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Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration

Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration (NCCD) is a disease of uncoordinated movements and loss of balance that is present from birth.

Key Signs

Loss of coordination, Loss of balance

Age of Onset

0 to 2 yrs

Juvenile onset


Autosomal Recessive

For autosomal recessive disorders, dogs with two copies of the variant are at risk of developing the condition. Dogs with one copy of the variant are considered carriers and are usually not at risk of developing the disorder. However, carriers of some complex variants grouped in this category may be associated with a low risk of developing the disorder. Individuals with one or two copies may pass the disorder-associated variant to their puppies if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

High likelihood

At risk dogs are highly likely to show signs of this disease in their lifetime.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with NCCD

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your dog’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about NCCD

The typical signs of neonatal cerebellar cortical degeneration (NCCD) in Beagles can be seen when affected puppies start to move at three weeks of age. The clinical signs include cerebellar ataxia, wide-based stance, loss of balance, and dysmetric gait with inability to regulate rate and range of movement. The affected puppies have a normal state of alertness.

Treatment is supportive care and assistance with daily activities as needed depending on the severity of the dog's clinical signs.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a dog with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding dogs. Regardless of test results it is important that your dog is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the puppies if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most kennel club websites.

This disease is autosomal recessive meaning that two copies of the mutation are needed for disease signs to occur. A carrier dog with one copy of the NCCD mutation can be safely bred with a clear dog with no copies of the NCCD mutation. About half of the puppies will have one copy (carriers) and half will have no copies of the NCCD mutation. Puppies in a litter which is expected to contain carriers should be tested prior to breeding. Carrier to carrier matings are not advised as the resulting litter may contain affected puppies. Please note: It is possible that disease signs similar to the ones caused by the NCCD mutation could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Variant Deletion
Chromosome 18
Coordinate Start 50,666,027
Coordinate End 50,666,034

All coordinates reference CanFam3.1

References & Credit

Credit to our scientific colleagues:

Forman, O. P., De Risio, L., Stewart, J., Mellersh, C. S., & Beltran, E. (2012). Genome-wide mRNA sequencing of a single canine cerebellar cortical degeneration case leads to the identification of a disease associated SPTBN2 mutation. BMC Genetics, 13. View the article