Achondroplasia (dwarfism) is a bone condition where bones don’t grow to the average expected size of the breed. It results in abnormally short legs, or the condition of dwarfism.
Because this form of osteochondrodysplasia is caused by an abnormality of the fibroblast growth factor receptor gene, the condition is considered to be hereditary. This trait is actually selectively encouraged in certain breeds, such as the Welsh corgi, Skye terrier and dachshund.
Other breeds commonly affected are the German shepherd, Boston terrier, Japanese spaniel, Scottish terrier, English pointer, shih-tzu, cocker spaniel, beagle and bulldog.
Symptoms of Canine Achondroplasia
- Short, disproportionate limbs
- Enlarged head
- Abnormal bone growth and skeletal deformities
- Crooked teeth and shortened jaw
- Poor growth and physical development
- Underdeveloped spine
- Bow-leggedness — usually affecting the front legs
Treatment Options for Achondroplasia
Depending on the severity of the condition, many dogs can live long and healthy lives without any treatment whatsoever.
Others may require:
- anti-inflammatory medication to alleviate pressure and pain
- while orthopedic surgery may be needed to manage pain in the most severe cases
Surgeries are covered by many pet insurance plans, as are prescription medications.
Achondroplasia Treatment Costs
Treatment can vary anywhere from $1,000 – $5,000.
Resources for Achondroplasia in Dogs
Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.