur or skin.
These can include fleas, ticks, and mites, which can cause irritation and discomfort for the animal. This can lead to your corgi biting, itching and scratching their skin.
To prevent infestations, you may want to use a flea and tick preventative medication as recommended by your veterinarian. Flea collars can also come in handy.
It is also a good idea to regularly groom your corgi to remove any dirt, debris, or insects that may be present on their coat. This includes bathing them with flea shampoo.
If they do have bugs, you’ll also want to run your corgi’s bedding through the laundry – blankets, beds, towels, everything! You should also vacuum through the house and get a bug treatment for the whole home.
b) Corgi allergies
Corgis can develop allergies to a variety of substances, including environmental allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust mites, as well as food ingredients and chemicals found in household products.
Allergic reactions can cause symptoms such as inflammation, itching, and red, dry skin patches. In severe cases, allergies can also lead to respiratory issues or other health problems.
If you suspect that your corgi is experiencing an allergic reaction, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Your vet may recommend allergy testing or a trial of a hypoallergenic diet to determine the cause of the allergy and identify the best course of treatment.
In some cases, allergy medication or allergy shots may be necessary to manage your corgi’s symptoms. It is also important to try to reduce your corgi’s exposure to known allergens, such as by using air purifiers or hypoallergenic products in your home, to help prevent further allergic reactions.
c) Corgi hot spots (aka acute moist dermatitis or pyotraumatic dermatitis)
Hot spots are a type of skin irritation that can occur in dogs, including corgis.
They are characterised by red, moist, inflamed patches of skin that can be painful and itchy. Hot spots can be triggered by heat, humidity, and other environmental factors that can cause sweating and irritation in a dog’s skin.
Corgis are prone to hot spots due to their thick fur coats, which can retain heat and moisture.
To help prevent hot spots, it is important to keep your corgi’s coat clean and well-groomed, and to provide plenty of ventilation and shade in hot weather.
If your corgi does develop hot spots, it is important to seek treatment from your veterinarian. Your vet may recommend bathing your corgi with a medicated shampoo and applying a topical cream or ointment to the affected area.
In some cases, a cone may be necessary to prevent your corgi from biting or scratching at the hot spot, which can further irritate the skin and delay healing.
Bugs, hot spots, and allergies are all common skin issues you should watch for in your corgi.
How to diagnose skin problems in your corgi
Here are some things you can do to help diagnose skin problems in your corgi:
First, you should look for changes in your corgi’s skin. Keep an eye out for any redness, swelling, bumps, rashes, or dryness. If your corgi is scratching or biting excessively in any particular area, this could be a sign of a skin problem.
If your corgi seems to be experiencing discomfort or pain due to a skin issue, they may exhibit behaviours such as excessive scratching, biting, or rubbing against objects. This is a sign to look out for.
If you suspect that your corgi has a skin problem, it is important to speak with a veterinarian. They will be able to examine your corgi’s skin and determine the cause of any issues.
Once your corgi is diagnosed with a skin problem, your vet will give you with a treatment plan. Be sure to follow this plan to help your corgi’s skin heal and prevent further problems.
Remember, it’s always a good idea to keep track of your corgi’s health and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.
What to do if your corgi has skin problems
If you suspect your corgi has a skin problem, check in with your vet. Your vet can check your corgi’s skin and determine the root cause of any problems.
If your corgi is diagnosed with a skin problem, they will give you a set of treatment recommendations for you to follow. These may include:
- Allergy testing: If your corgi has a skin allergy, your veterinarian may recommend allergy testing to determine the cause of the allergy.
- Medication: Your vet may prescribe medications, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs, to help treat the problem.
- Topical treatments: Your veterinarian may recommend the use of topical treatments, such as shampoos, ointments, or creams, to help soothe and heal your corgi’s skin.
- Follow-up care: It is important to do follow-up care if your vet thinks your corgi needs it. This may include regular check-ups and more medications
Remember, it’s always a good idea to keep track of your corgi’s health and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns. Your corgi will thank you for it.
5. Corgi health issue: Von Willebrand Disease (Type 1)
When your corgi goes through a bit of rough play or injury, there’s a chance they will bleed.
This is because some corgis inherit Type 1 von Willebrand disease (VWD). This is a blood clotting disorder caused by a lack of von Willebrand factor in the body, needed to slow and stop bleeding.
Common symptoms that may affect your corgi include: bruising, nosebleeds, bleeding from the mouth when losing baby teeth, prolonged bleeding after having any surgery.
While it’s usually manageable, in severe cases, it can lead to death.
A veterinary surgeon can treat symptoms with a blood transfusion, but there is not dietary or hormone way of increasing production of VWF.
While it cannot be cured, it can be managed. A good breeder will ensure that this trait is not inherited from its parents (or at the very least minimised).
If you corgi does experience high levels of bleeding, get it tested as soon as you can.
How to diagnose Von Willebrand Disease (Type 1) in your corgi
Von Willebrand disease is a genetic bleeding disorder that can affect corgis. Here are some steps you can take to diagnose VWD in your corgi:
- Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of VWD: Symptoms of VWD in corgis may include prolonged bleeding after minor cuts or injuries, nosebleeds, blood in the stool or urine, or spontaneous bleeding from the gums.
- Consult with a veterinarian: If you suspect that your corgi has VWD, it is important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. A veterinarian will be able to examine your corgi and determine the cause of any bleeding problems.
- Request a VWD test: Your veterinarian may recommend a VWD test to confirm a diagnosis of VWD. This test typically involves a blood sample, which is sent to a laboratory for analysis.
- Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations: If your corgi is diagnosed with VWD, your veterinarian will provide you with treatment recommendations. It is important to follow these recommendations to help manage your corgi’s bleeding disorder and prevent further problems.
It is always a good idea to keep an eye on your corgi’s health and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.
What to do if your corgis has Von Willebrand disease
If your corgi has been diagnosed with VWD, it is important to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment options for VWD may include:
- Avoid certain activities: Your veterinarian may recommend avoiding certain activities that could increase the risk of bleeding, such as rough play or contact sports.
- Medications: Your veterinarian may prescribe medications to help control bleeding and prevent bleeding episodes. It is important to avoid giving your corgi any non-prescription medications or supplements without first consulting your veterinarian.
- Diet: Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet to help manage VWD. This may include adding supplements such as vitamin K to help with blood clotting.
- Surgical procedures: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying cause of the bleeding disorder.
- Blood transfusions: In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend a blood transfusion to help replace lost blood and improve your Corgi’s condition.
It is important to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and to provide your corgi with regular check-ups and monitoring to ensure that their condition is being properly managed. With proper treatment, many dogs with VWD are able to live long and healthy lives.
Final thoughts on common corgi health issues
Corgis are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues such as back and joint problems, eye problems, obesity, genetic conditions, and skin allergies
It is important to work closely with a veterinarian to identify and manage any health issues that may affect your corgi, particularly as you grow old together.
Many conditions can be avoided through careful breeding by a reputable breeder. However, in all instances, regular check-ups, a healthy diet, and exercise can help keep your corgi healthy and happy.