Is your Corgi Overweight??? Take a second look!!! UPDATE!!! 9/14/2009

Let me first start by saying... our Soffie is a tall girl and quite a bit larger boned than our Griffyn and weighs in at 38lbs. 3 weeks ago Soffie pulled up lame on her hind left leg. This following a full tilt run across the front yard. Hard to know exactly how the injury actually occured but.... the end result was a torn cruciate ligament. We had an appointment this past monday with an orthopedic surgeon (believe me we had already done so much research on this injury!! Pros / cons to surgery. Pros / cons to controlled maintenance) And here is a direct quote from the surgeon report and the very first thing listed on the Surgeons recommendations for Soffie's recovery.

"Soffie presented to the FVRC for evaluation of a left hind limb lameness. Her general physical exam was unremarkable, except she is moderately overweight. The orthopedic exam showed effusion (increased joint fluid) in both knees, but only the left knee was painful. There was no instability elicited. We suspect that Soffie has a partial tear of the left cranial cruciate ligament. Although surgery is an option, it is reasonable to give her time to see if the lameness progresses.

1. Weight loss is the most important aspect of treatment. You should be able to easily feel the ribs when you pet her and she should have a visible waist when viewed from above. Begin by decreasing her food intake by 20%. If you would like to offer treats, please use rice cakes, carrots, or take kibble from the measured meal. She should be weighed in 2 weeks to assess progress. If she is not losing weight, then decrease intake by an additional 10%" (end of quote from surgeon)

Soffie's prognosis is the same with or without surgery. Arthritis!!! And she is only 3years 7 mos!!! And there are signs she will have problems with her right hind leg too! And her weight is the largest contributing factor!!

We're dealing with what we have to do now. And that is keeping her totally restricted. We have a pen in the house to keep her in a small confined area. At night she sleeps in her crate. (I miss her in bed with me!) We bought a ramp because she cannot do even 2 stairs out to the back yard! No walks! Out on a leash only for potty breaks! No jumping, no running, no sudden movements. No swimming ( until after her recheck in 4 weeks) imagine how hard that is going to be for my little swimmer when we're on vacation next week at the lake in Maine.

Anyway.... bottom line. Would we have been more diligent about her weight had we understood the consequences??? The answer is an emphatic YES!

We really didn't think Soffie was overweight because of her height! We were wrong! And I hope any and all of you out there that read this post will take heed and do what is right for your beloved corgis!!

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awe thanks! we're working on it :) glad to hear you guys are doing well, keep up your great work too! we're corgis on a mission!
Hope Soffie's injury is healing nicely and she makes a full recovery. I haven't read all the posts so I maybe repeating info. All dogs should be kept slim. The force on their "knees" is great. Just physics, remember weight vs surface area touching the ground. Corgis, because they are herding dogs, make sharp cuts when running. They stress their joints even more. She may have had repeated small stresses on her ligament and the run was the final straw. Rather than being worried about a weight number, look more at her shape. Looking down from above, she should have a corgi style hour glass figure (in at the haunches). When you rub her sides, you should feel her ribs. Not see her ribs, but feel her ribs without hard pressure. This is technique sensitive, so you may have your vet guide you. I have found that some vets just look at the number of lbs and general appearance. Corgi's generally look overweight just by virtue of their short legs and long back and fuzzy coat in the winter. How many times have I heard people call mine pudgy or "I don't think you ever missed a meal". I would suggest, just knowing she has injured herself, she probably is too heavy. I keep my corgis slim by supplementing their kibble with low sodium canned green beans at meals. I buy small breed "cookies". So far so good. Good luck with those big brown eyes when asking for "bites".

Soffie is doing very well!! She is down to a trim 32lbs from 39. All by diet, because we had (and still do) to keep her activity very restricted. We are firm believers (and will give testimony to anyone who asks) in supplementing with cut green beans!! We buy the family size bags frozen! Both Soffie and Griffyn LOVE them and in fact can't wait to get through the kibble (Wellness simplemix weight control) to get their "green bean bonus"! We give them frozen right out of the bag.

It has been almost 5 months since Soffie's injury. And I'm happy to report that she's much improved. It has been a slow healing process and we have had some set backs, one most recently 2 days ago. She and Griffyn got a little too rambunctous in the back yard and the next thing I knew.... Griffyn was in the house acting a little sheepish and there was no sign of Soffie. So I went out to the back yard and sure enough, there she sat with that look on her face that said "oops"!! We had a couple nervous days watching her limp again, but today she seems to be back on track. It was a reminder that there is still much more healing time needed.

I'm sure she is always going to have a weakness in that knee. And it will be up to us to keep diligent with her weight. The upside of all of this is we learned how to keep her at a healthy weight. And.... Griffyn got down to his optimum weight too!


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