Editorial Note: Forbes Advisor may earn a commission from partner links. This does not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.
Corgis are a beloved breed known for their adorable looks and charming personalities. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed, famously cherished by the late Queen Elizabeth II, is typically 10 to 12 inches tall and weighs up to 30 pounds. Corgis are highly intelligent and energetic dogs that make great companions for families and single owners alike. Their popularity has earned them the 11th spot on the list of most popular dog breeds.
However, before adopting a corgi, it’s important to consider the potential health issues that come with the breed. Like many purebred dogs, corgis face health problems that can be passed down through genetics or develop over time and require veterinary treatment or surgery. Here are some of the most common health issues faced by corgis.
Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition commonly found in corgis. This condition causes the hip joint to not form properly, resulting in stiffness, pain, and wobbling of the hind legs. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 21% of corgis studied had dysplastic hips ranging from mild to severe. While there is no cure for hip dysplasia, there are surgical correction options available that can help manage the condition. A vet will first conduct a hip screening with x-rays to determine if a corgi has hip dysplasia. Treatment options usually start with medical management, including weight control and exercise. There are also drug options available, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers that can help relieve pain in dogs. Surgery may be required for more severe cases, with costs ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 per hip.
Von Willebrand’s Disease is a genetic disorder that affects the way a dog’s blood clots. Dogs with this disorder are at risk of excessive bleeding if they are injured or undergo surgery. Fortunately, there is a blood test available to screen for Von Willebrand’s Disease. According to a study by VetGen, 6% of corgis tested were affected by the disease, while 37% were carriers. If a corgi tests positive for Von Willebrand’s Disease, a veterinarian will take special precautions during any necessary surgeries to prevent excessive bleeding, such as administering transfusions of canine blood products.
Degenerative Myelopathy is a neurodegenerative spinal cord disorder that can cause muscle weakness, starting in the hind legs and eventually leading to paralysis. Although often found in German Shepherds, it has also been found in other purebred dogs, including corgis. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 53.4% of corgis tested had degenerative myelopathy, and 32.9% were carriers of the disorder. While there is no cure for degenerative myelopathy, daily physiotherapy can help slow its progression. A six-week treatment plan ranges from $1,750 to $2,250.
Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) is a disorder where a spinal disc protrudes into the spinal cord, leading to serious health complications. According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, 14% of corgis were diagnosed with this disease. Because of their long backs, overweight corgis are at a higher risk of IVDD. Signs of IVDD include back or neck pain, a “drunken sailor” walk, complete loss of hind limb motor function, and loss of pain perception. Treatment options include pain medication, cage rest, and surgery, with costs ranging from $3,000 to $8,000 for surgery.
Cataracts are a common eye condition that can lead to decreased vision and blindness. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 18% of corgis had juvenile cataracts and 28% had senile cataracts. Surgery by a veterinary ophthalmologist is often required when vision is significantly impaired. The long-term success rate for cataract surgeries is 80% to 90%, with costs ranging from $3,500 to $4,600 for a single-eye surgery and $4,200 to $4,600 for both eyes.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is a congenital heart disease caused when a blood vessel in the heart doesn’t constrict properly. The Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club reports that PDA typically presents in corgis before the age of 1. This disorder can cause exercise intolerance, coughing, weakness, and collapse and is typically diagnosed when a puppy is brought in for a first exam and a heart murmur is found. Treatment options include medication and surgery, with costs varying depending on the severity of the condition.
While corgis make wonderful pets, it’s essential to consider the potential health issues they may face. Seek advice from your veterinarian before adopting a corgi to ensure that you are prepared to handle any health problems that may arise.