Disorder - Pituitary dwarfismOrgan Systems Involved
Pituitary dwarfism is caused by the reduced production of growth hormone, causing the animal to stop growing, and to maintain puppy characteristics.
Pituitary dwarves exhibit overall signs of stunted growth. The signs are not apparent for the first two to six weeks of life, but after this the owner starts to notice that the affected puppy is smaller than its littermates. The animal will retain its puppy fur, with no development of adult hairs. Loss of hair will occur, mainly on the trunk, thighs and tail, on both sides of the body. The skin will be thin, inelastic and scaly, and excessive pigmentation will slowly appear. The growth plates of bones will take longer to close (closure normally occurring as the bones mature), and permanent teeth will also take longer to erupt. The reproductive organs of affected animals are smaller and fail to develop completely. Female dogs will lack oestrus cycles and are therefore infertile. The dog may retain a higher pitched, 'puppy-like' bark. Overall, the dog will retain the appearance of a young puppy. Affected dogs have a shortened life expectancy.
Dogs at Risk
German shepherd dog
Growth Hormone-responsive Dermatoses
Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]