The younger of the two corgis in the house has, it seems, a couple of defects (but we love her still) 1. She is pigeon toed in the back terribly... Does anyone know the extent of pain/early onset of arthritis for a dog like that?
2. She is very overweight... Yes I know this is a huge topic for the breed, but she is on light management food, 1/2c 2x a day (cutting her back slowly) and no treats unless its a part of a banana once a week or a few cheerios. The vet tested glucose, nothing so she is not diabetic... Soooo I am wondering if it may be worth while to test her for thyroid and glucose again? She's actually always been heavier and it's a huge concern. Our vet is convinced she's over-fed under exercised (maybe a little but working on it, it's freezing cold here in MN!) but I have a feeling it's deeper.
Does anyone have those problems with their corgis? Or experience with it? She also nearly died last year of pancreatitis =/ scary
I won't say anything on the first one, I'll let someone who knows more about it speak to that. As for the weight issue, I would continue cutting back her food and monitoring her weight before you do more tests. The chances are more likely that food and exercise are causing weight issues. If after a few months she just really isn't dropping weight, than it may be worth it to go deeper. It is generally best idea to try the easiest logical solutions first though, and go from there. Does she have any of the other symptoms of hypothyroidism? Is she aggressive, snappy, depressed, etc? If weight is the only issue, I'd hold off on any testing until you've been on a diet for a few months. Again, I'll let others speak to this somewhat since I'm not an expert, but I would be less likely to use a "diet food" and more likely to use a really high quality kibble in controlled portions. Depending on the brand diet food (especially if it's something like the Hill's prescription brand that vet's sell), it is likely not as high quality and you need to be using a food that gives you all the essentials of a high quality diet in as small of a portion as possible.
Thank you for your reply. We have been trying to get her weight down for over a year now; as she is not my dog (she's my mothers, but I've trained her, etc.) my mom has been stubborn on getting any more blood work done. Maddie has had a history of getting sick all of a sudden =/ It's great you mention the aggression, snappiness and depression because she is all three of them and if they are symptoms then shes the model and I should push get the blood work.
No, I don't feed Hills I hate it LoL I only feed high quality :)
By pigeon-toed, do you mean she toes in or toes out? Can you get a picture for me? The onset of arthritis has a lot to do with weight, age, and exactly what structural defect is causing the conformational issue you're seeing. It could be anything from the spine down (i.e., could be a neurological issue, a hip issue, a stifle issue (or knee issue), a hock issue, or a foot issue. Usually the higher up it starts the sooner we start to see problems, but it varies HUGELY.
The best thing you can do to combat the arthritis (either existing or its onset) is to get her thin. Get her off the light food and put her on a nutrient-dense normal food (I really like Orijen but you may like something different) and cut her WAY back. She can get 1/3 cup per day of food until she's lost the weight.
Thyroid is always worth testing in a corgi; I'm convinced there's a lot more of it in the breed than anyone assumes, because they just chalk the weight and terrible coat up to age instead of thyroid. You have to ask for the full panel though (with TgAA). In the early stages of thyroid disease the TgAA is positive but the other values are normal; in the later stages the TgAA will often be negative but the other values start to creep toward abnormal. It takes a good vet to see the issues. You can also start her on kelp right now if you'd like; it's sort of a can't hurt might help kind of thing.
And yes, LOTS of people have these kind of issues. Many of them are oblivious, however. It's good that you both noticed and want to do something about it. I know the food is going to feel like you're feeding absolutely nothing, but it's SO important for her to get thin. Once she gets used to it she'll be fine with that amount and when the pounds come off you'll realize the huge benefit.
I'll try and get a picture to post. She toes in (maybe pigeon toed wasn't the right word heh) The feet from the hock down especially one side come in drastically and the muscular sculpt of the quadriceps is pretty awkward. Poor little thing.
Thanks for your input of the weight and thyroid, I'll take that into consideration. I did find a thread on here about 1/4 cup of kibble 2x a day with frozen green beans that might work for both dogs.
Pigeon toed is the right word for horses, so I thought I understood, but sometimes people describe something and what I picture is totally wrong! In dogs that particular fault is often called barrel hocks, because the rear legs look like they're formed around a barrel. It's often a fault that also has what we call "slipped hocks," where the hock joint can hyperextend and the leg can look absolutely straight or even curved backwards when the dog is standing still.
Lots of corgis can get relief from stiffness and pain with joint supplements, but still by FAR the most important thing is to get her thin. If the joints are weak and prone to hyperextension, the less weight on them the better.
I would love to take her to petsmart, lol but I'm the only one in the family who can handle her near other dogs than Buddha and I travel most of the year! Mom does take her to the dog park, and to the walking trails behind the complex to walk her and also lets her off leash (it's a giant corn field) to run and play in the snow. When I got home from my most recent travel I was nearly keeled over at the sight of the dogs, looking like bloated ticks darn near. I decided my dog will come with me from now on because I don't want to lose him due to being overweight.
