Screening Scheme Description

DNA test - SCA
Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Details about the disease

SCA is a progressive irreversible condition that causes degeneration in the areas of the spinal cord that carry information to the brain. Most dogs with SCA are put to sleep at a young age due to poor quality of life.

Clinical signs

Affected dogs show signs as early as 2-6 months of age. These signs are presented as coordination difficulties such as, pelvic limb swaying when walking, difficulty jumping and climbing stairs, frequent falling due to balance problems and difficulty returning to standing position.

How it is inherited

SCA is associated with a mutation in the CAPN1 gene. It is suggested that the inheritance of SCA may occur via an autosomal recessive mutation. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected. A dog that inherits only one copy of the abnormal gene (from its mother or its father) will have no signs of the disease, but will be a carrier and may pass the gene on to any offspring.

Which laboratories test for this condition?

A list of laboratories and DNA tests can be found at the following link

How to responsibly breed from your DNA tested dog

If, once your dog is DNA tested, you would like to find out what their DNA test results mean, or how to select the right mate to avoid producing affected puppies, then please read our breeding advice and information on the following link

How to find out if a potential mate has been DNA tested

The Kennel Club’s “Health Test Results Finder” allows you to find the results of DNA tests carried out as part of official Kennel Club DNA testing schemes for any dog on the Kennel Club’s breed register. To access this free health tool, please follow this link


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