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dogs can have dwarfs????

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by buddhafabio, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. buddhafabio

    buddhafabio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2002
    Messages:
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    Kricket is a little gem

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    NICKI WALKER

    October 17, 2003 09:00
    The German shepherd dog is admired and feared for its strength, agility, intelligence and size.

    It is the scourge of paperboys and milkmen, and the ideal choice for use as police and guard dogs.

    But Kricket is not following in the paw-prints of his siblings – he just does not quite reach the mark.

    Though he was born to pedigree parents, this pup is not even as big as the family cat.

    For Kricket suffers from a genetic disorder nicknamed dog dwarfism – which means he is just a quarter of the size of his litter brothers and sisters.

    Being a pituitary dwarf means that while his siblings who have already shed their cute puppy coats and started to develop into full strength, Kricket, now three months old, will grow to just a fraction of their size.

    The condition is so rare there are few recorded cases. There are thought to be just a handful in the world. Many breeders will destroy the dog immediately, while other dogs born with the disorder die young.

    But Kricket has beaten the odds and despite his size has been given a second chance with new owners, Mary and Andy Higgins, of Gorefield, near Wisbech, who offered the mini-mite a home after his breeder did not know what to do with him.

    Though he may only live for about four years, the couple aims to make his life as fun and exciting as possible.

    Even without full co-ordination and though he gets trodden on sometimes by his pack mates, he is a 7in fluffy bundle of fun.

    Mrs Higgins, 53, who has 17 rescue dogs at her Fenland home, said: "When we first saw him, we fell in love with him. How could you not?

    "He's a little unco-ordinated, but is perfectly in proportion.

    "In my 30 years' experience, I have never seen a dog with this condition. But that's what makes him special."

    Kricket weighs 8lb while others in his litter weigh around 30lb.

    He has five tiny meals a day and the couple still wake in the night to give him food.

    "He has a wonderful character," said Mrs Higgins. "The other dogs know he is different, but he still gets on with life like all the rest.

    "He has a great attitude to life. He's been given a second chance and he's enjoying it."

    Dr Malcolm Willis, an expert in animal breeding and genetics, said Kricket's condition was rare.

    It was not known how many dogs had the condition but it affected a small number of German Shepherds across the world.

    He said: "It is a fraction of one per cent, very rare.

    "The condition is due to a cyst on the brain which leads to a reduction in growth hormones, and by eight weeks the breeder can immediately spot the difference.

    "The dog is the same as any other, only much smaller, and at 12 months it will lose its coat everywhere apart from the face and the feet.

    "There is no reason why the dog should not live a number of years, but most are put down straightaway. However the dog will never grow to be any bigger than a border terrier.

    "To get the condition both the mum and dad dog have to carry the condition. And it is a condition which is only found in German shepherds."
     

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  2. buddhafabio

    buddhafabio Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,246
    if people are annoyed that i post wierd stories all the time let me know i will stop
     
  3. Scotiagirl

    Scotiagirl

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    Messages:
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    I don't think they are annoying, I enjoy reading most of these stories. Is that not what the web is for? to learn about things you did not know? Like I had never heard that there could be dwarf dogs!!!!

    Thanks and keep it up as far as I am concerned. :)
     
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