Achondroplasia is a dog disorder of bones. The literal meaning of achondroplasia is “without cartilage formation”. The problem does not arise in the formation of cartilage but instead in converting the cartilage to bones especially in the long bones of the arms and legs. It is an inherited disease that affects 1 in every 15000- 40,000 births. This disease may affect as well as dogs. This may also be referred to as ACH, Achondroplastic dwarfism, Chondrodystrophia fetalis, Chondrodystrophy syndrome, Congenital osteosclerosis, Dwarf, achondroplastic, and Osteosclerosis congenital. All these definitions refer to the abnormal bone growth. In dogs, this disease may be mild with perhaps bowing or short legs. This normally does not result in discomfort for the dogs. However, in severe cases treatment may be necessary.
Achondroplasia may be caused due to:
1) Genetic mutation of the fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) gene located on chromosome 4.
2) It may be inherited from the parents.
However, according to the research it is believed that these mutations make the protein more active, as a result of this protein interferes with the skeletal development which causes hindrance in bone growth.
The symptoms included in this dog disease are:
1 Slightly larger head than normal
2 Undershot jaw of a shorter nose
3 Crooked teeth in few dogs
4 Abnormal bone shape
5 Enlarged joints
6 Sideway bowing of the forelims
In severe cases of this disease, surgery might be necessary so that it may relieve the dog some pain and also allow it to function properly. Normally in this dog disease ulna, or radius/ulna surgery may be needed. This is performed when the dog is at least one year old and the growth of bones is almost complete. Even then, surgical success may vary.