Given the length of time in the breed we have had, we have enjoyed, for the most part, healthy dogs living their fullest lives. When we got our first Cardigan, it was ingrained in meearly on to health test your dogs and upon importing my second Cardigan from Europe, who had a lot of health issues, it made me even more diligent in making sure that if I were going to raise dogs that we did the testing that was available to us at the time.
the parent club of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi (CWCCA) designates that PRA status, eye test (CAER, formerly CERF) and hips are the three tests need to be designated at a CHIC eligible dog (Canine Health Institute). Some breeds have different diseases they feel are important to have to get the CHIC certificate, and they need not pass these tests (just be tested) to receive it.
In addition to the above three tests, we have tried to test our dogs for other things when clinics are available for patellas, thyroid, eyes, cardiac etc. Some vets will do these at their clinics as well. We also started doing elbows at the same time as hips, as I was told that Cardigans did not have elbow dysplasia, only to find in my second litter one of the pups i kept for breeding, did in fact have a Grade 2 elbow.
DNA testing via cheek swabs has also become more available and we have tested for DM (Degenerative Myeloptahy), PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) and non health related things like fluffies (long coat), pinks, liver and dilute.
One of the current DNA companies also tests for CDDY in Cardigans which is a test for dwarfism which may or may not indicate a relationship to IVDD. There is no current test for IVDD except for submitting xray films of the spine to OFA for them to read. At this time there is no pass/fail result of such a submission.
Cardigans are generally healthy. I was told when I started that cardigans had only 4-5 genetic diseases while collies had over 80. Aside from DM, PRA and IVDD, Cardigans do succumb to cancers like all canine breeds, and there have been other canine issues like addisons or cystenuria that have cropped up in certain lines but at this time there is no test for either, but again, science is amazing and they are working on these things!
Every breeder you talk to will prioritize different things and what is important to them and their pack. They may have lines clear of certain things or they will tell you, when you are looking, if they have had issues with anything.
These tests are tools that breeders can use to make informed breeding decisions. This is not a black/white area, but much more gray, as some breeders will use an at risk dog for DM if bred to a dog clear for DM. No puppies would be affected and the sire would have other virtues that are needed in the breed.
Our current group of dogs are all DM clear or carrier, PRA clear, hips/elbows passing. For more specifics please ask!
here is a link to all of our dogs listed on the OFA website. this includes any submitted tests. If something is missing and you are curious, please send us a message. All of our DNA tests have been sent to DDC Veterinary Lab and we have the results on file.