Chondrodysplasia in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Chondrodysplasia, also called canine dwarfism, is an inherited recessive genetic bone and cartilage syndrome resulting in abnormal body proportions.

What Causes It?

There are two categories of chondrodysplasia: osteochondrodysplasic and achondroplasia.

  • Osteochondrodysplasic classifies bone and cartilage that grow abnormally.
  • Achondroplasia classifies when bones do not grow to their full potential size.

Spontaneous genetic mutations of dwarfism have occurred, but on the whole chondrodysplasia is typically a desired trait.

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What Are The Symptoms?

Shorten limbs with normal sized head and torso, protruding toes, bowed hind legs

Is it Life Threatening?

No, this condition is only concerning when irresponsible breeders use it recklessly to make smaller breeds.

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How is It Diagnosed?

A veterinarian will perform a physical exam and a medical history questionnaire. An x-ray will usually be enough to give a diagnosis. Additionally, bloodwork, MRIs and arthrograms may be conducted to get a fuller picture of the condition.

What Are The Treatments?

In most instances treatment is unnecessary, and dogs will live a happy life with owners that understand the limitations of short legged dogs.

In severe or unexpected cases dogs may experience joint pain, difficult exercising, or lameness. In those instances, many dogs experience relief from joint supplements.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.