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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Health Guide

With good care and proper nutrition, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi will give you 12 to 15 years of enjoyment and companionship. This small, sturdy dog does tend to gain weight if not fed correctly or given enough exercise.

As with most purebred dogs, the Corgi may develop a few health problems that are inherent in the breed. Many of these conditions can be avoided through good breeding and with early checkups by a veterinarian.


Health Problems in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The breeding pool for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is actually quite large in the United States, so breeders do have the opportunity to avoid some of the genetic problems that can come from non-selective breeding. Keep in mind that problems do occur in the best situations. Those who are considering a Corgi as a family pet should be aware of potential genetic disorders that may come up.

Among these conditions is the less threatening fluffy coat that some Pembroke Welsh Corgis have develop because of indiscriminate breeding. The Corgi coat should be composed of a short undercoat and a slightly longer, thicker overcoat.

However, the hair should not be long, puffed up or fluffy. In addition, many clubs and organizations considered coats that are mostly white or bluish in tint to be unacceptable. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi colors are black and tan, fawn, sable, or red, with the customary white markings.

Monorchidism is a rare condition that sometimes affects this breed. The male of the breed may develop only one testicle. In a related condition, unilateral cryptorchidism, both testicles develop but one remains in the abdomen and does not descend. The two conditions are distinct and new owners of Pembroke Welsh Corgis should be aware of the possibility of monorchidism.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi Health


The condition can be confirmed through a procedure called plasma testosterone analysis. Most people experienced in dog health recommend neutering of such a male and add that this dog should not be used for breeding.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that can develop to several degrees, causing pain and limited movement in dogs. The level of arthritis results from an abnormally developed hip joint. Cartilage damage is one of the first problems that arise. Generally, as the cartilage cannot remain thick and elastic, the inflammation spreads from the joint to the surrounding tissue. Dogs with hip dysplasia often show obvious signs of lameness and pain when walking or rising from sleep.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals urges owners and breeders to have their dogs tested through the radiographic process that can identify joint irregularities. This process can help prevent use of young dogs in the breeding pool and eliminate some cases of hip dysplasia. It is highly recommended that owners and breeders consult with a veterinarian about this procedure. If you are thinking about adding a Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a family pet, ask your breeder about OFA certification.

Progressive retinal atrophy is a genetic eye disease that may affect several breeds of dog, including the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. This condition has been recognized in dogs for nearly a century, with the first modern-day description coming in Gordon Setters.

The retina tissue in the back of they eye contains nerve receptors called rods and cones. Progressive retinal atrophy usually affects the rods first, causing problems with vision in dim light. The cones, which provide daylight vision, are often affected later.

Owners should be aware of the possibility of their pet developing a cloudiness or change in appearance to the eye often described as a “shine.” Diagnosis can be made by an ophthalmoscopic examination. Different breeds of dog develop this condition at different times.

With proper breeding and care, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi should live 12 to 14 years without major health problems. They do tend to become overweight if not fed properly or do not receive enough exercise.

Because of their long, low build, the Corgi may also develop some spinal problems. This breed should not be allowed to jump from great heights and should be discouraged from jumping onto and off furniture.


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