The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small adorably cute breed that is eager to please and train and loves to be anywhere their family is.
They are of short stature with a nice sturdy body which is held up by little short legs. The name Corgi means “dwarf dog” in Welsh and this is because of achondroplasia or dwarfism which all Corgis have.
In Wales, legend has it that two children came across the funeral of a fairy as they ran through the forest.
Fairies attending the funeral gave these children each Corgi puppies and this is thought to be how corgis came about!
History, however, states that weavers from Belgium brought Corgis to Wales around 1107a.d. Either way, they got there, and they’ve brightened many a day with their cheery happy ways.
Due to their small stature, Corgis can be prone to certain health conditions and some issues can be inherited like a few eye problems.
In this post, we will learn about Corgi’s eye problems. I will also answer the question, “Do Corgis have eye problems?”
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Do Corgis Have Eye Problems?
Just as any human or any dog can develop health issues, we and they can develop eye problems.
A few eye problems are more common in Corgis than others, some are inherited and some can occur as your Corgi ages. Yes, Corgis can suffer from eye problems.
Common Eye Problems of the Corgi
Although your Corgi may never ever suffer from eye problems at all, below are some issues that Corgis have been known to be prone to.
Glaucoma is a common eye disease that Corgis are predisposed to, causing damage to the eye’s optic nerve and creating intraocular pressure. There are two different types of glaucoma and the causes are not the same.
- primary glaucoma – This is caused by abnormalities in a healthy eye at birth, and is inherited. This type of inherited glaucoma can occur no matter the age of your pup but generally is diagnosed between three and seven years of age.
- secondary glaucoma – This also involves pressure in the eye, but its cause is either an injury to the eye or another disease. Examples are infections that cause inflammation of the eye, tumors, detached retina, or cataracts that have progressed.
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- Pain can be mild, moderate, or severe.
- Your pup will rub one eye or not open it all the way.
- Very red blood vessels in the white of your Corgi’s eye.
- Cautious walking.
- Bumping onto furniture.
- Watery discharge.
- Different-sized pupils.
- Cloudy cornea.
- Vision can become impaired and lead to blindness.
Older dogs may develop symptoms in one eye and then the other. Treating glaucoma should begin as early as it’s diagnosed and depends on the type of glaucoma.
Glaucoma Treatments can be:
- Medications – oral medications, eye drops or ointment, some for pain and some for treatment.
- Cyclocryotherapy – destroys the cells that cause pressure to build up.
Cataracts are pretty widespread in the Corgi breed, more so as your Corgi ages and just as in humans.
These do not cause pain as in glaucoma, but can gradually cause blindness. Cataracts can be caused by diabetes or injury but most often are inherited. Symptoms change the colored part of your pup’s eye, the iris.
It will appear very cloudy and opaque. Your Corgi may also walk a little gingerly and be unsure of their steps, especially in unfamiliar places. Eyes may water.
A visual exam by your veterinarian can diagnose cataracts. The most common and best treatment for cataracts is surgery and proceeding with this early on is best if your Corgi is deemed a good candidate.
If your pup has other health issues that have caused cataracts, blindness will be gradual. Dogs do quite well adjusting to sightlessness, as they have all of their other excellent senses to rely on.
Progressive retinal atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA is a disease that causes the wasting away of the retina and will lead to eventual blindness.
This is an inherited disease and cells that allow light to enter the eye gradually deteriorate. PRA is not painful and again dogs adapt well to blindness, using other senses to help them get around.
There are two types of PRA, early-onset, which is also known as retinal dysplasia, and late-onset, which is PRA.
Progressive retinal atrophy Symptoms are:
- Night blindness.
- Hesitant to go outside in the dark.
- Change in pupils – usually dilated.
There is no cure for progressive retinal atrophy but dogs carrying the gene should not be bred.
Primary Lens Luxation
This is a neurological disorder of the eye that causes fibers, which hold the lens in place, to begin to fall out and eyesight will be affected.
Pain can also be excruciating, so your Corgi may act oddly or even become aggressive. It is similar to having something in your eye that is very painful and won’t come out. The cause is genetic with symptoms being continuing pain.
There is a treatment for primary lens luxation and it is surgery, which is quite successful. It is just imperative that if your Corgi seems in pain and acts oddly, take them quickly to their veterinarian or a veterinary clinic. This pain will not go away without surgery.
Corgi Eye Discharge
All dogs have discharge from their eyes. Many are normal and occur every day and other types of discharge may be cause for concern. Below are different types of eye discharges.
Tears are essential for eye health, to nourish and provide the cornea with oxygen. Most people and dogs wake in the morning or after naps with some type of gunk or crust in the corners of their eyes.
This is just an accumulation of tears, dead skin cells, mucus, or even dust and is generally clear. It can and should be easily wiped away.
There should be no signs of redness or irritation in the eyes. This is everyday normal goop!
Constant watery eyes
The name for watery eyes is epiphora and it means when eyes water excessively. Causes can be:
- Irritants (dust, cleaners, etc.).
- Blocked tear duct.
- Foreign body in the eye.
- Corneal abrasion.
Keep an eye on this and if watering continues or your Corgi’s eyes are red, irritated, and uncomfortable see your veterinarian.
When your Corgi’s immune system goes haywire and attacks the eye it may destroy glands that generate tears which provide necessary lubrication for the eye.
This is called KCS, keratoconjunctivitis, or dry eye. The eye tries to make tears but instead produces mucus which can be grey or white.
Eyes can develop ulcers and become painful and red. This is extremely uncomfortable and can lead to blindness.
Treatment may be drops of artificial tears or certain medications. Surgery is also a consideration.
These discharge colors are typical of an eye infection. Eyes may also be inflamed, swollen, and red, and your Corgi may be suffering some discomfort as well.
An eye infection is known as conjunctivitis or pink eye and this is the most common type. This can arise from an injury, foreign object in the eye, underlying condition, or illness like a respiratory infection.
Treatment is usually with antibiotic eye drops, sometimes oral antibiotics also, and treatment of any underlying condition causing the eye infection.
Many eye problems are common in all dogs but this doesn’t mean that your Corgi will develop them.
Keep in mind the symptoms of eye issues and diseases and if your Corgi shows any signs, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian so your Corgi has a perfectly clear and comfortable view of the world around them.