Underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company
Barks and Mewsings logo

Welcome to the
Trupanion Blog

Trupanion's Blog is dedicated to help educate people with pet insurance and pet health information, but more importantly, to have fun!

Pet Health Concerns: Hepatocerebellar Degeneration

Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy

Bernese Mountain Dogs are the only breed affected by this condition.

Hepatocerebellar degeneration is a little-known condition that is only found in Bernese Mountain Dogs. This disease is an inherited disorder that affects both the liver (which detoxifies the blood) and the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls balance). Both of the puppy’s parents have to be carriers of the trait to pass it down to their puppies.

In most cases, this condition comes on very suddenly when puppies are between four and six weeks old. Symptoms include:

  • Tilting of the head
  • Bobbing of the head
  • Hind limb stiffness
  • Stumbling
  • Acting “blind”

After a few days, affected puppies have difficulty standing and fall over because their ability to balance is compromised. They also may have bloated abdomens and become lethargic.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this condition and puppies with hepatocerebellar degenerationon do not live past six months of age.

About Heather @FamilyAndFur

Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue. Google+

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you're a human: *