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Dwarfism

CsW pup and CsW dwarf pup

What is pituitary dwarfism:
Dwarfism is a horrible incurable disorder which you don’t wish to any dog. A dwarf has a badly developed pituitary , which means that certain hormones (such as growth hormones) are not produced. Due to the shortage of the production of the thyroid stimulating hormone, they have a slow functioning thyroid. Besides the fact that these dogs stay small, they are also haunted by various horrible side effects (e.g. baldness, itching, inflammations, malfunctioning of the liver and kidneys, slow behaviour) when they are not treated with medicines on a daily basis.

          

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Recognising and existence of dwarfism in a breed:
Dwarfism is not always recognised by a breeder!! Many dwarfs die in the uterus or die during the birth.
And moreover 90% of the living born dwarfs die in the first week.
Pups behind in growth are often not recognised as dwarfs. After (4 weeks or later) people see that a pup is different in comparison with the other pups. Dwarfism is known in the breeds German Shepherd, Karelian Beardog, Saarlooswolfhond and the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.
Unfortunately also in CsW breed several dwarfs (from several lines) are known.
And when 1% is dwarf in a population, 18 % will be carrier of this mutated gen!
And the number of carriers in practice is often much higher than thought

   

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When a dwarf is born an owner/breeder can think about a few options:
Keep it yourself without treatment
Keep it yourself with treatment (and you have to find a university or well specialized vet who can measure hormone values and who has the possibility to give thyroxine and p GH)
Euthanize the dwarf in the country of your own when the dwarf becomes ill and suffers
Euthanize the dwarf in Holland (The university did ask me to tell you all this option too).
Adoption in Holland by the new Dutch Dwarfism Foundation where a dwarf can get treatment

About medication for a dwarf:
Any defect in the development of the pituitary gland causes a lack in producing hormones. And most dogs with pituitary dwarfism has a lack of these hormones GH, TSH, PRL, FSH, LH, ACTH.
That is why a dog with Pituitary Dwarfism have to be treated with a combination of GH (grow hormone) and thyroid hormone.
But it is not possible to treat a dwarf with canine GH, because it is not available for medical use.
But porcine GH (of pigs) is identical to canine GH, and a good alternative for treatment.
I don't know if porcine GH is available in other countries

About dwarfs without treatment:
Some dwarfs without treatment can become between 4 and 5 year old. But there is a huge individual difference.
Because some dwarfs still produces a bit of GH of their own!
And their prognoses also it depends of how their kidneys were developed because of this.
Because the progression of kidney failure is also important for the age a dwarf can reach.
The Dutch university did even know a dwarf that did become 10 years old without treatment, because his kidneys did function (because of his own producing of GH) His only problems were bold skin and skin inflammation.
So nobody can ever predict what age an individual dwarf can reach.

About treatment:
The Dutch university knows after years of research that giving a combination of thyroid hormone in combination with porcine pGH is giving good results.
With giving the pGH in the first year they stimulate the kidneys of a dwarf to develop in a normal way.
They did find out that start with giving pGH after the first year did not have any results and influence on the kidneys anymore.
And when the kidneys did not develop (and grow)the first year in the right way, this cannot be treated anymore with medicines. (The lack of development of kidneys causes a lot of problems for dwarfs)
So the Dutch university only starts with treating very young dwarfs with giving pGH in combination with thyorid hormone.

About the research:
The Dutch university is still doing research about treatment and the development of the dwarfs. And so they treat dwarfs of some breeds on this moment.
But for their research they also need pituitary's of dwarfs, so they can do more investigation of the dwarf process and see what is exactly going wrong in the pituitary.
And this research of pituitary's can be a great help for dwarfs (and human) in future.
And that is why they did ask me to ask all owners of dwarfs to help them also with this research.
So when you dwarf is very ill and you have to make sad decisions or consider to euthanatize, please contact me!
And we can also speak about the possibilities to euthanatize in the Dutch university (because then your dwarf can also be great help for other dwarfs)