Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Ataxia

Synonym(s): Incoordination

Contributor(s): Laurent Garosi, Simon Platt

Introduction

  • Ataxia is defined as an uncoordinated gait and can be secondary to a lesion affecting one of three distinct anatomic regions of the nervous system:
    • A sensory peripheral nerve or spinal cord lesion (general proprioceptive ataxia)
    • A vestibular lesion (vestibular ataxia) 
    • A cerebellar lesion (cerebellar ataxia). 
  • Although some animals may exhibit ataxia that reflects a combination of these subclasses, accurate lesion localization is essential in establishing an appropriate list of differential diagnoses and a diagnostic plan.
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Neuro-anatomical basis of ataxia

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Neurological evaluation

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Localizing the neuro-anatomic lesion

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Differential diagnosis

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Specific diagnostic tests

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Garosi L S (2009) Neurological examination of the cat. How to get started. J Feline Med Surg 11 (5), 340-348 PubMed.
  • Penderis J (2009) The wobbly cat. Diagnostic and therapeutic approach to generalised ataxia. J Feline Med Surg 11 (5), 349-359 PubMed.
  • Penderis J, McConnell F J, Calvin J (2007) Magnetic resonance imaging features of thiamine deficiency in a cat. Vet Rec 160 (8), 270-272 PubMed.
  • Caylor K B, Cassimatis M K (2001) Metronidazole neurotoxicosis in two cats. JAAHA 37 (3), 258-262 PubMed.
  • Thomas W B (2000) Vestibular dysfunction. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 30 (1), 227-249, viii PubMed.
  • Burke E E, Moise N S, de Lahunta A et al (1985) Review of idiopathic feline vestibular syndrome in 75 cats. JAVMA 187 (9), 941-943 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • de Lahunta A, Glass E (2009) Cerebellum. In: de Lahunta A, Glass E (eds) Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology 3rd edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, ch 13, pp 348-388.
  • de Lahunta A, Glass E (2009) Vestibular system: special proprioception. In: de Lahunta A, Glass E (eds) Veterinary Neuroanatomy and Clinical Neurology 3rd edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, ch 12, pp 319-347.
  • Levine J M, Levine G J (2007) Small Animal Neurology: An Interactive Course in Clinical Examination and Diagnosis. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX.
  • Jennings D P (2004) Supraspinal control of posture and movement. In: Reece WO (ed) Duke's Physiology of Domestic Animals. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, pp 904-920.


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