Cerebellar hypoplasia is a disorder found in
dogs in which the cerebellum is not completely mature at birth.
Usually symptoms of cerebellar hypoplasia can be seen immediately at birth in
cats, but sometimes can take two months or so to become apparent in dogs.
Cerebellar hypoplasia causes jerky movements, tremors and generally
uncoordinated motion. The animal often falls down and has trouble walking.
Tremors increase when the animal is excited and subside when at ease. There are
several bacterial infections, such as herpes, or viral such as feline
panleukopenia, that can result in the disorder in both cats and dogs. However,
the disease can also be caused by malnutrition, poisoning, injury or general
accidents during development in the fetus. The disease does not get better or
worse with age, but the cat or dog can usually learn to somewhat compensate for
it. Most afflicted animals can lead a fairly normal life if special
considerations for the animal's disability
are taken by the pet's owner.