Spinocerebellar ataxia is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease affecting Alpine Dachsbracke dogs amongst other breeds. This is an early-onset disease caused by a defect voltage-gated sodium channel which plays an essential role in neuron function in the central, as well as peripheral nervous system. The described defect causes structural changes in the brain and brainstem, including the region of the brain where the optic nerves cross. Clinical signs of affected dogs include severe tremors, loss of balance, uncoordinated movement, falling, impaired vision and ataxia or muscular incoordination.
Inheritance: autosomal recessive - read more
Mutation: SCN8A 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.