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Achondroplasia in Dogs

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.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Tommy 10/29/2016 at 2:54 pm

    My sister has a beagle with canine achondroplasia which she thinks is adorable, but I showed her more information about it and she doesn’t think it looks so cute anymore. Now that she knows this is more serious than just appearance, she’s considering getting the dog looked at for possible medication.

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