Osteochondrodysplasia is a form of osteoarthritis) affecting skeletal development, growth and maintenance of cartilage and bone. The disease is thought to be inherited as an autosomal dominant disorder. There are more than 100 known genetic skeletal osteochondrodysplasias, many of which are congenital. The cartilage and bone abnormalities have been reported in both humans and animals with dwarfism and degenerative joint disease. In achondroplasia, ossification that occurs in and replaces cartilage (enchondral ossification) of all long bones is retarded, resulting in shortened and deformed limbs. Hypochondroplasia is similar to achondroplasia; however, the condition is less severe. The Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Pug, Pekingese, Japanese Spaniel, Scottish Terrier, Miniature Poodle, and Shih Tzu are achondroplastic, while the Dachshund, Basset Hound, Beagle, Welsh Corgi, Dandy Dinmont Terrier, and Skye Terrier are hypochondroplastic.3 Lethal osteochondrodysplasias lead to death shortly after birth. Below are examples of canine osteochondrodysplasia.

  • Fibrous dysplasia is a localized overgrowth of fibrous tissue in bone. The disease process causes deformity of bone which may lead to loss of bone strength.
  • Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is marked by extensive bone deposition around joints but articular surfaces are not affecte.
  • Osteochondroma is a benign bone tumor consisting of projecting adult bone capped by cartilage which is proliferating and undergoing endochondral ossification.
  • Osteochondromatosis multiple osteochondromas) refers to smoothly contoured, nodular masses of dense fibrocartilaginous and osseous tissue that are continuous with and overlying normal but thin trabeculae of cancellous bone.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta is a collagen disease characterized by brittle, osteoporotic, and easily fractured bones.
  • Osteosclerosis is an abnormal hardening or increased density of bone tissue.
  • Osteolysis is dissolution of bone due to the removal or loss of calcium from the bone
  • Platybasia (basilar impression) is marked by malformation of the base of the skull with forward displacement of the upper cervical vertebrae and bony impingement on the brainstem.
  • Dysplasia epiphysealis hemimelica refers to a growth disorder involving the medial compartment of the lower limbs, and it is associated with epiphyseal hypertrophy and delayed mineralization.


  1. Martinez S, Fajardo R, Valdes J, Ulloa-Arvizu R, Alonso R. Histopathologic study of long-bone growth plates confirms the basset hound as an osteochondrodysplastic breed.Can J Vet Res. 2007 Jan;71(1):66-9.[1]
  2. Starr AN, Famula TR, Markward NJ, Baldwin JV, Fowler KD, Klumb DE, Simpson NL, Murphy KE.. Hereditary evaluation of multiple developmental abnormalities in the Havanese dog breed. J Hered. 2007;98(5):510-7. Epub 2007 Jul 9
  3. Clinical Medicine of the Dog and Cat. Michael Schaer DVM Dip ACVIM ACVECC
  4. A newly recognized pattern of canine osteochondromatosis. Mozos E, Novales M, Ginel PJ, PĂ©rez J, Pool RR.

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