, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 97-101

Late-onset progressive spinocerebellar degeneration in Brittany Spaniel dogs

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Eight Brittany Spaniel dogs, seven females and one male, between 7 and 14 years old presented with clinical neurological signs of spinocerebellar disease of about 6 months to 4 years duration. Clinically the dogs had a dramatic forward “saluting” movement of the thoracic limbs, hypermetria of the pelvic limbs, cerebellar ataxia and intention tremors. Terminally, dogs crawled in a crouched thoracic posture with neck extension. Lesions were confined to cerebellum, medulla oblongata and spinal cord. The most severe lesion was diffuse Purkinje cell loss with massive neurofilament accumulation in degenerating cells. There was some bilateral neuronal degeneration in the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and in the gracilis and cuneate nuclei. There was bilateral sporadic axonal degeneration in the dorsal columns and lateral and ventromedial areas of the spinal cord. The etiology of this syndrome was not determined.

Received: 18 August 1997 / Revised, accepted: 9 December 1997