Canine Multiple System Degeneration (CMSD)

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Barked: Fri Jun 10, '11 8:54pm PST 
Hi --

I have two puppies who have these episodes on and off (luckily, more off than on) where they will become very wobbly and lose their balance and almost forget how to walk. Doctors have thought seizures but then ruled them out b/c the symptoms last up to 12 hours sometimes. These puppies are littermates and one started displaying symptoms when they were a baby and one didn't start until about 6 months old. We just got their DNA test back and have discovered they are 3% Chinese Crested. I've read this disease is associated with this breed and the symptoms somewhat fit. Has anyone ever had a dog with this? Mine don't have episodes very often so we weren't sure if this could be it. Do dogs with this disease display the ataxia symptoms frequently and grow worse overtime? Here's a video of him having an episode.


His DNA is made up of 50% sheltie, 25% king cavalier and then 13% husky (yes, husky!) and 3% Chinese Crested. Also have some Dandi Dinmont Terrier in them. He looks very Powder Puff-like and so does his sister.

A picture of them shaved:


Is the Chinese Crested a dominant gene? I am just baffled how much they resemble this breed when it's only 3% of their genetic makeup. They don't shed at all, either! Any help is appreciated as we've been battling these episodes for quite some time and would love to shed some light on it!

Barked: Tue Jun 28, '11 2:41pm PST 
Wow, your Lily looks a lot like my Daisy and she is a full bred crested. I havent noticed anything unusual other than she loves to just run in circles and shes spunky. I didnt even know they ran tests like that for dogs, wow. She looks more like a powder puff credted than anything lol..well what ever she is ..Im sure shes loved

Savvy Savverson
Barked: Sat Jul 30, '11 8:52am PST 
Where did you get these two littermate puppies? They look full chinese crested and those DNA tests are usually just goofy and don't work at all.
(not saying yours was but the majority of them mean NOTHING)

My PP crestie puppy was wobbly a week ago, shes 4 months old. by the time we rushed her to the ER symptoms were gone and we just chalked it up to hypoglycemia, even though she ate twice that day same as always. It hasn't come back and Im hoping it doesn't..Ive been feeding more.. unfortunately if it comes back Im going to have to assume its CMSD. And the outcome of the disease is not good. I think the longest lived dog with this was between 2-3 years old.

Is there a test that can detect this disease? Is it worth getting at a young age such as 4 months old "just in case".
I dont believe there's a cure, and im pretty sure you always have a clear diagnoses between 6-8 months due to ongoing episodes.

I had only heard about this disease in cresties and kerry blues..

How often do you feed your two puppies?
At this age I was told to feed 3-4 times a day. After this episode. So thats what im doing now.

Edited by author Sat Jul 30, '11 8:54am PST



Barked: Tue Dec 20, '11 12:42pm PST 
Hi All,
I Have just read the above threads, trying to find out why our little fellow has all of a sudden become wobbly. He is a pure bread hairless cresty and just turned 14 week. We've had him 5 weeks and he first started wobbling and collaping about a week ago. We took him to the vet at the weekend because he got worse. They did blood tests and found his kidney function is low. It's heart breaking to read how this degeneration affects them and we hope it's not the case for Farby.

Minnie-Fight for- your life
Barked: Sun Jan 15, '12 9:39am PST 
HI so sorry to hear about your baby
I have a CC with the same problem it started when she was little too but the vet did not know what was wrong then at age 11 mos old she started having grand mal seizures- we were sick and scared-
they get getting more often vet put her on Phenobarbital 16.5 mg
went from 1/2 piil a day to 4 whole pills a day in 5 weeks Nothing was working- got lucky --We found a vet online in Texas- who told me to get the vet to try "Zonismide" my vet knew nothing about it! it took me having a fit before he called my family drug store and called it in for her.- she was up to 9 seizures a day it was awful!! I was scared of more brain damage or a heart attack.
Well it was a MIRACLE drug for her-- with in 24 hrs we saw a huge difference!!! None of the vets within an hours drive had even heard of it. Maybe your vet has--incase you need it --it also does not damage the liver like Phenobarbital does . But you can use both drugs together.
I hope this helps you or some one out there to save their dog and owners from going thru the nightmare we went thru!
I hope it gets well real soon
dog walk

Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 7:56pm PST 

I haven't posted on this in a year and a half so I thought I'd follow up incase anyone was wondering. Their episodes still happen randomly, but are much less frequent and we've narrowed down certain triggers and avoid them so that is a big help. My boy hasn't had one since June 2012 and my girl has only had about three since June 2012. We moved into an apartment and exercise is one thing that triggers them so having a yard is a plus in that way.

Anyway, I'm glad they didn't have this disorder. It's Episodic Ataxia and was most likely linked to the fact their cerebellum was developing when their mother, who was unknowingly pregnant, was vaccinated and the viruses, being live, affected their development. Somehow something is misfiring randomly, and sometimes triggered. Humans have it too so it's easier to learn about from them.