Holly's Health


Holly's general health has been good, although we have noticed a few things that may be connected to her diagnosis of Cerebellar Hypoplasia.

One health concern that has been confirmed in some write-ups about CH has been digestive issues.  Holly's tummy is delicate and she has had a few episodes of diarrhoea.  She's had courses of anti-biotics and pro-biotics. At times she has been close to being dehydrated as she wasn't taking in fluids.  These episodes may have been caused by a bug or something she has eaten (when hooparents weren't looking).  But, we do think she takes a little longer to get over the episodes, and her wobble increases when she isn't her usual self.  It's very important we keep a close eye on her when she is feeling a little poorly.

Holly eating a carrot

We have come to the conclusion that Holly is allergic to egg and we are careful of the composition of doggie biscuits so to avoid her tummy being upset.

Holly loves her kibble by Collard's that her foster mum introduced her to when she was a pup.  The kibble is hypoallergenic and Holly finds it really tasty.  She also likes JR Products pate', this is a high-value treat for Holly and helps a lot with her training. We also give Holly a Whimezee daily to look after her teeth.

We have to keep a close eye on her weight as well, as the vets and her chiropractor have informed us that keeping Holly at a healthy weight will hopefully reduce the risk of injury when she falls or tumbles.


As Holly has grown, one thing that hasn’t changed is Holly’s tiredness.  She definitely tires more than a dog without Cerebellar Hypoplasia.  Once dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia start to manage their condition better and find their walking style etc., it can be easy to forget how much mental effort it takes to keep balanced and co-ordinated every time they are moving.  It’s important for us to always keep in mind how much Holly has done and how much sleep she has had. 


Those that have met Holly or have been following her story since day 1 will know that Holly is a very determined pup, she will and does always want to keep going.  So getting her to rest isn’t always the easiest thing to do. If Holly doesn’t have a good sleep during the day, she is less likely to balance well and her co-ordination is affected, this then leads to her being unable to feed so well and she can really struggle.


We have to balance her on-going training with her going out for walkies.  She doesn’t have a walk on the same day she meets with her dog trainer.  On the day we concentrate on her training homework, we don’t walk her for so long. It is all about balance for Holly.  For her to have good enough balance we have to balance her activities well. Holly doesn’t mind, she is a very happy girl, who loves cuddles and sleepies as much as she loves her walkies.

Holly's Seasons

Holly’s seasons have been close together, her cycle is regular, but short at 18 weeks.  We haven’t found any information about whether Cerebellar Hypoplasia can impact on a dog's reproductive system, so this may be nothing to do with CH, but we felt it’s worth mentioning.  Please contact us if you have had any experience of similar issues.

Holly's Eyes

When Holly was born, it was noted that she had a cataract in her left eye and probably had no vision on the eye.  This has been confirmed by a veterinary optometrist.  We now know that Holly’s eyeball is smaller than her right eye and that she has a condition called persistent hyperplastic tunica vasculosa lentis (PHTVL), this means that the blood vessels behind the lens didn’t retract, leading to her not being able to see through that eye. There are also questions regarding Holly’s retina and whether it is fully intact. 


We have been advised that although cataracts can be removed to reduce the risk of glaucoma, Holly's left eye is not viable for surgery and it is highly likely that Holly will lose the eye due to glaucoma, later in her life.

Holly with a garden glove.jpg

Holly has been diagnosed with having an immature cataract in her right eye, it’s not affecting her vision at the moment and she will have 6 monthly checks to see if and how it is developing.  She may need an operation on this at some point in the future.


We have read in some veterinary journals that there is a possible link between Cerebellar Hypoplasia and vision issues.  If you have experienced vision issues with your CH dog, we would be grateful if you could contact us.


We are currently collecting information about dogs’ general health alongside Cerebellar Hypoplasia, we would be grateful if you would fill in this questionnaire. The information will be used to see if there are any patterns in CH dogs general health and may contribute to research in the future. For more information click here.