What is Cerebellar Hypoplasia?
Pets with cerebellar hypoplasia are born with a smaller than usual or underdeveloped cerebellum. This neurological condition is congenital and directly effects motor skills. Dogs and cats with the condition struggle with mobility, maintaining balance and coordination.
Signs and Symptoms
Most puppies are diagnosed very young as symptoms present quite quickly after birth. Most pets with cerebellar hypoplasia will begin to show signs of the condition as soon as they start to walk. These symptoms include:
- Uncontrolled tremors, often most notable in the head
- Loss of balance
- Lack of coordination
- Exaggerated movements, especially when walking
- Wide stance
If a puppy is displaying these symptoms, most likely the Vet will recommend an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Although, it can occur in any breed, this neurological condition is most common in Chow Chows, Irish Setters, Airedales, Boston Terriers and Wirehaired Fox Terriers.
Treating Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Pets
There is no cure for cerebellar hypoplasia. However, this neural condition will not worsen overtime and most pets are able to perform basic functions and enjoy a normal life. As the puppy or kitten grows up, they learn to compensate for their condition and can live a long, happy, and pain free life. Due to their uncoordinated movement, many pets with cerebellar hypoplasia benefit greatly from using a dog wheelchair. A full support or 4-wheel wheelchair provides the support they need to maintain their balance and help keep the mobile.
Stairs and uneven ground can be challenging and unsafe for pets with this condition. Make sure that your pet is always supervised to avoid accidents.
Tilly was born with cerebellar hypoplasia, but she’s a fighter. At three-months old yorkipoo took her first steps thanks to her Mini Quad Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair. With the balance and support of her new wheelchair Tilly will be able to exercise and can now learn how to go potty on her own. Watch Tilly take her first steps in her new wheelchair in the video below: