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Articles > Keywords > Osteochondrodysplasia


Beagles and Dwarfism

As mentioned before, Beagles are relatively healthy dogs, though they do suffer from a few genetic problems, some of which can be serious. One of these serious problems is incorrectly labeled "dwarfism", though the term is widely used. The medical term for the condition is osteochondrodysplasia, chondrodysplasia or chondrodystrophy and it is actually a series of problems involving the cartilage and bones, most often of the feet and legs, though the spine may become involved as well. Indeed, the term "osteo" means bone, the term "chondro" refers to cartilage and the term "dysplasia" involves abnormal development. The disorder is genetic in nature and there is no cure. [...]


Osteochondrodysplasia is a bone disease, which causes lameness and is unique to the Scottish Fold Cat breed. When two Scottish Folded ear cats are breed together the Kittens develop malformations in the legs, tail, spine, and growth plates (the end regions of the femur (thighbone). So serious is this disease that the Governing Council of The Cat Fancy (GCCF) has banned the breed. The cat breed continued in the USA as the American breeders felt that a folded ear cat and normal ear cat could breed and the disease causing arthritis and lameness would not replicate. With this particular breeding, the offspring would now only have one copy (heterozygous) of the gene and not two (one from each parent - homozygous). However new research out of Australia indicates that any Scottish Fold cat with folded ears bred to any other cat will still pass the gene onto their offspring. The only difference is that the arthritis is slower to manifest in the litter than if two folded ear cats were breed together. Nevertheless American breeders have been breeding out the gene for generations. [...]

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