Merck Manual

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Congenital and Inherited Brain Stem Disorders in Animals

By

Rebecca A. Packer

, MS, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University

Last full review/revision Sep 2020 | Content last modified Sep 2020

Small Animals

Congenital vestibular disease has been reported in German Shepherds, English Cocker Spaniels, Doberman Pinschers, and Siamese and Burmese cats. Signs are bilateral and may be accompanied by deafness. This is likely a peripheral syndrome affecting the vestibular apparatus, and labyrinthitis has been identified histologically in some pups. The disorder appears inherited, and an autosomal recessive mutation in the PTPRQ gene has been identified in Doberman Pinschers. There is no treatment. Deafness is permanent, although the clinical signs of vestibular dysfunction may improve as the animal learns to compensate.

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