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Do Corgis Have Eye Problems? Do Corgis Have Good Eyesight?

Do Corgis Have Eye Problems? Do Corgis Have Good Eyesight?

Before you make a decision to adopt a Corgi as your family pet, make sure you are well acquainted with all the potential health issues that this breed is prone to. Today, we are going to answer a fundamental question: Do Corgis have eye problems?

Eye problems can make your beloved Corgi suffer, so stay tuned and learn everything about the symptoms you should be on the lookout for, as well as the prevention and treatment options.

Cutting Right To The Chase: Do Corgis Have Eye Problems?

Unfortunately, Corgis are more prone to certain eye conditions than some other breeds of dogs. It is therefore essential to be on the lookout and act as soon as you notice any problems.

The AKC has recommended that all Corgis should have an eye exam since they are more prone to a few eye disorders. It is imperative for breeders to make sure there are no congenital conditions that can be passed on the future generations. 

We have consulted veterinarians and made the most detailed list of all the potential issues you might have to face as your Corgi ages. Some of these concerns can be avoided with proper care and specific preventive measures, while others can be significantly diminished by a timely reaction and adequate treatment. 

If you stay with us, you will be well informed and thus ready to care for your Corgi’s eyes in the best possible way. 

Corgi Puppies’ Eyes

The care for your Corgi’s eyes begins from the very first day he or she arrives in your home. If you are taking care of your pup from the day it was born, you need to understand how his or her senses work. You want to make sure that your Corgi’s eyes develop properly, don’t you?

Here are the answers to the two most important questions that concern the owners of newborn Corgi puppies:

When Do Corgis’ Eyes Open?

You can expect your puppies’ eyes to open after two to three weeks. Some puppies open their eyes as early as ten days after they were born. Still, even when pups do open their eyes, their sight is quite limited. 

Luckily for them, Corgi youngsters can rely on their superior sense of smell to navigate around your home. Their eyes will continue to develop over the next few weeks, and they will reach full vision when they are about eight weeks of age.

When Do Corgis’ Eyes Change Color?

Once your Corgi’s eyes start to open, they will most probably be foggy and bluish. Some Corgis have almost grey eyes, too, so that should not surprise you either.

Why Does This Happen?

The iris in puppies’ eyes lacks melanin, but it will build up as they grow, turning their eyes darker. The concentration of melanin dictates just how dark your Corgi’s eyes will be when they are fully developed. 

When Will The Color Change?

Typically the change starts to show around the third week of Corgi’s life. Most Corgis will have eyes that are some shade of brown color depending on the coat coloration. 

Having blue eyes is a result od a rare mutation in Corgis and thus not in tune with the breed standard. Only blue merle Corgis can have blue eyes and not be disqualified.  

The change of color will happen gradually, so do not be alarmed if your Corgi’s eyes are a bit brighter at first – they will shift into the darker hue. It might take up to twelve weeks until your Corgi’s eyes are fully matured. 

Do Corgis Have Good Eyesight?

When young and healthy, your Corgi will have just as good eyesight as any other dog. The question is whether Corgis, or dogs in general, can see better or worse than humans? The answer is not simple for two reasons. 

First, even though dogs are not color blind, as many people believe, they cannot enjoy the full spectrum of colors like we humans do. Your Corgi’s eyes lack a couple of cones responsible for color vision in the retina. As a result, he or she can see only a few colors, such as blue and yellow. Keep that in mind when buying toys for your pup!

Do not be said for your Corgi though, being unable to see pink or red color is compensated for by a superior night-vision. Your pup can see much better in the dark than you can. 

How come? Dogs have more rods in their eyes, and that enables them to see way better in dim light than we do.

What about seeing small details? Who wins in that category – you or your Corgi?

You have the upper hand when it comes to noticing small details. Your Corgi’s eyes are not able to spot fine details; why would they? After all, Corgis are born herders who need to detect only the movement in order to be successful.

When it comes to eye disorders, the incidence of notable inherited or congenital eye conditions in Corgis is relatively low. There are also a few eye conditions your Corgi can acquire if you are not careful. We will tackle both in the following section, so stay tuned!

See Also: Do Corgis Get Tear Stains? Do Corgis Have Watery Eyes?

The Most Common Eye Problems in Corgis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Luckily for all the Corgi lovers, eye problems are not a common thing for this breed. Stills, dogs generally have issues with eyes, so your Corgi can experience some too. You should be ready to help your pup in such situations.

Here is the list of the most common eye problems in Corgis:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Corgis are at risk of developing a degenerative eye condition called progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA. This disease affects the photoreceptors in your pet’s eyes. As a result, your Corgis vision will degrade, and he or she can eventually turn blind.   

The good news is that this condition is not painful. Unfortunately, the quality of your dog’s life will be greatly diminished. 

What are the early symptoms you should keep an eye on?

Night blindness is the most apparent symptom of PRA. If your dog keeps bumping into things when it is dark or is reluctant to go out at night, he or she might be night-blind, and PRA could be the cause of it. 

You can perform a simple test and point a flashlight towards your dog’s eyes. If the eyes seem too reflective or the pupils look more dilated than usual, your dog might be night blind, and you need to take him or her to the vet to determine the cause and tell you how you can help your dog.

Unfortunately, there is still no treatment for PRA, but it is good that you find out about it as early as possible so that you can keep your Corgi safe and comfortable. The vet can tell you about everything you can expect as the PRA progresses so that you can be ready to tackle all the problems.

