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J Small Anim Pract. 2008 May;49(5):220-4. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

A study of inherited short tail and taillessness in Pembroke Welsh corgi.

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Department of Companion Animal Clinical Science, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo, Norway.



To study whether natural short tail in adult Pembroke Welsh corgi is associated with congenital spinal defects. To report anatomical defects in two newborn tailless puppies from short-tailed parents, and to check whether they were homozygous for the dominant mutation in the T-gene (C295G).


The vertebral column of 19 adult dogs with natural short tail, from short-tail x long-tail crossings, was radiographically examined. Two tailless puppies were radiographed and submitted for necropsy. Samples from the puppies, their parents and five siblings were analysed for the mutation of the T-gene.


No congenital spinal defects were diagnosed in any of the short-tailed dogs. The tailless puppies had anorectal atresia, had multiple spinal defects and were homozygous for the mutation in the T-gene.


As tail docking is forbidden in many countries, breeding Pembroke Welsh corgis with natural short tail is becoming increasingly common. Previous studies indicated that the mutation in homozygotes is lethal in early fetal life. It is of clinical significance that natural short tail is probably not associated with congenital spinal defects, as is known from studies of other species, and that homozygotes for this mutation with serious anatomical defects may be born.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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