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New aspects of hereditary ataxia in smooth-haired fox terriers
  1. C. Rohdin, DVM1,
  2. L. Lüdtke, DVM2,
  3. P. Wohlsein, DVM, DECVP3 and
  4. K. Hultin Jäderlund, DVM, DECVN4
  1. 1Albano Small Animal Hospital, Rinkebyvägen 23, 182 36 Danderyd, Sweden
  2. 2National Veterinary Institute, Ulls väg 2B, 751 89 Uppsala, Sweden
  3. 3Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Buenteweg 17, 30559 Hannover, Germany
  4. 4Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7054, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
  1. E-mail for correspondence: cecilia.rohdin{at}


Hereditary ataxia was diagnosed in three smooth-haired fox terrier puppies from Sweden, 25 years after the previous known case in the breed. In addition to the characteristic spinal cord pathology, brain involvement was evident clinically, in the form of behavioural changes and bilaterally decreased menace responses, and histopathologically, with degenerative changes in the brainstem. The striking similarities to hereditary ataxia in the Jack Russell terrier suggest the same disease process in both breeds. A common ancestor, a female dog born in 1951 and considered a carrier of the disease at that time, was found in both the maternal and paternal lines of the three puppies.

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