This is my dog, Jazz.
I found her as a pup, skinny, muddy little thing. The runt of a farm rescue. The other pups, older than her, were pushing her into a hole and trying to bury her alive. I took her home, gave her a bath, fed and cared for her. She was a clumsy pup, but this clumsiness never went away.
She was about 10 months old when I took her to the farm. She couldn't balance on the four wheel motorbike or ride on the back of the ute.
But still nothing twigged.
I finally took her to the vets when she started to hit both sides of the door frame when attempting to walk through. When she slipped and fell over on the floor. When she couldn't get in and out of the car. When she couldn't go up and especially down stairs, or even the single step in my house. When she would stay on the ground after falling over as if she had given up.
The vets referred me to a neurological specialist whom late diagnosed her with cerebellar abiotrophy and told me Jazz would get worse.
Cerebellar Abiotrophy (similar to ataxia, atrophy, hyperplasia) is a degenerative neurological condition which attacks brain cells in the cerebellum. It is believed to be genetic as a result of possibly in-breeding and/or breeding carrier bitches which do not show clinical symptoms. CA can act fast or slow. It affects a dog's coordination, balance, depth perception, stance and motor skills.
That was just over a year ago. She is now 2 and a half and still loving life. As happy as she can be. She is in no pain .... but must have a lot of bruises.
I have posted two videos of her, one from 12 months ago, and one from last month. Watch the first one first then second, to get an idea of the degenerative nature of this sad disorder.
Jazz August 2008
YouTube - Jazz Aug 2008
Jazz October 2009
YouTube - Kelpie with cerebellar abiotrophy
It just goes to show that no matter what disability a dog has, whether it be amputation, lameness or even neurological disorders like my red cloud kelpie Jazz, if he/she has a caring, loving, devoted family, they can live their lives to the fullest when others would simply put them down.
She now wears a doggy concussion helmet (hand made out of foam rubber after many prototypes). She wears this stylish helmet when she gets excited because her condition is at its worst when she is excited or has just woken up from sleep. I shall post a photo of her wearing her custom made helmet when I get the chance.
Thanks for reading and watching