Kisagyi abiotrophia Border Collieban
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Background: Cerebellar abiotrophy (CA) results in premature and progressive degeneration of cerebellar neurons. No cure is available yet, the affected animals usually become crippled and euthanized around the age of 6 months. Objectives: The aims of this study were (1) to summarize the results of the survey on the symptoms and manifestation of CA in Border Collies, and (2) to investigate cognitive impairment in CA-affected dogs. Cognitive tests have so far not been used on Border Collies with CA. These tests reveal altered cognitive function of CA dogs, might help early recognition of the disease, and shed light on the existence of degeneration outside the cerebellum. These tests also support further research, by revealing new details regarding the development and course of the disease. Materials and Methods: Clinical and pedigree information was collected using a survey completed by owners, breeders and veterinarians. Cognitive tests were performed on six CA and six age matched control dogs, examining olfactory, auditory and visual perception, attention, long- and short-term memory functions. Results and Discussion: A total of 23 875 people viewed our website, mainly from Australia, Hungary, UK and USA. The survey was completed by 1587 people, and 55 cases were reported. The symptoms were similar, and they were recognized in 4-5 weeks old pups. Both sexes were affected. Cognitive tests showed the impairment of olfactory and visual but not auditory perception or attention in CA dogs. CA dogs needed more time in memory tests to complete the task. Using principal component analysis we could separate the two groups, mostly olfactory, visual and food retrieval tests differentiated between them.