Chondrodystrophy or dwarfism is a hereditary disease which is seen in several unrelated breeds, including the Alaskan Malamute and the Beagle. In simple terms, the disease involves a growth defect in the long bones of the Beagles legs which leaves him with a stunted appearance. Usually by three or four weeks of age the signs of the deformity begin to appear and during this time some of the puppies suffer pain. A dwarf Beagle may have a normal life if he matures, but he will will more than likely be inactive.
X rays taken of the legs and spine between three weeks and three months of age will diagnose the disease. Evidence has shown that the dwarf syndrome may also include deformities or even the absence of nasal sinuses as well. Before weaning, many dwarf Beagles are often euthanized when the deformity has become visibly apparent.