Late onset ataxia (LOA) is a hereditary disease that can be tested with a DNA test. Late Onset Ataxia (LOA) and Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) in dogs are progressive hereditary diseases of gait incoordination and loss of balance. These hereditary 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, this hereditary 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 hereditary disease.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive - read more
Mutation: CAPN1 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.