Giving Hope to Dogs Diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a non-degenerative neurological condition that affects the development of the Cerebellum, whilst a puppy is in the uterus. The Cerebellum is situated at the back of the brain and is responsible for sending fine-tuned motor signals from the brain to the muscles, allowing for balance and coordination [1]. For puppies with CH, like Holly the Lab, this means that a physical part of the brain is underdeveloped or missing which causes them to have difficulties in walking, coordination and balance. Cerebellar Hypoplasia in itself doesn’t cause pain, the symptoms do not get worse as they get older. As the puppy grows they learn how to manage their conditions. Dogs with CH are more likely to walk with an abnormal gait and may need additional equipment to help with their mobility. Overall, most dogs with the condition can live a happy, fun-filled life with additional support. The symptoms do not get worse as they age. As the kitten or puppy grows it will learn to compensate for its condition but there are usually lifelong signs of a decreased ability to coordinate movement. Almost all dogs and cats with congenital Cerebellar Hypoplasia can live happily as pets with a little special care to compensate for their disabilities.

You will visit our other site www.hollythelab.uk

Our Story

We became the proud HooMummy and HooDaddy to Holly in December 2020. Holly was rescued by the Labrador UK Action Group as she had a poor prognosis due to neurological difficulties.  She was diagnosed with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and we began our journey with Holly, learning to understand the condition and helping Holly manage the condition.  Holly is a very happy girl, and through her determination and a great team of support around her, Holy thrived and her condition became very manageable.

About a year after adopting Holly it became apparent that not all dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia had the chances that Holly was given,  the majority of dogs born with Cerebellar Hypoplasia will be put down without having a chance at life. We want to change this, so we launched our Hope4CHdogs Campaign.

Our Campaign

Hope4CHdogs Campaign aims to:-

  • ​Build more awareness of CH in dogs,
  • Promote the welfare of dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia,
  • Support owners/foster carers of dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia,
  • Prevent premature euthanasia of dogs with diagnosed Cerebellar Hypoplasia,
  • Work alongside vets and dog rescue organisations in the UK to give dogs with CH the hope of a future.

We want to inform people and organisations about these main aspects of CH:-

  • ​Cerebellar Hypoplasia is a non-progressive neurological condition that causes dogs no pain and dogs can lead a happy, fulfilled life.
  • CH generally doesn’t affect a dog’s life expectancy.
  • Cerebellar Hypoplasia in dogs does not generally occur due to in vitro viruses, but most likely is due to genetics.
  • Dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia generally need 4 – 6 months to learn to manage their condition.
  • Dogs diagnosed with CH are at risk of premature euthanasia as owners and veterinarians are unsure how best to care for them.
  • CH dogs do need additional support, specific training and treatments, but it’s not complex.
  • More dogs are likely to be born with Cerebellar Hypoplasia as inbreeding and irresponsible breeding is on the increase.​

Would you like to get involved in the campaign?

How you can Help!

Are you a Hooparent/carer of a dog living with Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

There isn’t a lot of information about CH available to people.  We would like to change that! Find out how we are building a community of hooparents and hoocarers of CH dogs and how you can get involved.

Do you work within a Veterinary Practice (UK Only)?

We are collating information about Cerebellar Hypoplasia and would like to be able to support owners of dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia.
Find out how you can get Involved.

Do you run a Dog Rescue Charity
(UK Only)?

Have you any experience in caring for a dog with Cerebellar Hypoplasia?

Do you want to know more about CH? Find our how you can get involved.