What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?
Signs of cerebellar disease include: dogs have an uncoordinated gait (ataxia) with stilted "toy soldier" leg movements. They can display "intention tremors," where a stretched out limb or head shakes more and more violently as it approaches its target. At rest, dogs sometimes display a "truncal sway;" their spinal muscles have lost their fine-tuning, pulling the spine (and everything attached to it) back and forth in a struggle to maintain balance. The muscles of the eyes have also lost this fine-tuning, leading to a rhythmic eye flicking (nystagmus).
When do signs and symptoms develop?
Affected pups are abnormal from birth and, even before they open their eyes, show signs of cerebellar disease including intention tremors and truncal sway. As they begin to walk they show uncoordinated gait and poor balance of cerebellar disease.
How do vets diagnose this condition?
Unless a genetic basis is suspected due to the age, breed, or history of the dog, diagnostics must be performed to rule out infectious, inflammatory, or neoplastic causes.
How is this condition treated?
There is no treatment for this disorder. Certain medications may be prescribed to control symptoms.