HCSMA Case Studies

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Case Study: Hereditary Canine Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Genetic Background
Hereditary canine spinal muscular atrophy (HCSMA) is proven to be an autosomal-dominate disease that affects most noticeably the Brittany spaniel (Pinter MJ, Waldeck RF, Wallace N, & Cork LC, Motor Unit Behavior in Canine Motor Neuron Disease, 1995). HCSMA originated as a spontaneous mutation in the Survivor Motor Neutron gene found in the purebred Brittany spaniel population (Ericsson. A & Rubin. C, 2012). Due to the co-dominate nature of the disease there are slight variation in the phenotype expressed in the diseased population, the homozygous individuals will be affected by the disease much earlier than the heterozygous individuals (Pinter MJ, Waldeck RF, Wallace N,
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This clinical sign could lead to the drastic weight loss of the dog as it is difficult for it to feed and obtain the nutrients needed to maintain health and normal body function (Green SL, Bouley DM, Pinter MJ, Cork LC, & Vatassery GT, 2001). Dietary deficiency and malnutrition will be the result of the lack of feeding, these can lead to other physical health problems such as poor skin and coat quality, dental hygiene problems, stunted growth, and compromised immune system. The pups affected with hereditary canine spinal muscular atrophy will be likely to stop growing from the lack of nutrients its body receive to support its …show more content…
This condition causes the welfare of the animal to worsen, proceeding to the eventual death caused by the disease. HCSMA affects many aspect of the dog’s welfare as it restricts the movement of the individual, preventing them from expressing behaviours that their wild-type counterpart would, causing both physical and mental distress. The condition causes the affected dogs to suffer from other problems such as difficulty breathing and eating, these problems causes the dog’s health to deteriorate and causes many health problems to arise. As there is no pharmacological treatment for this disease, owner and care taker can only treat and care for the symptoms and complications of this disease to alleviate any pain or suffering inflected by the disease. Most of the affected individuals would be humanely euthanized in the later stages of the disease to alleviate it from further

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