Cerebellar Hypoplasia Average Cost

From 575 quotes ranging from $500 - 3,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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What is Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

The symptoms of cerebellar hypoplasia are often not noticed at birth, and may not be noticed until the pet begins to be more active from around 6 weeks of age. Incoordination, jerky movements, and tremors may indicate the condition. 

Although there is no treatment for this disorder, often pets can go on to live quality lives. As this disorder can present similarly to other conditions it is important to discuss any concerns you may have that your pet is suffering from this disorder with your veterinarian.

The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for coordination, balance and depth perception. Cerebellar hypoplasia is a congenital disorder in which the cerebellum is not completely matured at birth. This can be caused by a genetic disposition that affects some canine breeds or a number of conditions affecting the pregnant bitch, such as infection, poisoning, and malnutrition.

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Symptoms of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Dogs

This condition is often noticed from about 6 weeks of age, as dogs begin to gain more movement. This disease is characterized by its non-progressive cerebellar signs. The symptoms your pet suffers from can vary greatly between cases. The symptoms include: 

  • Nystagmus
  • Incoordination 
  • Ataxia and dysmetria 
  • Intention tremor (tremor that increases at the end of a deliberate movement) of the head and eyes
  • Wide stance 
  • Disequilibrium (the sensation of being off balance)

Causes of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Dogs

In order to understand the symptoms your pet may be suffering from it is important to understand the role of the cerebellum in the canine. The cerebellum is located in the lower part of the brain and is part of the metencephalon. This part of the brain is responsible for coordinating muscle activity and establishing muscle tone. Therefore, disorders of this structure may prevent it from functioning properly, causing symptoms such as head tremors, incoordination of the limbs and abnormal posture. 

This condition most commonly affects the following breeds

  • Chow chows
  • Airedales
  • Irish Setters
  • Boston Terrier
  • Irish Setters

As well as a genetic disposition this condition can be caused by intra-utero infection such as herpes virus, environmental toxins, or poor nutrition during pregnancy.

Diagnosis of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Dogs

Your veterinarian will perform a full clinical examination, including a neurological examination, on your pet and discuss his history with you. Factors such as the age of your pet when symptoms were first noticed and your pet’s breed may be considered diagnostic features. Your veterinarian may choose to utilise magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain to confirm the condition; however, often the diagnosis is made from presenting symptoms that do not worsen or change and a negative result to parvovirus testing. In post-mortems of animals suffering from this disease, the condition may be seen by a symmetrically smaller cerebellum.  

It is important to differentiate this condition from another cerebellar disease, cerebellar degeneration or cortical abiotrophy. This disease may be suspected as similar symptoms present at a similar age, between 4 - 16 weeks of age. Unlike cerebellar hypoplasia, this disease is progressive due to ongoing reduction in cell populations in the cerebellum. 

Other cerebellar diseases that may need to be ruled out include: 

  • Inflammatory diseases, such as meningitis
  • Toxin ingestion 
  • Trauma during birth or early life
  • Metabolic disease that may have degenerative effects

Treatment of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Dogs

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this disease, although many animals who are born with this condition make excellent companion pets. Due to the nature of the disease the symptoms should not worsen for your pet.

Recovery of Cerebellar Hypoplasia in Dogs

To manage this condition for your pet, it is vital that you understand your pet’s physical limitations, your veterinarian will be able to discuss these with you. As your pet may have difficulty controlling movement, you may need to assist your pet when eating and drinking.

For many pets with this condition self-trauma is the most common complication. In order to reduce the incidences of self-harm, providing your pet with a safe environment is an essential part of the management of this disease. Due to the imbalance and wide stance, stairs and uneven ground may cause a hazard. A non-slip, flat surface is an ideal environment for your pet. 

In very severe cases of the disease, the reduced life quality caused by this condition may result in your veterinarian recommending euthanasia for humane reasons. As this is often a genetic condition it is important that the parents of this pet are not bred further due to the chance of future litters inheriting this condition.

