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Neurologic

This is a Brain and Spinal Cord condition.

Spongy Degeneration with Cerebellar Ataxia 1

What is SDCA1?

A neurodegenerative condition first characterized in the Belgian Malinois, affected dogs show signs of cerebellar dysfunction at a young age (1 to 2 months old); some also show seizures. Unfortunately, clinical signs do often progress and heavily impact quality of life. Due to fairly low frequency in the Belgian Shepherd breeds, reducing the frequency of this mutation by genetic testing and controlled breedings of dogs carrying this allele is recommended.

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

Affected dogs show signs of cerebellar dysfunction at a young age (1 to 2 months old) including a lack of coordination walking, tremors, and poor balance. Seizures can also develop.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs are often first apparent at 1-2 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. Dogs with this disorder often are euthanized.

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