What Is Cerebellar Hypoplasia Dogs?
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This condition is often noticed from about 6 weeks of age, as dogs begin to gain more movement. This disease is characterized by its non-progressive cerebellar signs. The symptoms your pet suffers from can vary greatly between cases. Although there is no treatment for this disorder, often pets can go on to live quality lives.
In order to understand the symptoms your pet may be suffering from it is important to understand the role of the cerebellum in the canine. The cerebellum is located in the lower part of the brain and is part of the metencephalon. This part of the brain is responsible for coordinating muscle activity and establishing muscle tone. Therefore, disorders of this structure may prevent it from functioning properly, causing symptoms such as head tremors, incoordination of the limbs and abnormal posture.
This condition most commonly affects the following breeds
• Chow chows
• Irish Setters
• Boston Terrier
As well as a genetic disposition this condition can be caused by intra-utero infection such as herpes virus, environmental toxins, or poor nutrition during pregnancy.
Diagnosis of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Dogs
Your veterinarian will perform a full clinical examination, including a neurological examination, on your pet and discuss his history with you. Factors such as the age of your pet when symptoms were first noticed and your pet breed may be considered diagnostic features. Your veterinarian may choose to utilise magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain to confirm the condition; however, often the diagnosis is made from presenting symptoms that do not worsen or change and a negative result to parvovirus testing. In post-mortems of animals suffering from this disease, the condition may be seen by a symmetrically smaller cerebellum.
It is important to differentiate this condition from another cerebellar disease, cerebellar degeneration or cortical abiotrophy. This disease may be suspected as similar symptoms present at a similar age, between 4 – 16 weeks of age. Unlike cerebellar hypoplasia, this disease is progressive due to ongoing reduction in cell populations in the cerebellum.
Other cerebellar diseases that may need to be ruled out include:
I found a great resource on www.wagwalking.com if you need to read further about Cerebellar Hypoplasia.
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