One of the more heartbreaking genetic diseases found in the canine world is a condition known alternatively as chondrodysplasia, achondroplasia or chondrodystrophy. Characterized by crippling deformities and abnormally shaped limbs, the disease causes the cartilage cushioning the joints to become deformed and the bones attached to that cartilage to grow abnormally.
The condition is transmitted through a recessive gene. When two carriers of this recessive gene are bred, the resulting animals frequently are born with the disease. Chondrodysplasia also typically occurs in connection with other serious medical problems, including deafness, dwarfism and abnormally shortened life spans. It has a wide range of severity. For example, in dogs whose front legs are affected, the dog may appear nearly normal, or else have front legs that are only slightly bowed. In extreme cases, however, the animal will be crippled due to severely deformed limbs. [...]