An Italian Spinone dog laying down in a grassy field with a beautiful blue sky

New Test Available - Cerebellar Ataxia (CA) in the Spinone Italiano

Spinocerebellar ataxia (also known as cerebellar ataxia or CA) is an inherited disorder that affects the Spinone Italiano and is characterized by early onset of progressive incoordination (ataxia). Affected dogs are normal at birth and begin showing signs of incoordination and loss of balance at about 4 months of age. The disorder progresses with clinical signs worsening in the next few months. Affected puppies are often euthanized before they reach one year of age due to the inability to ambulate and poor quality of life.

DNA testing for cerebellar ataxia can determine the genetic status of dogs. Dogs with two copies of the CA allele will develop the disorder. Dogs with one copy of the CA allele are normal but are carriers. Matings between two carrier dogs may, on average, produce 25% of puppies with cerebellar ataxia.

To learn more about this disorder, visit