Spinocerebellar ataxia is an early onset, inherited neurologic disease affecting dogs. Dogs with this disease present with incoordination and loss of balance between 2 to 6 months of age. The disease is progressive with affected dogs developing a “prancing” gait and often falling. With this form of ataxia dogs may also have episodes of muscle twitching and rigidity that can appear like seizures but dogs are aware of their surroundings during these attacks. The episodes of muscle twitching get worse with age and dogs are at risk of overheating. Affected dogs can also experience true epileptic seizures. Dogs with spinocerebellar ataxia are usually euthanized by 2 years of age due to a poor quality of life.

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