Dwarfism in Dogs
What it is: This hereditary condition involves the abnormal growth and development of bone and cartilage due to an inadequate supply of a growth hormone. Dogs are born with the condition, although it may not be apparent until puppies are at least three to four months old and notably smaller than their littermates.
- Shorter than normal bones
- Enlarged joints
- Larger than normal head
- Poor or lack of growth
- Shorter nose and jaw
- Sideways bowing of forelimbs
- Deviation of spine to one side of the body or the other
Treatment:Weekly growth hormones can help treat the condition, as can additional medication if your dog has an accompanying thyroid issue. Many pet insurance plans cover the cost of prescription medication, which are typically required for life in the case of dwarfism.
Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.