Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Alis Lee
What are the Causes of Dwarfism in German Shepherd?
Dwarfism In German Shepherds: A puppy forever is the dream of most people. Although this sounds like a dream, how long will it take to turn into a nightmare?
The time question and its answer are yes! One case that has drawn global attention to this disease is a German shepherd named Ranger.
The owner of the ranger initially thought it was growing slowly due to parasites. Later, when he began to show more severe symptoms, the veterinarian diagnosed the guard with pituitary dwarfism.
What is dwarfism in dogs?
Pituitary dwarfism is a genetic disease that directly affects the pituitary gland. What needs to be clear is that this is a recessive genetic mutation inherited by parents.
It is said that it is most commonly found in German Shepherds but can be seen in a variety of different breeds.
The target of this disease is the pituitary gland which is responsible for growth hormone, metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar level, etc.
Therefore, the German Shepherd will not grow up. However, health problems have not stopped growing.
What is the cause of pituitary dwarfism?
The main cause of pituitary dwarfism is recessive genes. If both parents carry the recessive gene, the pituitary dwarfism gene will be inherited.
When two dogs carry a genetic partner, 25% of litters will be dwarfs. In addition to genetic diseases, the pituitary gland may also be affected by the following factors:
When the above is affected, the lack of growth hormone secreted by the glands leads to dwarfism.
How do you know if a German Shepherd carries a gene?
After years of research, there is now a diagnostic test that can identify genes. If your dog carries a mutated LHX3 gene, you need to be careful about crossing your German Shepherd.
What are the symptoms of dwarfism?
One of the most prominent signs of dwarfism is the size of the dog. With or without experience, any dog owner will start to see their puppies grow rapidly after a few months.
A Dwarfism German Shepherd is unlikely to show any signs of growth before 8-16 weeks. The dwarf German Shepherd maintains a puppy-like figure.
Regardless of the size, the dwarf German Shepherd is unlikely to lose the puppy’s coat in the first year.
Their fur lasts longer than most litters, after which, except for the head and calves, their fur begins to fall off quickly.
- Hair loss or baldness can cause bacterial skin infections.
- Due to a lack of growth hormone, their liver and kidneys are underdeveloped. This can lead to kidney failure.
- They often have cardiovascular problems, that is, heart problems.
- Low thyroid function also means that they are not as smart as mature dogs. Dwarf German Shepherds tend to be slow and sluggish in intelligence.
- There will be some delays in tooth development.
- Pygmy male dogs have different testes and smaller anatomical structures.
- In females, the thermal cycle will be irregular or non-existent.
- Puppies usually have a sharp bark.
- It can be like a fox.
What is the life span of a dwarf German Shepherd?
Dwarfism in dogs can lead to shortened lifespans. They will have many problems, not including hair loss and breathing difficulties.
If their health problems are not treated, their life span is 4 to 5 years. Usually, with proper treatment, they will live longer, but not as long as a dog without this disease.
Diagnosis of German Shepherd Dwarfism
If you see one or more signs, you need to see a veterinarian. Dwarfism is usually diagnosed by endocrine testing. These are blood and urine tests. Usually, the veterinarian will also check for cysts in the body.
Fortunately, new treatments have recently emerged. Despite the emergence of new treatments, there is still a severe shortage of available resources.
With the exception of canine growth hormone deficiency, current treatments have mixed results.
Each treatment has a different degree of effectiveness, so you can’t pin your hopes on one treatment.
There are also side effects that can be very annoying for you and your dog. However, these are the available treatments:
Porcine growth hormone: This is a porcine hormone commonly used to treat this disease. Although it is one of the best treatments, it is also very expensive.
Progesterone: Give steroids to stimulate the production of growth hormone.
Thyroid hormones: These are synthetic hormones that have been proven to work well. It should be noted that there is currently no growth hormone for dogs.
How long does it take for a German Shepherd to stunt?
Dwarfism in German Shepherds has always existed. You can see that it can be traced back decades or more, but recently it has started to become a problem.
The breeding of dwarf German shepherds occurs mainly in Europe but is mainly related to carriers and unsuspecting breeders.
Not all German Shepherds are dwarves, but 20% of them are said to be carriers. Although it is a recessive gene, two German shepherds are likely to have this gene like puppies.
You can only receive genetic testing a few years ago. However, recently there have been some groundbreaking studies that have designed a test for themselves.
Immoral breeders are an important part of the problem. Although this does not mean that all breeders are likely to do this, many breeders tend to ignore any signs of dwarfism in German Shepherd puppies and sell them before the owner knows them.
Breeders tend to sell them as miniature German shepherds, but they are not the same and expensive.
Miniature German Shepherd vs. Miniature German Shepherd A dwarf German Shepherd cross. Mini German Shepherd and Dwarf German Shepherd
Let us understand one thing, the dwarf German Shepherd is not a miniature version of the breed. Dwarf German Shepherds suffer from diseases, not just hybrid breeds.
The confusion stems from the fact that many breeders pass dwarf puppies as miniature breeds.
Miniature German Shepherds are just crossing between German Shepherds and smaller dogs. They have no genetic diseases or health problems.
On the other hand, dwarf German Shepherds will never grow up, and they will always be dogs due to many health problems caused by genetic diseases.
Can dwarfism be eliminated?
In theory, this disease can be eradicated. With the new dwarfism test, testing a German Shepherd before allowing mating is a simple matter.
It is best to test all German Shepherds in the world to avoid any crosses between two dogs with recessive genes. However, this is only possible in theory.
People are more likely to be lazy or driven by greed, and their dogs have not been tested at all. This is a sad fact.
Finally, dwarfism in German Shepherds is becoming more and more common.
Dwarfism shortens the life expectancy of these beautiful dogs and reduces their quality of life.
Despite the poor perception of this situation, the puppy is absolutely cute and always cute.