Your Corgi is a friendly, intelligent working dog that was bred to herd cattle. Corgis originated in Wales. They were cultivated by shepherds who needed help controlling large herds. Corgis’ intelligence and social skills were perfect for the task of herding larger animals in a group. Those same traits—intelligence and sociability—are why Corgis are such popular and beloved family pets. So are their short legs, fluffy coats, big ears, and friendly faces.
Like all dog breeds, Corgis are more likely to be afflicted by certain health problems and disabilities than other dogs. Corgis are more likely than other dogs to develop:
- Back problems
- Canine cancer
- Complications from pregnancy
- Eye disease and disability
Back Problems in Corgis
Corgis are prone to back problems, particularly herniated discs. Corgis have long bodies and short legs, which can cause stress on their spine. As Corgis age, accumulated pressure on the spine can cause dogs to develop painful disabilities.
Dogs’ spines are very similar to humans’. Like us, dogs have disc-shaped cushions, made of cartilage, that separate their vertebra from each other and absorb shocks. When those cushions become inflamed or slide out of place in a dog’s spine, they cause pain and put pressure on the spinal cord. The condition, Intervertebral Disc Disease, can even cause nerve damage. Because of Corgis’ long bodies, short legs, and differences in the composition of their cartilage discs, they are susceptible to this disability.
If a corgi suffers nerve damage as a result of a slipped disc, they can suffer from diminished motor function or even become paralyzed. If your Corgi becomes partially paralyzed, it would probably benefit from a wheelchair. K9 Carts makes custom-designed, purpose-made wheelchairs for any dog.
Degenerative Myelopathy in Corgis
Corgis are one of the breeds that are most likely to develop degenerative myelopathy, a nerve condition. Degenerative myelopathy begins in a dog’s spinal cord, and eventually results in severe nerve damage and loss of motor function. Corgis with degenerative myelopathy will struggle to move and stand, and may eventually suffer partial or total paralysis.