Late Onset Ataxia (LOA) and Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) 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 Late Onset Ataxia usually become notable between 6 and 12 months of age. During the initial months, disease is progressing rapidly. Walking becomes uncoordinated, affected dogs have problems with movement or in some cases can completely lose ability to move. In severe cases, the dog falls and can no longer be self-raising. At the later stages of disease, some dogs must be euthanized.
The symptoms are very similar to signs shown by dogs affected with Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA), so there may be confusion in identification of the disease.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive - read more
Mutation: CAPN1 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.