She is 4yrs old and her weight is probably near to if not 40lbs I'm embarassed to say. Guess my mom will have to do more or wind up losing her dog at a young age, I can only do so much while I'm here.
Definately go with you gut feelings and have her tested...it's better than not. Personally I would not have mine on a light management food. I would have mine on their regular(corn free) give her the 1/2 cup 2 times a day and then the bananas and other fruits occasionaly, green beans and broccoli are great low calorie foods for her that she can have daily! The exercise is important...can you find an indoor place to walk her? Play catch outside (building up gradually) or in your gagrage/basement???? How old is she and how much weight does she need to loose???
Thank you. I can't switch their foods because it's the only one my male doesn't get runny on. I've been through countless foods from Solid gold to California natural, etc. I do like giving them the raw veggies and occasional fruit, so I'll continue that since it's only maybe once a week.
My male is oversized (about 14 inches at the shoulder) and still gets only 2/3 of a cup per day of kibble that's about 380 cal/cup. I give him 1/3 c AM and 1/3 c PM. That has been his ration for the past 6 months or so, and just recently he's looking a bit thin to me (I can see the outline of his ribs) so I've bumped up his evening ration to 1/2 cup . My female gets one cup a day, but after she was spayed she is looking a bit chubby so I dropped her down to 2/3.
I have learned to feed more by eye/activity. So if we have a day with a downpour and they don't get a proper walk, I will drop their food a bit. If it's been really hot and they are not playing much, I drop it then, or if we are training a lot and they are getting treats, they get less for a day or two.
A corgi was a poor man's working farm dog. The small Welsh farms, from what I can gather, did not have the resource (or space) to have a big herding dog, plus a flock-guarding dog, plus a couple of terriers for vermin. So the Corgi was an all-purpose drover/guarder/ratter and did all that on small quantities of mostly poor-quality food. Unlike, say, a Spaniel who would have been very active when hunting and then just hung out by the fire or played with the kids the rest of the time, the Corgi was expected to always be moving.
If you lack a farm, as most of us do, it's impossible to replicate that activity level. However, they have done studies in humans that those who "fidget" burn many more calories than those who don't, even though the fidgeting itself is not burning many. The theory is that constant small movements keep the body from going into "rest" mode and your metabolism stays at a higher rate. The same could very well be true for dogs.
So, don't just think of adding exercise. Think of adding activity. For example, our evening greeting ritual when we return from work involves a game of chase--- just a few laps around the house. Toss a tennis ball up the hallway a couple times while you watch tv. If the dogs can be kept separated, put the one regular meal portion into a feeding ball and make tubsy push it around with her nose in order to release the kibble. When she is walked, unless she is super dominant, put her on an extenda-lead or at least a six-foot leash and let her wander back and forth; she'll easily go half again the distance you actually travel, with her wanderings. Take her on two 20-minute walks or three 15-minute walks instead of one 40 minute walk per day. Try to avoid periods where she is just laying there for hours on end.
Also, if you are not there a lot, don't necessarily believe your mother that the dog gets no treats! My husband would likely tell you with a straight face that he never gives the dogs "people food" and he probably believes it, but I've caught him slipping them stuff from time to time.
Hi Beth, yes I lack a farm ( it's a one day goal right?) and townhome complexes are hard up for yards. I do a lot of playing in the house with them both, tossing the ball,playing tug, doing training exercises to keep them busy, stuff like that. It does help. When it's not below 20 out I try my best to get them out on the walk in the late morning and then we also go to the mailboxes in the afternoon, it seems to keep them happy. And yes, I can't trust my mom haha she's a notorious table feeder! Would the kong work kind of like a feeding ball? I have one with a smaller opening in it that would make her work for it.
So it sounds like they're basically getting no walks, right? Just out to pee? In that case she should be getting almost no food. Or what's going to feel to you like almost no food.
I am curious as to why you can't have her on one food and the boy on the other - they should NOT be eating out of the same bowl or sharing food. They have to be fed individually.
Once she is on a normal amount of food she's going to act hungry ALL THE TIME. You need to prepare your mom for the fact that the dog is going to beg constantly. She needs to realize that being hungry is a natural and healthy state for a dog. They are not built to eat small amounts constantly like we are. They're supposed to get one big meal a couple times a week when they kill game. Most of us can't feed just twice a week (though I do know one person who does and his dogs look AMAZING) so once or even twice a day is OK, but the dog should have an empty stomach most of the time. Once the dog stops thinking that food comes in constant handouts, she'll stop begging and just look for food in her bowl, but the transition will have lots of temper tantrums and sad eyes.