Cerebellar Hypoplasia Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Precious
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
8 Weeks
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Eyes protruding
Can’t walk
Head jerking
Blood In Stool

My 8 week old puppy was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia today the vet said her condition is severe we went out and bought high calorific food to see if it helps but tonight she’s even worse she’s pooping blood her stools are runny she keeps chewing on her paws and head jerking is this part of the disease? The vet recommended putting her to sleep tomorrow I am taking her to cross the rainbow bridge

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Cerebellar hypoplasia is rare in dogs and is difficult to make an ante mortem diagnosis without a CT scan or MRI; diarrhoea isn’t a characteristic symptom of cerebellar hypoplasia but other neurological symptoms may be associated with the condition. I would recommend getting another opinion due to the rarity of the condition in dogs to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Pupperton
Lab/Retriever
11 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of back half, knuckling paws,

Our 11 month old pup has been diagnosed with this. What percentage becomes more aggressive as this progresses? Our pup is snapping and biting. We are hoping meds will help, but are preparing ourselves for the worse.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Generally after four months of age symptoms do not progress or get any worse. This condition doesn’t cause aggression in dogs, although some dogs may have behavioural changes due to the effects of the symptoms. The aggression may be unrelated and may ust require some training. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Lovebug
Huskey
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

body/head swaying, vomiting

My dog was diagnosed with hypoplasia. She is almost a year old. Yesterday she was outside with my husband for hours and spend most of the time on a slanted hill. She came in the house very off balance. Her body was swaying and her head was shaking more than usual. She seemed to be a little delirious at times as well. In the middle of the night she was throwing up. This morning, she seemed to be back to herself, but has thrown up again. Is this because of the cerebellar hypoplasia?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
It is possible that this behavior is related to her brain condition, yes. If she continues to vomit, she should be examined by your veterinarian, but it may just take some time to get her equilibrium back.

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Inday
Shitzu Terries
9 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Unable to walk and stand properly
Head banging

I have a shitzu terrier puppy who had a terrible trauma when she was only ten days old. Her mom stepped on her head/neck. After the incident my puppy named Inday couldn't straightened up her head. We had to bottle feed her since her mom would no longer take care of her. We went to a vet but he said he couldn't do much about it. He prescribed vitamins and the regular vaccinations just like normal dogs should. As months passed by, I noticed she could only stand with support and when she tries to walk, she would always fall. My other pets won't play with her. She ends up playing with her own toys or with us her human family. Now at 9 months she got bigger and she struggled more in walking. I noticed her legs are small. It seems it cannot support her weight. I hope you could help in ways on how to improve Inday's life. I really need advices. I really want to give her the best life possible. It's a bit difficult since I am living in a poor municipality here in North Cotabato, Philippines. There is no Vet in my place, I had to go to the next city or municipality which is a 20-30 minutes travel. And there are people who discourage me. But my love for Inday is strong, how can I give up when she's determined to live. She loves to eat. She likes it when I cuddle or play with her. She befriends the cats and chickens. She is so adorable. She is an angel sent to me.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Without examining Inday and possibly taking an x-ray of the spine it is difficult to know specifically what the underlying cause of the symptoms are (meaning the damage caused by the trauma of her mother standing on her neck). Without knowing the extent of the injury it is very difficult to offer any advice, thirty minutes is not far to travel for veterinary care; you should visit a Veterinarian for a thorough examination so you know the specific injury and the extent of the injury affecting Inday. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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snappy
Boston Terrier jack Russel
28 Weeks
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

shakey and no

From what I've read in this article it says this can be noticed around 6 weeks but I'd like to know if it could go a couple of years before the symptoms show themselves? My sister's dog was fine til he was about a year and a half to 2 years old he was fine then one day he was running and playing and he just helped and fell over with uncontrollable shaking he spent a week laying in a box shaking unable to sit, stand, or even roll over. He eventually learned to crawl by pulling himself with his front legs and eventually learned to walk again but has very little balance he falls over a lot can't walk straight or stand or sit still and when he had puppies they were born with this same issue my mom thinks he was snake bit but I've always thought it was neurological since his puppies had it

