Neurologic

This is a Brain and Spinal Cord condition.

Canine Multiple System Degeneration

What is CMSD?

A progressive neurologic disease, this condition is best described in the Kerry Blue Terrier. Affected dogs can begin showing gait abnormalities and head tremors as early as 3 months of age. While dogs often have difficulty walking towards the end stages of the disease, they show no behavioral abnormalities and appear to be aware of their surroundings and companions. There is no definitive treatment for CMSD; current treatment is supportive and aimed towards keeping dogs comfortable as the disease progresses. In Kerry Blue Terriers and Chinese Crested Dogs, CMSD has been been mapped to mutations in the SERAC1 gene. SERAC1 is necessary for mitochondria, cellular structures that supply the cell with the energy currency ATP and has also been linked to cerebellar disease in humans.

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

Affected dogs can begin showing gait abnormalities and head tremors. This progresses to difficulty walking towards the end stages of the disease. However, they show no behavioral abnormalities and appear to be aware of their surroundings and companions.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs are first apparent around 3 months of age.

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.

Discover Your Dogʼs DNA Story

Embark Dog DNA Test for Breed Identification

Breed Identification Kit

Breed ID Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, ancestry, and relatives.

$129

LEARN MORE

Breed + Health Kit

Breed + Health Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, health, traits, ancestry, and relatives.

$169

LEARN MORE