There are two heritable diseases that require testing for Corgis: Von Willebrands Disease 1 in Pembrokes and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Cardigans.
There are relatively affordable DNA tests available for both of these diseases. Owners will be sent results identifying their dog as belonging to one of three categories:
- Clear: the dog has 2 copies of the normal gene and will neither develop the disease, nor pass a copy of the gene to any of its offspring.
- Carrier: the dog has one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the mutant gene that causes the disease. It will not develop the disease but will pass on the defective gene to 50% (on average) of its offspring.
- Affected: the dog has two copies of the mutation and is affected with the disease. It will develop the disease at some stage in its life, assuming it lives to an appropriate age.
Carriers can still be bred to clear dogs. On average, 50% of such a litter will be clear and 50% carriers; there can be no affected puppies produced from such a mating. Pups which will be used for breeding can themselves be DNA tested to determine whether they are clear or carrier.
The Welsh Corgi Club of Victoria has decided to offer a voluntary register for both Cardigan and Pembroke Corgis to assist members in trying to remove these diseases from our breeds.
To place your dog on the register please forward a copy of the dog’s pedigree and the test results including the dog’s registration number to Matthew Markham at . The register will be available to all current members of the club on application.