Chondrodystrophy (CDDY) in dogs

Chondrodystrophy (CDDY) is a genetic disease that occurs primarily in certain breeds of dogs. This disease is characterized by unusually short limbs, which are due to abnormal development of the cartilage. This form of dwarfism is often found in breeds such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds and other short-legged dogs.

Genetic causes and bone growth

The cause of chondrodystrophy is a mutation in the FGF4 gene on chromosome 18. This gene plays a crucial role in regulating bone growth during a dog’s developmental period. The result of this genetic change is a shortened and sometimes irregular growth rate of the long bones in the legs.

Which dog breeds are particularly susceptible to CDDY?

Chondrodystrophy (CDDY) primarily affects dog breeds known for their characteristically short limbs, i.e. dogs that were bred according to human ideas. The (unfortunately often overbred) breeds that are particularly frequently affected by this genetic disease include:

  1. Dachshund: This breed is perhaps best known for its short legs and long body, traits directly related to chondrodystrophy.
  2. Basset Hound: Basset Hounds are also known for their short legs and long bodies, which makes them typical representatives of this disease.
  3. Corgis (Welsh Corgi Pembroke and Welsh Corgi Cardigan): These Welsh herding dogs are also known for their short legs and often show features of chondrodystrophy.
  4. Beagle: Although they do not have extremely short legs like Dachshunds or Basset Hounds, Beagles are also a breed that can develop chondrodystrophy.
  5. Bulldogs (English and French Bulldogs): These breeds often have short limbs and a compact build, making them susceptible to CDDY.
  6. Pekinese: This small dog breed also often shows characteristics of chondrodystrophy.
  7. Shih Tzu: This small breed may also show signs of chondrodystrophy, particularly with regard to their leg structure.

Health challenges in CDDY

Dogs with chondrodystrophy are often prone to spinal problems, particularly herniated discs and spinal osteoarthritis. This is due to the abnormal shape of the vertebrae and the altered biomechanics of the body, which leads to increased stress on the spine and intervertebral discs. The risk of intervertebral disc disease (intervertebral discopathy) is significantly increased in these dogs.

Breeding practices and responsibility

Because chondrodystrophy is hereditary, responsible breeding plays an essential role in controlling this disease. Genetic testing allows breeders to identify carriers of this trait and make informed decisions to minimize the spread of this disease. Unfortunately, not all breeders fulfill their responsibility, but this also applies to other hereditary diseases such as patellar luxation. Choosing a good breeder is sometimes not easy for laypeople.

CDDY care and management

It is important for owners of dogs with chondrodystrophy to pay special attention to the health of the spine and joints. Early detection and treatment of possible problems such as osteoarthritis and disc displacements are crucial. Close cooperation with the veterinarian and animal health practitioner is recommended in order to maintain and improve the dog’s quality of life.

CDDY support through nutritional supplements

To support the health of dogs with CDDY, our combination set of DOG FIT by PreThis® JOINTS elements and DOG FIT by PreThis® VITAMIN B offers a valuable supplement. JOINTS elements helps to strengthen Joints, ligaments and tendons and supports the preservation of cartilage and intervertebral discs. It is particularly beneficial for dogs with CDDY as well as Radius Curvus Syndrome and other joint problems. The additional intake of VITAMIN B supports this Nerve function and promotes improved nutrient absorption, which is of particular importance in dogs with CDDY.

We wish all dogs with chondrodystrophy a long and healthy life!


Note: This article is for general information and does not replace a visit to the vet. If CDDY is suspected, a good veterinarian should always be consulted.

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