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Dogs With Short Spine Syndrome

Dogs With Short Spine Syndrome

Dogs with Short Spine syndrome are rare. Only 14 dogs are affected worldwide. It also occurs in cats and horses as well as in the wild with foxes, wolves and coyotes. The spine is greatly shortened. The vortices are compressed. Short Spine syndrome is also called Baboon Dog syndrome.


In Short Spine syndrome, the spine of the dog is shorter than normal. The back consist only of cartilage and basically no bones at all. The back is because of that compressed.


The mutation, which is located on several genes (polygene), is inherited recessively. A human geneticist at the Univercity of California is still researching the exact localization of gene mutations.


  • The back is shortened
  • The vertebrae are cartilage and compressed
  • The vertebrae merge with each other
  • The slightly right-held head is normal in size and is held against the shoulder blades
  • The head cannot be actively rotated
  • The back falls sharply downwards
  • The tail is twisted and shortened
  • The number of ribs is reduced
  • The disease is not painful
  • Life expectancy corresponds to that of a healthy dog


Since this is a genetic disease, a cure is not possible. Operations may be necessary to avoid impairment of the internal organs by the malformed spine.


The joie de vivre of the dogs with Short Spine syndrome is unbroken. They cope well with their limitations. This also points out that free-living, adult wild animals are repeatedly found in nature, which are also affected by the shortening of the spine.

Since the curvature of the spine does not cause pain, euthanasia should NEVER be considered. Dogs with physical disabilities like to live as much as dogs without restrictions. A different physical appearance of the dogs in no way justifies ending the lives of these dogs.

Quasimodo: The short spine German Shepherd

Quasimodo tragically is born with this rare disease. Suspended because of this disability, he is rescued by volunteers from the Second Hand Hounds in Minnesota. He is one of the few dogs in the world that suffer from this rare disease.

In fact, only 13 dogs that have the same genetic defect are known.

The approximately 5-year-old German Shepherd was abandoned due to this genetic disease. Due to Short Spine syndrome, his back is arched as if he had a hump. Therefore, Quasimodo not only has problems running, but also cannot move his head properly. But despite its fate and catastrophic physical condition, the dog has the sweetest personality. Quasimodo is a sociable and gentle dog.

Like we already explained, this condition does not cause pain. So Quasimodo does not suffer because of his disability.

Touched by Quasimodo’s story, which has spread widely for several months, many people have offered to adopt him. Today Quasimodo is a happy dog who shares his adventures on his Facebook account!

My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.