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Cerebellar hypoplasia is rare in dogs, but it presents at an early age and is evident from when a pup starts to be more active; there are many other possible neurological conditions which may affect a dog, some of which may have a genetic component. I would recommend having a Neurologist take a look at Snappy to help diagnose the underlying issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have a shitzu terrier puppy who had a terrible trauma when she was only ten days old. Her mom stepped on her head/neck. After the incident my puppy named Inday couldn't straightened up her head. We had to bottle feed her since her mom would no longer take care of her. We went to a vet but he said he couldn't do much about it. He prescribed vitamins and the regular vaccinations just like normal dogs should. As months passed by, I noticed she could only stand with support and when she tries to walk, she would always fall. My other pets won't play with her. She ends up playing with her own toys or with us her human family. Now at 9 months she got bigger and she struggled more in walking. I noticed her legs are small. It seems it cannot support her weight. I hope you could help in ways on how to improve Inday's life. I really need advices. I really want to give her the best life possible. It's a bit difficult since I am living in a poor municipality here in North Cotabato, Philippines. There is no Vet in my place, I had to go to the next city or municipality which is a 20-30 minutes travel. And there are people who discourage me. But my love for Inday is strong, how can I give up when she's determined to live. She loves to eat. She likes it when I cuddle or play with her. She befriends the cats and chickens. She is so adorable. She is an angel sent to me.

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Duggu
Labrador
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Shaking

Is there any other therapy which will help the affected dog with cerebellum hypoplasia move? Like wide range of motion exercises and aqua therapy? Will these help?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Sashrika, I wish that I could help you more, but without examining Duggu, and knowing more about his actual physical condition, I cannot advise as to whether there are any other therapies. I want him to be healthy again, as I know that you do, but it would be best to pursue any treatments that your veterinarian might be able to recommend. Physical therapy may help keep his muscles supple, but probably won't actually help him get any further function.

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Buddy
Golden Retriever
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of balance and coordination.

I have a 5-6 year old Golden retriever that we rescued 3 years ago. At the time the rescue vet said he had Cerebellar Hypoplasia and since we live in AZ Valley Fever. Over the past 3 months his back legs have gotten much worse with walking, balance, etc. He has been pretty active so this change is somewhat of a surprise. Should I have a vet test him to see if it is something else?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Any changes in walking or balance should be checked by your Veterinarian to determine if the cause is neurological (like cerebellar hypoplasia) or other cause like vestibular disorders, poisoning, liver disease or another cause. Just because a diagnosis of cerebellar hypoplasia has been made, it doesn’t mean any sudden change in gait is caused by it. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Shakey
Boston Terrier
11 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Cerabella hypoplasia

My ch boston was rescued fro. A shelter at 4 months do not jnow early history.. he is fixed and in good health.. he picks fights with older male dogs and is very attached to me .. he will try to bite who ever trys to mive hi. Even me when he is sleeping ir snuggled in next to me.. i live him and we have overcome a lot please is it normal ? Psrt if his delays ? How can i help him ?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. He does not sound developmentally challenged, as much as he sounds like he was poorly socialized as a young puppy. Basic puppy classes would be a good idea, followed by possibly more training. Your veterinarian can recommend a good trainer for you. He is a young dog, and will probably learn very quickly!

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Callie
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Wide gait.

Hi there,
My Labrador retrievers was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia at around 8 weeks of age. She is now two years old and has been doing excellent. However, she started to have seizures about 6 months ago. At this time we were prescribed injectable diazepam today be administered during a seizure. This has worked. However her seizures are starting to become more frequent. Our veterinarian suggested we start her in phenobarbital. We have not yet started with this yet because we are not sure if this would be the correct route for her. I have read that phenobarbital may cause ataxia for a few weeks. Do you think this would be a good route for her or should we just continue with the diazepam?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
When seizures are few and far between we prefer (as Veterinarians) to not manage daily but to manage each episode as it occurs; however if the frequency of the seizures becomes more often than daily management is indicated. Your Veterinarian will explain all of this to you during your consultation, but the choice is ultimately yours. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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