Do Corgis Have Knees?


Corgis are adorable, fluffy, chubby, and distinctive little monsters that are more and more popular as family pets. But they do have some funny and uncommon body characteristics; for example, their short little legs are so cute but almost invisible. So that is why many people have been asking themselves, do Corgis have knees?

I agree that the question is awkward but so logical; I mean, have you seen how short their legs are? Is there a space for the knees at all? Read further to find out a bit more about Corgis anatomy.

Do Corgis Have Knees?

A brief history fact – Corgis are a highly intelligent and functional working dog. I get that it might sound strange that such a small, stocky little thing is considered as a working breed, but they actually are great watchdogs. They are herding dogs, originally intended for keeping livestock in order, and they have incredible alertness. 

Also, you must remember that Corgis are dwarf dogs, which means they have malformed legs. So naturally, they have funny, lumpy knees that would be considered a fault in a long-legged dog, but not in Corgis.

Their stubby legs and big meaty paws add to the cuteness factor, but in reality, those are desirable traits for herding. In fact, short legs give them a low center of gravity and enhance the ability to tuck and roll under livestock without any risk of being trampled.

But what about their knees? Do they have knees? The answer is yes; they have knees, as well as elbows.

Both breeds of Welsh Corgis are dwarf breeds, as mentioned, and this means that their joints are different from those in a standard dog. The gene that causes chondrodysplasia or also known as dwarfism, is a mutation that changes the manner and speed of joints develop in order to maintain their body structure. 

This does not automatically mean your Corgi will have issues, but it does mean you have to understand there are limitations in their lifestyle. It is very important to limit the amount and frequency of high-impact activities like agility exercises, stairs, jumping, and jogging until they are a year old to protect their growth plates. Unfortunately, the body structure puts both breeds at risk for hip and elbow dysplasia as well as arthritis, so it is crucial to take care of their activities.

Are Corgis Prone To Having Issues With Their Joints And Cartilage?

Unfortunately, yes, Corgis are prone to arthritis and dysplasia. Now that we know what we are dealing let’s see what causes these problems. Also, you will learn to look at some of the symptoms that can help you identify these problems in early stages and prevent their development.

I will start at the very beginning. 

Injury to ligaments is the most frequent cause of arthritis in Corgis. The ligaments are connective tissue that connects two bones to each other, and when they are hurt, they become stiff and cause those bones to rub against each other, and that’s when the mess occurs.

Unfortunately, Corgis are especially prone to such injuries since they are known as a very active and happy breed. Especially pay attention to your Corgis carnival ligament, which is located in the knee— this ligament is the one that ends up injured the most.

Some of the symptoms of the injured ligaments are as follows:

  • Decreased activity and anxiety
  • Aggression, when you touch him in the knee area
  • Walk on three legs
  • Lameness
  • Swelling in the knee area
  • Sitting with feet palace out on the side

Certain puppies are predisposed to a variety of joint instability issues, and Corgis are among them. Over time, this imbalance leads to excessive bone rubbing and, in the end, arthritis.

There are three most frequent instability issues:

  • Hip dysplasia – A problematic and common condition that causes hip joints to form and develop abnormally. The signs that you must keep an eye on our difficulty getting up and down, skinny hips, and lameness.
  • Elbow and knee dysplasia – Elbow and knee dysplasia are essentially very similar to hip dysplasia. The only difference is that the front and back leg joints are affected. The symptoms pointing to the developing condition are similar.
  • Patellar luxation – Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap pops out of place; in the case of smaller dogs such as Corgis, the patella usually pops inside. When the condition is diagnosed, the knee cap can be manipulated back in place by a vet.

Cartilage issues can be classified as OCD or Osteochondritis dissecans, which means that joint cartilage has become thicker. This problem is usually present with giant and large breeds that carry more weight, but Corgis are far from spared from it, so keep an eye on this problem. 

Cartilage connects tissue between joints and wears down faster in the dwarf breeds, meaning that your Corgi is at risk of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) and arthritis. Arthritis is usually present in the spine, shoulders, and other joints, which cause them pain and, therefore, difficulty in moving around. It can manifest itself in many ways, from causing discomfort to sudden and complete paralysis.

The first sign usually appears in the first 4 to 8 months of age; the issue can be treated with a surgical procedure if it’s diagnosed on time.

Joint infection is also a threat for Corgis knees. While this condition is not so often, it can still significantly affect the quality of life of your pooch. Bacteria and overextension mostly cause these infections, so be very careful. 

The symptoms are very similar to the ones we have discussed above, and it includes, hard time walking, limpness, difficulty in lying or sitting down, swelling in the knee area, and cries of pain.

How To Keep Your Corgis Knees And Elbows In Best Possible Conditions?

As I already said, Corgis are full of energy and always on the move, which is cute, yes, but it is also a very big problem since it puts their knees, elbows, and joints at significant risk of some serious health conditions. In this article, I will cover some of the ways you can relieve the discomfort of your Corgi when you recognize any change and symptoms of the health issues mentioned above.

And don’t get me wrong, I literally mean relieve discomfort since issues like arthritis can’t be completely cured. The best you can do for your Corgi is to ease the pain and slow down the progression of the disease.

You can use some anti-inflammatory drugs to make the pain go away since meds like these are far more efficient than regular pain meds like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Unfortunately, some dogs may be more sensitive to these drugs than others, so they can experience gastrointestinal issues or even kidney and liver dysfunction. So please never use any of them without the approval of your vet.

Some methods will help you make your Corgi feel more comfortable and slow down the progression of diseases such as arthritis. These are some of the most common things you can do to help your pup out:

  • Control the weight of your CorgiCorgis are prone to gaining weight no matter how active they are, so losing some of the additional weight will relieve a great deal of the pressure from the joints and knees. Special diets that are rich in omega-3 acids, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine will provide pain relief, so make sure you include them in the diet.
  • Provide a softer bed for your pooch – This might seem funny, but it actually works. Discomfort is one of the main causes of injuries on joints and knees. Exposing your Corgi to a hard bed will cause limbs to rub uncomfortably and won’t offer the needed support, which can only make things worse. Memory foam is the best solution that you can currently find on the market.
  • Massage and regular exercise – Massaging the hurt limbs will soothe the sore and stiff muscles, help them relax, and improve blood circulation. Regular exercise will also help since it will strengthen the muscles and ligaments and prevent further injuries.

Of course, the only person qualified to assess what treatments should be applied to your Corgi is your trusted vet. The first thing you should do if you notice any of the symptoms is to consult professionals and take any other steps only after you get a green light from the vet.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article gave you a general overview of Corgis leg anatomy, their knees, and possible health issues that may occur if they tend to be more active than they should. Also, here are some methods that will help you make your Corgi feel more comfortable and deal with any possible leg issues like a champ.

Remember, we should always do everything that is in our power to save our best friends from further discomfort, our pups are our babies, and they don’t deserve anything less than that.

Learn More: Back Leg Problems – Do Corgis Have Leg Problems?

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