Morris is a friendly 2-year-old Norwich Terrier referred for investigations of progressive whole-body tremors and generalised incoordination when walking.
During the consultation and neurological examination, we could see that the tremors were severe and were affecting Morris’ quality of life. The balance system was also markedly altered.
It was opted to perform an MRI scan of Morris’s brain and to perform a cerebrospinal fluid tap.
MRI and CSF tap were performed, and Morris woke up fine from his general anaesthesia. The imaging results reported there were no malignant lesions in Morris’s brain, and the CSF revealed that infectious diseases were not the cause of the problem.
Morris was diagnosed with idiopathic cerebellitis, a disease of unknown origin that alters the function of the cerebellum in dogs. This disease results in an inflammation of the cerebellum, usually causing full-body tremors. Nevertheless, it also can cause incoordination of the gait, head tilt and nystagmus (flickering of the eyes). The cause is still unknown; however, it is suspected to be mediated by the immune system. The treatment is corticosteroids, and the prognosis is good to excellent when the diagnosis is performed in the early stages.
Medical therapy was promptly started on Morris, and he showed a positive response to it.
Morris was discharged, and 2 weeks later he returned for a neurological re-evaluation revealing that Morris achieved a complete recovery.
Well done Morris!