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Neurologic

This is a Brain and Spinal Cord condition.

Alexander Disease

What is Alexander Disease?

Astrocytes, named for their characteristic star-like shape, are supportive cells of the central nervous system. Astrocytes surround neurons, the functional unit of the central nervous system, nourishing, protecting, and repairing them from stress or injury, as well as enhancing their function. In Alexander disease, astrocyte function is compromised.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Puppies are weak to nearly paralyzed. They characteristically display spastic front limbs (known as "swimming puppy syndrome").

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs develop in puppies.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic testing, clinical signs, laboratory tests, and advanced imaging may all be used to diagnose this disorder.

How is this condition treated?

Alexander disease is currently untreatable, with owners typically opting to euthanize weeks to months after symptoms arise.

What actions should I take if my dog is affected?

  • Keeping your affected puppy comfortable and giving them the best quality of life you can are the only actions you can take at home.