Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Ataxia

Synonym(s): Incoordination

Contributor(s): Laurent Garosi, Simon Platt

Introduction

  • Ataxia is defined as an uncoordinated gait and can be secondary to a lesion affecting one of three distinct anatomic regions of the nervous system:
    • A sensory peripheral nerve or spinal cord lesion (general proprioceptive ataxia).
    • A vestibular lesion (vestibular ataxia).
    • A cerebellar lesion (cerebellar ataxia).
  • Although some animals may exhibit ataxia that reflects a combination of these subclasses, accurate lesion localization is essential in establishing an appropriate list of differential diagnoses and a diagnostic plan.
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Neuro-anatomical basis of ataxia

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Neurological evaluation

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Localizing the neuroanatomic lesion

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Differential diagnosis

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Specific diagnostic tests

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Higgins M A, Rossmeisl J H Jr., Panciera D L (2006) Hypothyroid-associated central vestibular disease in 10 dogs: 1999-2005. JVIM 20 (6), 1363-1369 PubMed.
  • Troxel M T, Drobatz K J, Vite C H (2005) Signs of neurological dysfunction in dogs with central versus peripheral vestibular disease. JAVMA 227 (4), 570-574 PubMed.
  • Evans J, Levesque D, Knowles K et al (2003) Diazepam as a treatment for metronidazole toxicosis in dogs: a retrospective study of 21 cases. JVIM 17 (3), 304-310 PubMed.
  • Garosi L S, Dennis R, Platt S R et al (2003) Thiamine deficiency in a dog: clincal, clinicopathologic, and magnetic resonance imaging findings. JVIM 17 (5), 719-723 PubMed.
  • Thomas W B (2000) Vestibular dysfunction. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 30 (1), 227-249, viii PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • de Lahunta A, Glass E (2009) Cerebellum. In: deLahunta A, Glass E (eds) Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology 3rd edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, ch 13, pp 348-388.
  • de Lahunta A, Glass E (2009) Vestibular system: special proprioception. In: deLahunta A, Glass E (eds) Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology 3rd edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, ch 12, pp 319-347.
  • Levine J M, Levine G J, Hoffman A G, Bratton G R (2008) Comparative neuroanatomy of the ox, horse, and dog: brain and associated vessels. Equine Compend Contin Educ Vet 3, 153-164.
  • Levine J M, Levine G J (2007) Small Animal Neurology: An Interactive Course in Clinical Examination and Diagnosis. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX.
  • Jennings D P (2004) Supraspinal control of posture and movement. In: Reece WO (ed) Duke's Physiology of Domestic Animals. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, pp 904-920.
  • de Lahunta A (2001) Neurological examination. In: Braund K G (ed) Clinical Neurology in Small Animals - Localization, Diagnosis, and Treatment. International Veterinary Information Service (www.ivis.org), Ithaca, NY.
  • Speciale J, Adamo P F (1995) Central control of motor function. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 17, 1493-1500.


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