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This is a Brain and Spinal Cord condition.

Spinocerebellar Ataxia with Myokymia and/or Seizures

What is Spinocerebellar Ataxia with Myokymia and/or Seizures?

Known as the "oldest" (even reptiles and more ancient species have them!) part of the brain, the cerebellum fine-tunes motor signals from the brain to the muscles, allowing for balance and coordination. When the cerebellum does not function properly, dogs become uncoordinated and do not have the ability to perform fine motor skills.

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

The most significant clinical sign of the disorder is cerebellar ataxia; affected dogs often also display myokymia, an involuntary quivering of a group of muscles or part of a single muscle, seizures, or both. As the disease progresses, the muscle quivering or myokymia can reach a point that dogs can overheat; seizures can also become progressively more severe.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) with myokymia, seizures, or both is a juvenile onset inherited disorder. Affected dogs usually begin to show signs between two and ten 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.

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.
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