Ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease defined by incoordination of voluntary movements. Hereditary ataxia affecting Black Norwegian elkhounds is an early-onset disease with symptoms developing from around 4 weeks of age. It is caused by axonal swelling in the cerebellum and abnormalities in the brain stem. The affected dogs show a moderately ataxic walk with the tendency of overstepping, unsteady and broad-based pelvic limbs, lack of balance and kyphotic body posture (arched back). The affected animals also show delayed postural reflexes, as well as hanging tails instead of the curled tail that is characteristic for this breed.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive - read more
Mutation: HACE1 gene
Genetic test: The method used for genetic testing is extremely accurate and allows complete differentiation between affected animals, carriers and healthy dogs. DNA testing can be done at any age.
Disease control: read more
DNA test sample: EDTA whole blood (1.0 ml) or buccal swabs. Detailed information about sampling can be found here.