When your pet loses a grip

By Connie Orcutt • Published: April 1st, 2017
Category: Animal Airwaves

Loss of coordination, or ataxia, can be caused by a whole host of conditions. And the outcome depends a lot on which part of your pet’s body is affected.

There are three kinds of ataxia. When the spinal cord is squeezed, an animal might stumble or become increasingly weak. On the other hand, if the balance center near the ear is affected, typical signs are leaning, falling or rolling. And if the base of the brain is the site of damage, an animal might take grossly large steps, sway or have tremors.

Causes of ataxia can range from trauma to infection or cancer and can target the inner ear, brain, spinal cord or nerves. Imaging tests — like CT scans and MRIs — in addition to other diagnostics can often pinpoint the problem.

So if your furry friend is taking missteps, it’s your move. Start by scheduling a check-up with your veterinarian.