From Cow
Eight month old Santa Gertrudis crossbred dwarf heifer[1]

Dwarfism is a relatively rare recessive genetic disease of cattle worldwide caused by achondroplasia, dyschondroplasia or Panhypopituitarism.

Historically, dwarfism was the major genetic defect in beef cattle and aggressive culling and sire testing were used to minimize its prevalence; however, neither of these practices has eliminated the defect[2]. The disease is caused by a mutation in protein kinase activity, leading to reduced cellular activity associated with cellular development.

Dwarfism is often associated with other genetic defects such as congenital chondrodystrophy (cyschondrodysplasia) in grazing of drought-affected pastures, feeding hay-only or silage-only diets or supplementation with apple pulp suggests a nutritional cause such as a mineral deficiency[3].


  1. Drost Project
  2. Koltes JE et al (2009) A nonsense mutation in cGMP-dependent type II protein kinase (PRKG2) causes dwarfism in American Angus cattle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106(46):19250-19255
  3. White PJ et al (2010) The association between congenital chondrodystrophy of unknown origin (CCUO) in beef cattle and drought in south-eastern Australia. Prev Vet Med 94(3-4):178-184