Eventually, all dogs that suffer from PRA go entirely blind. It can be heart-breaking for the owner, but dogs are generally highly adaptive and manage such handicaps rather well.

Poor vision at low-light conditions
Bumping into things
Difficulty finding toys or food
Cloudiness in the eyes
Overly reflective eyes
What Can You Do?
Never let your Corgi roam free, especially at night
Do not turn off the lights when you go to sleep
Keep a consistent routine
Talk to your Corgi as often as you can
Keep water and food always in the same place
Let other people know your Corgi has poor vision or is blind

Age-related Eye Conditions

Just like humans, dogs become more prone to some eye conditions and disabilities as they age. Corgis are no exception. As a result, cataracts are quite a common thing in older Corgis.

Two things can lead to the cataract:

  • Change in the water balance on the lens
  • Change of the protein content within the lens

As a result, the lens becomes cloudy, and light cannot reach the retina of the dog’s eye. It interferes with the dog’s eyesight and eventually leads to blindness.

What are the causes of cataracts in Corgis?

Often, cataracts are hereditary and a result of some gene mutations. You can perform a genetic test to determine if your dog is at high risk, but not every Corgi with this mutation will develop a cataract. 

Diabetes is also sometimes a cause of cataracts in dogs. The majority of dogs develop this eye condition within a year of being diagnosed with diabetes. High sugar levels in a dog’s blood change the balance of water in the lens and thus cause cataracts too. Diabetic cataracts develop quickly and lead to blindness in a matter of days. 

At a mature stage, the cataract can be seen as a white disk behind your Corgi’s iris. Instead of being black as usual, this area will be completely white. 

Sometimes cataracts are confused with nuclear sclerosis – a change that occurs in all the animals as they age. However, the cause of this condition is quite different – it is a result of the hardening of the lens. Dogs that suffer from nuclear sclerosis experience haziness but can still see since the light is able to pass through and contact the retina.

To make sure why your dog is experiencing eye problems, you should best visit a vet. The vet will examine your dog’s eyes by using a bright light and a magnifying lens and tell you if your dog has a cataract or not. Experienced vets can detect cataracts quite early, even before they affect your dog’s sight. 

The eye examination miat the vet office will also show whether your dog has some other issues that go hand in hand with a cataract, such as:

  • Anterior uveitis (inflammation) 
  • Glaucoma (increased pressure)

How quickly do cataracts develop?

There is no way of telling since sometimes they develop very slowly and sometimes in a matter of a few days. It is hard to notice any symptoms at an early stage, but as the cataract progresses and starts blocking the light transmission to the retina, the symptoms become quite noticeable. 

How are cataracts treated?

Cataracts are treated with either surgery or medication. Only a surgical treatment 

can reverse changes in the lens, though. It is not suitable for all dogs, and the vet will have to determine whether your dog can be a candidate or not. 

Bumping into walls and furniture even when it is not dark
Having trouble finding food or water
Feeling insecure when climbing or descending stairs
What can you do?
Apply eye drops to help control inflammation.
Monitor the affected area and react if you notice that it is growing or changing in shape
Give your dog antioxidants and vitamins that can slow down the development of cataracts

Infections From Irritants

Corgis are highly susceptible to infection from irritants. These infections can have dire consequences if not treated right away, such as:

  • Blocked tear ducts 
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Conjunctivitis or pink eye

Unlike age-related and congenital disorders, bacterial infections are easily avoided by maintaining proper hygiene. Still, if you notice that your Corgi’s eyes appear irritated, you should best take him or her to the vet for accurate diagnosis and adequate treatment.

Redness of the eyes
Itchiness- pawing at the eyes
Discharge or the “eye boogers”
Swelling of the eyelid
What can you do?
Flush your Corgi’s eyes with a non-medicated sterile saline rinses 
Apply warm/cold compresses

Check out the following video to learn how to recognize eye infections in dogs:

Persistent Pupillary Membrane (PPM) 

Persistent Pupillary Membrane is a congenital defect that can affect your Corgi pup. It is caused by strands of fetal tissue that remain attached to the eye after the puppy is born. It can lead to cataracts or iris defects. Sadly, the incidence of this condition in Corgis seems to be increasing. 

Some PPM’s can be visible when your Corgi is a young puppy but will disappear as he or she ages. If you suspect your dog has this problem go to a vet. The veterinarian will examine the eyes both before and after the pupils are dilated. 

Unfortunately, there is still no actual treatment for PPM in dogs, nor anything you can do to help your pet. The good news is, as we have already mentioned that sometimes it resolves on its own.

Visual impairment
You can notice tiny strands crossing the pupil space from one side of the iris to the other 
Foggy or cloudy looking corneas
Abnormal iris movement 

Does It Matter Whether You Have A Pembroke Or A Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

Both Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Corgi are prone to the mentioned eye problems. Still, Cardigans are slightly more affected by eye health issues than their Pembroke relatives. 

For example, Progressive Retinal Atrophy is more common with Cardigan Corgis. Therefore, it would be wise to screen your Cardigan for this particular genetic condition, especially if you plan to breed him or her.

Final Words

We have given our best to cover all of the eye problems Corgis can have so that you can react as soon as you notice any of the mentioned symptoms. Still, never try to treat your Corgi at home! If you have any concerns, visit a vet ASAP!

Related: Strabismus in Corgis: Do Corgi Puppies Outgrow Lazy Eyes?