Dwarfism: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Pituitary Dwarfism is a condition where there is a shortage in growth hormones resulting in shortened bones or deformed bones.

What Causes It?

The pituitary gland can be hindered by hereditary conditions (as seen in German Shepherds, Weimaraners, Spitz type breeds, Dachshunds, Corgi type dog breeds, Basset Hounds, Saarloos Wolfdogs, and Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs), tumors, infections, cysts, or lack of development.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Larger than normal head
  • Longer than normal body
  • Short legs
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Tongue sticks out
  • Short jaw
  • Feet turned out
  • Swollen joint
  • Bowed legs

Is it Life Threatening?


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How is It Diagnosed?

A veterinarian will perform a full physical exam. While it may seem obvious from looking at your dog, the source will also need to be pinpointed. Your vet will administer blood tests, urinalysis and biochemical profiles to ensure that your dog has no secondary conditions.

The levels of growth hormone in your dog’s blood will verify pituitary dwarfism syndrome.

What Are The Treatments?

Treatments depend on the source of dwarfism. If the source is not hereditary and a trademark of the breed, likely a vet would recommend hormone replacement.

If the source of the dwarfism is a tumor, surgery may be required.

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.

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