Short Spine Syndrome In Dogs - How Dangerous It Is?

Short Spine Syndrome In Dogs - How Dangerous It Is?

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: May 02 2023


Like humans, dogs could also have serious health issues from birth. Although this is not so common, it can certainly happen. Dogs can suffer from spinal injuries and have deformities of the spine. One of these conditions is called short spine syndrome. This is an extremely rare dog condition, and it is thought that only around 35 dogs worldwide have this syndrome. Let's take a look at what exactly is short spine syndrome.

What is short spine syndrome?

When a dog is diagnosed with this syndrome, the vertebrae of the spine will remain in the more cartilage position rather than just strengthening into bone as it would happen in normal circumstances. This will make the dog look like he has no neck and his head is connected directly to the spine.

Dogs with this syndrome have restricted movements, and since they cannot turn their head, they will have to turn their whole body around to see what is behind them. In most cases, this syndrome will not affect dog limbs; their bodies will appear shorter than their legs.

short spine syndrome dogImage source

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What is the cause of this syndrome?

Since this is a rare condition, there is not much research on this topic. However, it is thought that this syndrome is directly connected to inbreeding. Unexperienced breeders that start to inbreed dogs could cause this syndrome to appear.

GOOD TO KNOW: Dogs are not the only species that can suffer from short spine syndrome. Humans and horses can also be affected.

Is this syndrome causing pain for the dog?

Dogs that are diagnosed with short spine syndrome are not in any pain, and they are not suffering. These dogs live normal lives, and this condition will not affect their life span.

However, since their movements are restricted, they could have some problems doing everyday things.

Some of them include:

  • Eating
  • Playing
  • Scratching
  • Urinating
  • Pooping

short spine syndrome dogImage source

As with all dogs, even dogs diagnosed with short spine syndrome can learn to do different things the way that suits them best. You need patience and much love with these dogs, and they will quickly learn all the necessary things.

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Is there any treatment for this syndrome?

Currently, there are no known treatments for short spine syndrome in dogs. The best thing owners of this dog could do is to provide them with the opportunity to overcome all the challenges in life and provide them with much affection and love.

short spine syndrome dogImage source

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How can this syndrome be prevented?

As we said earlier, short spine syndrome is directly connected to inbreeding, so healthy breeding is the solution to avoid this syndrome. It is known that "bad" breeders without much experience are driven by earning some easy money and, without caring about dogs' health, will do many bad things in breeding. This will, in most cases, result in unhealthy puppies that will be diagnosed with many health problems.

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