Cerebellar Hypoplasia vs Cerebellar Degeneration In Dogs

Cerebellar Hypoplasia vs Cerebellar Degeneration In Dogs

The main difference between cerebellar hypoplasia and cerebellar degeneration also called cerebellar cortical degeneration (CCD) or cerebellar abiotrophy is that cerebellar hypoplasia is not degenerative. Both neurological conditions are inherited but cerebellar degeneration does progress overtime. Cerebellar hypoplasia happens when a dog is born with an underdeveloped cerebellum. CCD causes the cells in the cerebellum to gradually die off. 

Symptoms Common To Both Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Cerebellar Degeneration

  • Abnormal gait
  • Widened stance
  • Lack of coordination 
  • Swaying from side to side
  • Tilted head

Diagnosing These Conditions

If you notice any of these symptoms you need to take your dog to the veterinarian. They will do an examination to review any clinical signs. Other tests that may be involved to rule out other possible issues include cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, blood cell analysis, blood biochemistry, thyroid testing, urinalysis, brainstem auditory-evoked response, CT or MRI of the brain.

Types of Cerebellar Degeneration 

Cerebellar Abiotrophy is found in certain breeds, at different ages and the rate of progression varies.

  • Neonatal onset - symptoms appear soon after birth. Most often seen in the Beagle, Coton De Tulear, Dachshund mix, Irish Setter, Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Samoyed.
  • Juvenile onset - symptoms appear around 6 weeks to 6 months of age. Most often seen in the Airedale Terrier, Australian Kelpie, Bavarian Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Border Collie, Chinese Crested, English Bulldog, and Rough Coated Collie.  
  • Adult onset - symptoms appear between 1 to 8 years of age. Most often seen in the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bernese Mountain Dog, Brittany, Scottish Terrier, and Schnauzer. 

Cerebellar Hypoplasia and Cerebellar Degeneration In Dogs Treatment

full support dog wheelchair

There is no cure for either of these conditions. Even if your dog has cerebellar degeneration your dog can live for many years because the progression can be slow. However, sometimes this happens quickly over a few months. These dogs can usually benefit from a full support dog wheelchair. This type of dog wheelchair will give them the support they need to continue to be mobile due to their lack of coordination. 


About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our dog wheelchairs. We have small, medium and big dog wheelchairs

We offer a front support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog cart, a dog cart for rear legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only affordable dog wheelchair that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it.

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