Canine Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

Canine Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CCL), also known as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL), is an autosomal recessive disorder affecting the eyes and the nervous system.

Abnormalities are often observed starting at 4-6 years. These include mental changes such as the development of aggressiveness toward people and/or other dogs; nervousness; changes in eating habits; loss of both behavioral and house training. Affected dogs exhibit a mildly uncoordinated gait with occasional stumbling and crossing over. The lack of coordination becomes more severe as the disease progresses. They often have difficulty jumping up onto surfaces and going up or down stairs. In the later stage of the disease affected dogs fall over often and have difficulty getting back on their feet. Visual abnormalities maybe be noticed such as impaired vision under dim light conditions. Mild seizures that are often unrecognized by the owner are common as the disease progresses.

Due to the late onset of the disease, a dog may not show any symptoms until after their breeding career is finished. Fortunately, thanks to research at the University of Missouri a genetic marker was finally found and as of late January 2010 there is a DNA test available.

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