One of the more heartbreaking disorders that can strike your dog is an inherited brain disorder known as cerebellar abiotrophy. In this condition there is premature aging and deterioration of the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. In most animals with this condition, the cerebellum matures normally before the puppy is born, but then specific cells in the cerebellum, known as Purkinje cells, deteriorate steadily after birth. Occasionally cells in other areas of the brain are affected as well. [...]
Equine CA or Cerebellar Abiotrophy, found almost solely in the Arabian horse bloodlines, is a neurological, genetic condition. Most foals appear normal and show no sign of cerebellar abiotrophy at birth but noticeable symptoms usually appear around four months of age. There are some cases where the first symptoms of cerebellar abiotrophy appeared in foals only a few days old or horses over a year.
Cerebellar abiotrophy develops when the neurons recognized as Purkinje cells, located in a region of the brain called the cerebellum, start to die off shortly after birth. It affects a horse's coordination and balance under six months of age but because of the gradual onset of CA symptoms, caretakers or owners often do not notice any physical problems in affected horses until they are much older. A horse without Purkinje cells has no sense of distance and space. [...]