Cerebellar abiotrophy in crossbred cattle

Aust Vet J. 1989 Jan;66(1):12-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-0813.1989.tb09705.x.


Cerebellar abiotrophy affected 9 of 74 calves sired by a Poll Hereford bull over 2 successive calving seasons. The disease was characterised by episodes of recumbency and ataxia, with hypermetria and wide base stance. Clinical signs commenced between birth and 8 months of age. Two calves which were affected first at 8 months of age recovered clinically 9 months later. Histological lesions were found in the cerebellar cortex of 7 calves and consisted of segmental degeneration and loss of Purkinje cells, and axonal swellings. The clinical signs and pathological findings were consistent with bovine familial convulsions and ataxia, which has not been described previously in Australia. The clinical signs were not attributable to the lesions observed in the cerebellum and an underlying electrophysiological abnormality is proposed. The aetiology of the condition is probably genetic and appears to have a multifactorial basis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cattle Diseases / genetics*
  • Cattle Diseases / pathology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / genetics
  • Cerebellar Diseases / pathology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Purkinje Cells / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • Syndrome / veterinary