Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a heterogeneous group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by prions that affect animals and humans.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is perhaps the most well known of these conditions.
Spongiform encephalopathy disease can be sporadic, transmitted iatrogenically, or expressed as familial disorders.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy include scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, chronic wasting disease in cervid ruminants, and mink encephalopathy.
Naturally occurring feline spongiform encephalopathy of domestic cats has been reported but few cases have been reported in the dog which are known to be resistant to transmissible bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
In dogs, more common forms of neurodegenerative diseases are cerebellar abiotrophy and canine parvovirus-associated leukoencephalopathy, as well as cerebellar spongy degeneration seen in the Malinois breed.
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