Clinically affected calves present with signs of progressive ataxia from birth. Global neuronal degeneration is observed in both the peripheral and central nervous system.
Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs augmented with histological analysis of biopsied muscle, brain and spinal cord. The typical histopathological findings are degenerative lesions in spinal white matter and neuronal chromatolysis in red nucleus, spinal grey matter and various nuclei of the medulla oblongata and cerebellum.
A differential diagnosis would include other congenital neuropathies such as:
- Contractural arachnodactyly ('fawn calf syndrome')
- Arthrogryposis multiplex
- Neuropathic hydrocephalus
- Progressive degenerative myeloencephalopathy ('weaver syndrome')
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Simmental encephalomyelopathy.
There is no treatment for this condition and severely affected calves are usually euthanized.
- Edwards JR et al (1988) Inherited progressive spinal myelinopathy in Murray Grey cattle. Aust Vet J 65(4):108-109
- Richards RB & Edwards JR (1986) A progressive spinal myelinopathy in beef cattle. Vet Pathol 23(1):35-41