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Cerebellum Ataxia

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue.

Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby timyyz » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:34 pm

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum and happy that I found it.
I have a 2 year old Beagle (Chico Manuel) who has been diagnosed with Ataxia. His MRI showed a smaller than average cerebellum. It seems that the last couple of months he has not become worse but he does have quite a bit of difficulty with his balance and his leg and movement controls. He cannot go down stairs and cannot climb stairs without help. When he tries to run he is literally all over the place. Does anyone here have a similar neurological problem like this with their dog?
I am looking at the wheelchairs but not sure which I should try as he can still walk but is unsteady (both front and back legs), although his back legs seem a bit stronger.
The neurologist advised two and a half months ago that potentially he may not be able to walk in six months but that it could also plateau and stay like this for years. I'm really hopeful that he does not get worse.

Just reaching out to see if anyone else has similar issues and what may help.

Thanks!

Tim from Torontotimyyz
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby critters » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:28 am

:red: Is the ataxia new? If not, he may have cerebellar hypoplasia (critter cerebral palsy). I built my megasevere CHer a "quad" cart that actually has 6 wheels, duallies in the front and offset for balance.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby barbarony » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:33 pm

I have a 1 yr old boxer mix with CH...Cerebellar Hypoplasia! He is and always will be a clumsy dog. His conditions will not improve. I have worked at an animal hospital for 14 yrs and this is what I have learned through the very trusted docs I work with. It is important that my Roy not ever get heavy. I control his diet strictly. As he gets older his joints will wear earlier I believe bc of his unsteady gait. I let him walk on his own ALL the time. He needs to keep his muscles built up and strong. I would never put him in a cart. Sometimes CH is worse than others. I have seen some animals that can not hardly walk at all. I have seen a cat that could only roll. I am fortunate that my boy can walk. He is very clumsy, yes, but he can walk. The more excited he gets the more clumsy he is but he is a very happy healthy boy otherwise. I'm blessed to have him!!
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby Nstocker48 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:13 pm

So glad you have your pup! I didn't get mine from a breeder, and despite getting the dog for free bc she wasn't sure if something was wrong with him she refuses to believe his CH diagnosis, but mainly I got him because the original would-be owners saw him and didn't want him because he walked funny. The second I saw this dog I feel so in love. I'm also thankful to have my dog because who knows where he could've ended up, he found a patient, loving home for his rolly polly cuteness.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby barbarony » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:29 pm

What kind of dog is he? How big? He may have a disability but still deserves a loving home and a good life. He is blessed to have you.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby Nstocker48 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:40 pm

Absolutely, he found a great home and never has to be alone bc my boss lets him come to work everyday since i got him so hes always under my supervision. He's a 6 month German shepherd, about 45lbs. I instantly noticed the issue but my vet kept contributing it to just being puppyish quirks and his back legs were just him not keeping up with the rate he was growing. When I went for x-rays of hips and a 2nd opinion the vet said almost instantly it was CH and it makes so much sense and shr spent a good half hour or more going over it with me.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby critters » Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:34 am

If you have Facebook you might join https://www.facebook.com/groups/CHKitty ... f=NEWSFEED . Yes, it's a cat group (and there's a UK group, too, if you're in Europe), but there are a fair number of puppers there, too.

SO many vets can't tell the difference between CH and spinal cord injury. :roll: :roll: It doesn't really surprise me that they can't tell the difference between other stuff, either; veterinary habilitation/rehabilitation is better than it used to be, but it has a long way to go.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby barbarony » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:06 am

I would love to have an MRI on Roy but I can't afford it. I work at a small animal practice and we don't have the capability to do that. We can just tell my his symptoms. He doesn't know any different and he is a very happy healthy guy. I do worry abt him injuring himself because of his clumsiness and sometimes falling into things so I have FIGO insurance on him. He does not seem to have a pain response and that could be very bad. I don't know if that is related to the CH. Some people would never take a dog with this condition because of the disability but God Bless you for loving your guy!!
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby critters » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:56 am

I have/had several I'd have liked MRIs on, just for curiosity, but it wouldn't have changed anything anyway. My Baby, who was very severely disabled, didn't seem to feel much pain, either. I don't know whether she didn't feel it, or just didn't care about it.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby JaynTinks » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:36 pm

I have Ataxia myself!

When I was looking for doggy carts for my old girl whose back end was going I came across a dog walker which is similar to a walking frame for people with ataxia. All 4 of the dogs paws are on the ground but the frame around the dog helps steadies them.

Small weights attached to a dogs harness might help too as weighted wristbands have helped me with tremor and you can also get weighted belts and vests for humans with Ataxia to help with walking.

Here's the link for the Dog Walker incase anyone else comes on here looking for similar info in the future.

https://www.dogmobile-online.com/product/dogwalker
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby critters » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:37 am

Most of the critter wheelchairs can be used in a legs-down manner to be like a walker. They may need to have special gear to do so.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby JaynTinks » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:48 am

I have also been following a 'Forced Exercise' routine that has proven to work for parkinsons too. The idea behind it is you are exercising at a faster pace than you'd be able to do yourself so in humans they had a patient on the back of a tandem so the person in front was setting the pace or they used static exercise motorised pedals (I did this one) which enabled the person to pedal to faster than they would be able to do on their own. It reduces involuntary movements such as intention tremor because it stimulates a different part of the brain than what you use to exercise/move at your own base. In theory this should work for a dog too.

Now obviously a dog can't ride a tandem or exercise pedals! :shock: :D .. but this theory could also work with a treadmill if you have the dog in an harness to support its body and are on the treadmill with them (or alongside for a larger dog) and slowly build up to a quicker speed. the dog's feet will automatically move especially if they are slightly highered, obviously this would be easier to do with a small dog than a bigger one.

Swimming (with a doggy life jacket with handles) could also work with someone pulling them along at a slightly quicker pace as the dog is working it's legs. combined with letting them swim/walk at their own pace too, it could be effective in reducing the intention tremor the dog with Cerebellar Ataxia gets when it tries to do intentional movement (walking, getting food from a bowl etc) as I've noticed a few cases online where it's mentioned the tremor is not present when the dog is resting/sleeping.
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby critters » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:08 am

You might find more info by searching cerebellar hypoplasia rather than cerebellar ataxia, at least depending on the country. As far as I know they mean the same, at least for most people.

Just thinking of my monsters, it does seem to be true for the CHers that they don't tremor while asleep. Incidentally, 50% of my spinal cord boys have/had severe leg jerks while asleep, to the point that frequently they throw themselves out of the bed. :shock:
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Re: Cerebellum Ataxia

Postby barbarony » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:22 pm

My 2 yr old boxer/pit with CH does have tremors but doesn't appear to happen when he sleeps. I think they are stimulated when they are awake only. Ataxia just means unsteady movement and hypoplasia means underdeveloped. The ataxia can be present with other disorders but Cerebellar Ataxia is caused by the underdevelopment of the cerebellum so it's just another way
Of saying the same thing. My Roy is a happy healthy boy and he doesn't know anything is wrong. He was created by God to be what he is and God does not make mistakes!!
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