Our darling 15-week-old Pembroke, Emma, has a limp.  We noticed this for the first time when she was about 5 1/2 weeks old.  At that time, it was a very pronounced limp - you couldn't miss it.  It seemed to be her front left leg.  She received an x-ray, which showed nothing out of place.  As she has gotten older, the limp has become MUCH less noticeable - to a point where my husband and I sometimes think it's gone!  The only time we really notice it is when she has just woken up or after a long walk (in which she runs the entire second half home).  She has NEVER seemed to be in ANY sort of discomfort from it.  She does hop more often than other corgis and only uses her legs independently if she is walking – much faster than that and it’s a hop (both front legs together).

As mentioned previously, she is now 15 weeks.  I took her to the vet this morning to finish her vaccinations.  They kept us there a few minutes after giving her shots just to make sure she didn't have any severe reactions, during which she decided to take a little nap.  About 15 minutes later, one of the other vets walked in to see her (EVERYONE there loves her) and he noticed her limp.  I explained to him that she has always had it and so on and so forth.  He bent her front legs back as much as he could - they wouldn't bend back (at least not very far).  That's where he thought there was a problem.  He said her (front) legs should bend all the way back at the joint and neither of hers have ever done this.  Now he wants to X-ray her legs, have a radiologist possibly look at them and see if we can do anything about it.  while it is expensive, the money isn't my primary concern. I don't want to put this dog through unnecessary treatment if it's just "the way she is."

SO... I guess my question is - Do your corgi's front feet bend all the way back at the joint (at the "knee"/wrist" as opposed to the two upper joints at the shoulder)?  How far do they bend?  I really appreciate any input you are willing to give.  I love my dog and I want what’s best for her - I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill...


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I would definitely pursue it if they thought it was a problem. I checked Seanna, and hers do bend.
okay, so I was looking at Emma and I guess it would be her "wrist"... she has to joints high up on her leg, each with free movement - it's a lowest of the three where the concern lies. Your answer may remain the same, but I want to make sure :)
Hi Shelley, I checked Sidney and his legs also bend all the way back at that joint. Sids thought I was nuts to call him over and bend his legs! I'd probably want the vet to do the xray just so you are informed, and then from there you can decide if you want to do treatment or not. I'm glad to hear she's not in any pain.
okay, so I was looking at Emma and I guess it would be her "wrist"... she has to joints high up on her leg, each with free movement - it's a lowest of the three where the concern lies. Your answer may remain the same, but I want to make sure :)
Um, I guess it's the joint about three inches from the end of the leg?Just above his white "socks".
yup - thats the spot - thanks for the help! I just assumed all corgis were like that since she is - but I'm obviously incorrect.
Joanna Kimball's blog says dwarfed dogs are prone to growth-plate injury (particularly at the wrists?), because the cartilage disks at the ends of the long bones are more fragile. X-ray might reveal something like that. But you said she's had an X-ray already.
Getting a medical opinion can't hurt. But what can one do about it? A major intervention is always kinda scary.

She looks adorable.
If you are thinking of the same joint I am thinking of, I checked both dogs and they bend about 90 degrees.

Did you say she was limping at 5-1/2 weeks? Was she home with you at that time, or still with the breeder? And what did the breeder say about it?
She was still with the breeder. She called me and made me aware of what was going on. It was actually her vet who took the first x-rays. She gave us the option to not take Emma - assuring me nothing bad would happen to her if we chose not to keep her (ie put her down or anything like that). My husband and I thought about it and decided that we still wanted her -regardless. If we had a child with a disability, we wouldn't say "oh, we'll just wait for the next one..." you know? Oddly, no one except my vet (on her SECOND visit - no less) noticed that her legs didn't bend! We all thought that it was only her front left leg. Since she is not 100%, the breeder refunded our deposit and would not accept any money for her. The thing is, her legs don't seem to keep her from doing ANYTHING ...except climbing on to things that are bigger than she is - and she doesn't have the best balance. Just yesterday, she was playing with a one-year-old Beagle (her "cousin" if you will) and keeping up with him as he was running circles in the yard! Anywho - this is probably way more info than you wanted...
Before you put your pup back on the X-ray table I would ask the vet to take the X-ray that was already taken to a radiologist. No reason to spend money or time on something that might freak your dog out, or need to be under sedation for, if it isn't absolutely necessary. I would call your breeder if you had one and ask them if the parents legs are like that or if any other puppies are. If so then it might just be a genetic defect.
They are not. We have a good relationship with our breeder as well as all of the "parents." All of her corgis are AKC registered and in 100% tip top shape. She was in a litter of 10, so it is possible she was just so jammed up that her legs couldn't form properly. We've also considered the idea that her mom stepped/layed on her and injured her growth plates or something like that. We didn't get Emma until she was almost 8 weeks old - the breeder is the one who noticed the problem and called me. Her vet took the x-rays and I am looking into getting them for our vet. She was sedated for those x-rays and when I told our vet, he asked "why?" - which made me feel uneasy about why she was in the first place... I'm in agreement with you there.
I would guess she was sedated for the first set because it's so hard to see the bones of a five-week-old anyway, and any bit of motion wrecks the film. It's not an unusual choice.

The wrist growth plate - where the radius and ulna go into the carpal bones - is very commonly injured in corgis. This causes an angular limb deformity and can definitely lead to limping. However, her issues sound a little different to me; angular limb injuries tend to heal quickly and then get painful later, not immediately, and they cause a very characteristic twisting and bowing of the limb. If her leg doesn't look different, I'm guessing they're not thinking growth plate. Also, having seen a whole bunch of corgis with growth plate issues, they don't hop with the front feet. They trot like normal; they just look really odd doing it.

I am very interested to see what the vet says; the only thing I'd tell you is if they start scratching their heads I'd escalate to a teaching hospital (usually the closest big university) sooner rather than later. That's where you'll end up anyway, if it's something that can be corrected with surgery or therapy, and it ends up being a lot cheaper to go there quickly than to get punted around to different smaller specialists.


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