Corgi Health Issues

There are two types of Corgis: the Cardigan Welsh Corgis and the Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Although they are very similar in appearance and structure, they are two completely different breeds. The origins of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi can be traced back to 1200 BC when they were brought to Cardiganshire in Wales by Celts. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was brought to Pembrokeshire in Wales around 1100 by Flemish weavers.

Their appearance differs as well. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have long tails, while Pembroke Welsh Corgis have their tails docked while they are puppies. Also, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are slightly larger and their ears are round, while Pembrokes are smaller and their ears are pointy. The Pembroke Welsh corgi is mostly seen in red, black, or sable color, while Cardigans can be found in more colorations.

Both Pembroke and Welsh Corgis are very friendly and willing to please the owner. Their devotion and fun character make them the ideal pet for households with children.

Do Corgis Have Health Issues?

Both the Pembroke Welsh and the Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a tendency towards the same health issues. The average life expectancy of a Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgies is 12 – 15 years. They are susceptible to a large number of hereditary and other diseases.

The health issues that have been reported in Corgis over the years are the following:

  • Skin problems: demodectic mange, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome/dermatosparaxis
  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease (IDD), canine paralysis
  • Eye problems: cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), retinal dysplasia, persistent pupillary membranes (PPM), lens luxation, blindness
  • Urinary tract problems: urinary stones, cystinuria, kidney failure, urethral obstruction
  • Hearth problems: patent ductus arteriosus
  • Reproductive issues: cryptorchidism, false pregnancies
  • Bleeding disorders: von Willebrand’s disease
  • Severe combined immunodeficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Canine cancer
  • Obesity

The list is not ranked according to any special criteria so it doesn’t necessarily mean that the health issues from the top of the list occur more often than those from the bottom. Also, it doesn’t mean that every Corgie will develop the health issues listed above, but their breed has a history of developing them.

Corgis are prone to the development of combined immunodeficiency, which makes them susceptible to the development of other health issues, most often skin and respiratory diseases. Corgi puppies can develop these conditions as early as six weeks of age. To prevent this from happening, screening tests need to be conducted, especially on the female part of the population (because they are carriers of these genes), which help in the early detection of these mutations and the exclusion of such individuals from breeding. Corgi females have difficulty giving birth so a cesarean section is often indicated.

Since Corgis are one of those breeds with short legs and long bodies, back problems may occur at least once during the lifetime. Therefore, they should avoid going down the stairs and jumping so as not to injure the spine.

This breed sheds fairly so weekly brushing is enough to maintain the coat. Regular teeth brushing, ears and paws checks and cleaning, especially after walks, can help prevent the occurrence of various health complications.