Felis ISSN 2398-2950

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 neuro-anatomic 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 fromPubMed.
  • Garosi L S (2009)Neurological examination of the cat: how to get started. J  Feline Med Surg11, 340-348PubMed.
  • Penderis J (2009)The wobbly cat: diagnostic and therapeutic approach to generalised ataxia. J Feline Med Surg11, 340-348PubMed.
  • Penderis J, McConnell F J, Calvin J (2007)Magnetic resonance imaging features of thiamine deficiency in a cat. Vet Rec160, 270-272PubMed.
  • Caylor K B, Cassimatis M K (2001)Metronidazole neurotoxicosis in two cats. JAAHA37, 258-262PubMed.
  • Thomas W B (2000)Vestibular dysfunction. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract30, 227-249PubMed.
  • Burke E E, Moise N S, de Lahunta A, Erb H N (1985)Review of idiopathic feline vestibular syndrome in 75 cats.   JAVMA187, 941-943PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • de Lahunta A, Glass E (2009)Cerebellum.In: deLahunta A, Glass E (eds) Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology3rd 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 Neurology3rd edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, ch 12, pp 319-347.
  • 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.


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