Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) and Late Onset Ataxia (LOA) in dog are progressive diseases of gait incoordination and loss of balance. Diseases gradually affect parts of nervous system in cerebellum, which coordinate movement.
Clinical signs of Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) usually become notable between 2 and 6 months of age and are similar to symptoms of Late Onset Ataxia (LOA). Observed symptoms include uncoordinated walking, problems with movement or, in some cases, complete loss of ability to move. In SCA but not in LOA, dogs have a series of seizures and myokymia. At the later stages of the disease, some dogs must be euthanized.
The symptoms are very similar to signs shown by dogs affected with Late Onset Ataxia (LOA), so there may be confusion in identification of the disease.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive - read more
Mutation: KCNJ10 gene
Genetic test: Disease or carrier can be identified by genetic testing at any age. The PCR method used for testing is extremely accurate and allows complete differentiation between affected animals, carriers and healthy dogs.
Disease control: read more
Affected breeds: Jack Russell Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier
Sample: EDTA whole blood (1.0 ml) or buccal swabs. Detailed information about sampling can be found here.