Part of the official UK Kennel Club testing scheme in Tibetan Terrier
Pituitary dwarfism in dogs is a congenital condition caused by a deficiency of growth hormone. Dogs affected by this condition have underdeveloped pituitary glands, which leads to a lack of multiple hormones necessary for proper growth and development. Although affected dogs appear normal at birth, they begin to show signs of growth failure around two to three months of age and never reach their normal adult size. In addition to growth deficiencies, these dogs exhibit distinct characteristics such as retaining their soft, puppy-like coat and a failure to grow primary guard hairs. They often experience various skin abnormalities like scaling, bacterial skin infections, and hyperpigmentation. By the time they reach 3 to 5 years of age, affected dogs may develop severe hair loss on their trunk, neck, and limbs (alopecia) and may also suffer from complications including mental dullness and kidney disease. If left untreated, affected dogs typically have a significantly shortened lifespan and may die or need to be euthanized by the age of 5 due to concerns about their quality of life.
If left untreated, their lifespan is significantly shortened and dogs are often euthanised.