Disorder - Short Spine

Organ Systems Involved

Alternative Names
Short Spine Lethal
Short-Spine Dog

Brief Description
    Short Spine is a severe shortening of the vertebral column or spine due to the compression of vertebrae.

Presenting Signs
    In a dog suffering from Short Spine, the vertebrae remain largely in their cartilage form instead of hardening to form bone. This will result in the compression of the vertebrae and the severe shortening of the whole vertebral column. Some of the vertebrae may be fused together, making the spine less flexible. Although the head appears normal in length, it is usually held tilted to the right and is held hard up against the shoulder blades as if the dog does not have a neck. The back line of the animal slopes downward towards the rump, ending in a low-set tail. The tail is also affected, appearing twisted and much shorter than normal with tangled hair. The anal opening is slightly slanted and the lower half of the abdomen looks larger than usual. Although the limbs are of the correct length, they are incorrectly positioned as the knee and elbow joints turn outwards. These dogs have difficulty carrying out daily activities such as running, jumping and eating, however they can expect to live for a relatively normal lifespan. The disorder also affects the ribcage, which appears considerably compressed with a severe reduction in number of ribs.

Groups Affected

Breeds Affected

Related Disorders
    Perosomus Elumbis

PubMed References
Short Spine

Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]

Stacy Gwyther