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This is a Skeletal condition.


What is Osteochondrodysplasia?

A form of skeletal dwarfism, this causes affected dogs to have abnormally short legs but a normal sized body due to abnormal fetal skeletal maturation. As a fetus, most of the bones of the body actually start as cartilage models of themselves. Over time, the cartilage is replaced with the bones that you (and your dog) are born with. Dogs affected with osteochondrodysplasia have a mutation in the SLC13A1 gene, which codes for a protein that transports minerals into the developing bone. Defects in this gene disrupt the cartilage to bone transition, leading to inappropriate skeletal development, namely, disproportionately short legs and a normally sized trunk. The skeletal shape that this condition generates may seem familiar to some of you: in fact, a related condition known as achondroplasia, where the cartilage to bone conversion is even more severely affected is what causes the characteristic body shape of dogs like the Corgi and the Dachshund.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Affected dogs have abnormally short legs but a normal sized body. They can also have changes to their rib cage and an underbite.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs are first recognized in puppies.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic testing and clinical signs can be used to diagnose this condition.

How is this condition treated?

There is no treatment for this condition.

What actions should I take if my dog is affected?

This is not typically thought of as a painful condition, but you may need to place ramps or stairs to assist these dogs if you want them to sleep on the bed or couch. Affected dogs may not walk or stand in a normal position. Severely affected puppies may require nursing care. Others may have breathing difficulties due to flattened rib cages. Arthritis typically develops because of the skeletal changes.

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