When Petey the puppy was found under a soggy blanket in Sacramento, California, his rescuers thought it was odd that he wasn’t walking.
The two-month-old puppy rolled and crawled on his belly to get around. While his strange behavior was cute, it was a sign that he had a serious brain disorder known as cerebellar hypoplasia.
In the simplest terms, Petey’s cerebellum, the portion of the brain that controls coordination and fine motor skills, was not fully developed at the time of his birth. There is no cure for cerebellar hypoplasia, but with the help of a supportive and loving family, Petey is living a good life.
Petey moves a lot slower than other dogs, but with great determination, he can get where he’s trying to go!
Adopting a dog like Petey is a commitment. Sometimes, he has trouble performing normal tasks, such as eating from his food dish. It takes kindness, ingenuity, and patience to find what will work best for him.
Dr. Laurie Siperstein-Cook, a veterinarian at the Sacramento SPCA, explained Petey’s disorder to The Dodo, saying:
“The signs include head bobbing, clumsiness and falling. Some improvement occurs as the puppy learns to accommodate. There is no treatment, but the signs do not worsen and affected dogs have normal lifespans.”