CA (Cerebellar Abiotrophy)

WELCOME to the CA (Cerebellar Abiotrophy) Information Center

We hope to assist in your understanding of this disease.  The article "CA In The OES" is a MUST READ for an overview of CA and how it affects dogs. We encourage you to read ALL the articles listed to expand your knowledge of Cerebellar Abiotrophy and how it is inherited.  We also have videos of affected dogs for you to view.

The Health and Research Committee has also compiled a FAQs section to answer the most frequently asked questions about CA in 2012.  Please click on this link to download the FAQs here: 1-2-2013_Cerebellar_Degeneration_FAQs.  The FAQs page will be changed and added to as needed. 

In 2012 the Old English Sheepdog Community was given the wonderful gift of a genotype CA test. We have the opportunity to ELIMINATE this disease as long as we test all dogs before they are bred, breeding CA carriers to only clear dogs or breeding clear dogs to clear dogs.  Our gene pool will be expanded because more dogs and bloodlines will be available that breeders previously were hesitant to use.

Instructions how to have your dog tested for CA are included in this CA section.  The new test is called the CD (CA) test, which stands for Cerebellar Degeneration and the letters (CA) appear in parenthesis to clarify the test for all of us who have used that term for many years. To request the test, please go through the NC State Veterinary Medicine Site. We encourage everyone to register their dog's test results with OFA/CHIC at Go to question #8 in the FAQs section for instructions. OESCA will not be listing CD (CA) test results on our website at this time.

To order cheek swab kits by phone, call:
North Carolina State University Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
Phone-Voice Mail: 919.513.3314
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Facility: NC State CVM Research Building


To order cheek swab kits via an e-mail at the following address:
Please state the following in your e-mail:

  • Your mailing address.
  • Number of kits you would like.
  • Type of test, (which breed), you are requesting, i.e., Old English Sheepdog, Cerebellar Degeneration.

If you suspect your dog has CA, please contact Dr. Olby's laboratory either by telephone (919-513-7235) and ask to speak to Kim Williams, or by email at You should also submit a cheek swab for the genetic CD test. (See above paragraph)

For a review of research leading to the breakthrough and identification of the test by the lead researcher, Dr. Natasha Olby, go to the 2012 Health Seminar With Dr. Natasha Olby, "The Cerebellar Saga".

If you would like to find out if Dr. Olby's laboratory has genotyped your dog using DNA from the OFA CHIC DNA Bank, please go to PDFv1_OES_CA_Genotype_Request_Form. Then fill out the form, print, and mail or fax it, following the instructions on the form.

We would like to thank all of the OES owners who submitted their dogs' DNA and their dogs for research. We especially thank Dr. Olby and her team, as well as Dr. Jerold Bell, Dr. Dennis O'Brien, and Dr. Gary Johnson for their work and dedication. Watch for more news and new articles in the Health page of the OESCA website.

Thank you,
OESCA Health and Research Committee