Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) causes ataxia and other difficulties with movement. There are three or more genetic causes, and while DNA tests have been developed, there are still unknowns. Three types of CA testing were initially available: CA: VMP1, CA: LINGO3 and CA: NUP153 but the CA: NUP153 test has been withdrawn as it only related to one litter from one line of Kelpies.
To date we are only aware of one litter of affected Koolie pups that were born outside of Australia. Recently some responsible breeders have sent swabs to Dog Breeding Science and have had results returned showing their Koolies as carriers of one of the CA markers.
Being a carrier means that there MAY only be an issue if they are mated with another carrier of the same type of CA.
We don’t know how CA has gotten into the Koolie gene pool but it is likely that it is from common ancestor of Kelpies and Border Collies or from occasional cross-breeding.
Cerebellar abiotrophy (CA) presents as head or neck tremors, balance, exaggerated or erratic leg movement and problems eating or drinking from a bowl.
Research at the University of Sydney using samples from working Kelpies identified genetic markers that can be used to identify some dogs that are at high risk of developing CA. Genetic “markers” do not actually cause the trait they are a marker for. This means that in a minority of cases an animal can test negative but still have the trait, or conversely test positive but still lack the trait. The extent to which this happens for each marker is covered below.
Currently this test is only available from Dog Breeding Science in New South Wales, Australia because the tests are still under development and are yet to be peer reviewed.
Dog Breeding Science has provided the Koolie Club with a discount code which gives a $6 discount per dog so if you want to do either or both the CA: VMP1 and CA: LINGO3 tests and you are a current financial member, you can request the discount code by filling in the form below.
For more information about the tests that Dog Breeding Science have follow the link.