How to Recognize Wobblers Syndrome in Dogs

Wobblers syndrome, also known as cervical spondylomyelopathy or cervical vertebral instability, is a condition in which the spinal cord in the neck becomes compressed. This compression on the spinal cord and nerve roots leads to neurological complications and pain. While the most common sign of wobbler’s syndrome is the way a dog walks, the condition comes with many symptoms. If you suspect your dog has wobbler’s syndrome, consult your veterinarian for a full workup.

Dobermann pins are equipped for sliding intervertebral discs (intervertebral). Spinal deformity (pressure associated with the bones) is most common in giant dog breeds, usually in small dogs less than three years old. The bone deformity can compress the spinal cord from the top and bottom, from the top and sides, or only from the sides. Dynamic spinal cord pressure (pressure that changes with different positions of the cervical spine) always occurs with any type of pressure.

Breeds that appear to be predisposed to this condition are Doberman pinch, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Irish wolf dogs, and hounds.

Wobblers Symptoms and types:

  • Oscillating, weird gait
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • weakness
  • The walking can be short-streaked, spasmodic with a floating or very weak appearance on the front limbs
  • Perhaps unable to walk – partial or complete paralysis
  • Potential muscle loss near the shoulders
  • Wearable nails or scuff of uneven walking
  • Increased extension of the four sides
  • Difficulty waking up from a lying down position

The reasons
Nutrition in some cases – excess protein, calcium, and calories have been a suggested cause in Danes
Rapid growth in large dog breeds is suspected

Besides standard medical tests, which include a blood chemical file, a complete blood count, urine analysis and an electrolytic plate to rule out other diseases, the vet will take a comprehensive history of dog health, symptoms, and possible accidents that may precede this condition, such as trauma to the back or any Previous diseases. Any information you may have about your dog’s genetic background may also be helpful.

Wobbler syndrome is diagnosed by visualization. X-rays, spinal imaging, computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging will allow your doctor to view the spine and vertebrae. X-rays should be used primarily to exclude bone disorders while CT scans, tomography, and MRI are used to visualize spinal cord pressure. Diseases to be excluded although the differential diagnosis includes chondrocyte inflammation, tumors, and inflammatory spinal cord diseases. The results of a CSF analysis should determine the origin of the symptoms.

The Wobbling Gait
The most common sign of wobbler’s syndrome is the way a dog walks. Wobbler’s gets its name from the wobbly gait it causes. You may notice your dog wobbles, especially in the back legs, when he walks. This change in gait is often easier to notice when your dog walks slowly or on a slippery surface. Due to pain in the neck, dogs with wobblers often hung their heads down while walking. As the condition worsens, you may see wobbling in all four legs and you may notice it is difficult for your dog to stand.

Other Signs to Look For
In addition to a wobbly gait, look for other symptoms of wobbler’s syndrome. You may notice that your dog flinches due to pain when you touch his neck or spine. Look at your dog’s toenails. The nails may be worn down or scuffed due to an irregular walking pattern. You may notice your dog experiencing general weakness, especially when trying to get up from a nap.

Certain Breeds Require a Closer Look
While wobblers can affect any dog, certain breeds show a predisposition. These breeds include Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, mastiffs, Weimaraners, German shepherds, Bernese mountain dogs, Swiss mountain dogs, and basset hounds. If you have one of these breeds and notice a change in your dog’s gait, consult your veterinarian.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Wobbler’s Syndrome
To diagnose wobbler’s, your veterinarian will need to run a few diagnostic tests, such as a blood panel and urinalysis, to rule out any underlying causes. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are necessary to visually confirm spinal compression. In mild cases, your veterinarian may opt for care with anti-inflammatory medications and reduced activity. In cases where severe spinal compression has occurred, surgery may be necessary.