NEED ADVICE:Life with Wobblers - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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NEED ADVICE:Life with Wobblers

Hello everyone,

On Sunday March 13th, my 7.5 year old Doberman, Achilles, acutely became paralyzed in all four limbs with no trauma or incident known. He was rushed to the vet where radiographs were taken and a full blood panel was run. Blood work was within normal limits and his rads showed some degenerative disc disease in his thoracic region but nothing obvious in his neck. On physical exam, pain could not be elicited anywhere in his spine or neck. Unfortunately we could not afford an MRI or surgery so we elected to give him time with a course of steroids to see if he would respond. Possible diagnosis' included, FCE, Wobblers or other disc related injury. He was started on Prednisone, Doxy (just in case it was tick borne), Tramadol, Gabapentin, and Methocarbamol.

After a couple of weeks Achilles was able to lay sternally with some help. His front legs were very stiff which made it a little more difficult for him to sit up. It has been 4.5 weeks (4/14/16) and we are using a Help 'Em Up Harness to help get him outside for eliminations. He is able to (and wants to) stand up on his front legs and although still ataxic can walk short distances but his hind end needs full support. When his paws are flipped under, he is able to correct his left front foot (takes him a few seconds) and he tries to do the same for the right font. Neither hind foot can be corrected at this time.

We were hopeful of an FCE and just needed 4-6 weeks to recover but Achilles had stretched his neck up and yelped loudly. He is still very painful if not given his meds. He is currently getting 100-150mgs of Tramadol 3x daily, 300mgs of Gabapentin 3x daily. (no NSAIDs yet, wash out period after being on Prednisone) He is eating very well, acting himself and can drink water, although not drinking as much as he normally does. He has lost 17 pounds since day one. (hes eating normally but the Prednisone did a number on his muscles.) He cannot get up on his own but he can army crawl and flip himself onto each side. He has slowly progressed and got better each week. Lately it has been hard to tell if he has made anymore improvement. (sometimes I think he does but don't know if it is the positive thinking)

He cannot play with the other dogs (I have 3 more dogs at home, who love him) chew bones or his ball, which are all things he loves to do. I have a 14 month old son who hasn't learned dog manners yet so we have to keep Achilles separated from the family most of the time. My husband and I love Achilles so much and we have been dancing around Euthanasia. My husband would keep him alive forever if her could but I know it wouldn't be fair to do that if Achilles cannot get up or if he is in chronic pain. Achilles did not have a Gastropexy so I am always in fear he might bloat from being down all the time (especially when eating and drinking)

I'm looking for any advice or experience you've had with your own non-surgical disc issues. Could he recover enough where he could walk on his own again? How much time should we give him and when do you think its time to say goodbye? I know these are very hard questions to answer but any info or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-14-2016, 06:39 AM
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So sorry this is happening? We had the same thing happen with our 8.5 year old female out of nowhere. We did all the medication our vet gave us. She was very out of it but would still try to get up without help.after about 3 weeks she looked like she was getting better but then went down hill fast. She was panting a lot and seems very dizzy even when laying down. She was in pain. I had to say to my hubby it is time, he fought it but knew in his heart this is not the life our dobie wanted. We called the vet and made the appt to put her to sleep.we carried her in to vet and laid her down. When vet came in she jumped up and tail was wagging. We both started to cry and our wonderful vet said" I would want to go out with my tail wagging too instead of dragging" she was our best friend and first dobie. You will know when your friend is ready to go. Sending you positive thoughts
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 09:55 AM
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I'm sorry to hear about Achilles. It's so hard to watch them struggle so much.

If you are near a holistic vet, I would highly recommend that route. My girl has responded very well to the treatment there. She is currently taking a few herbs and gaba. She also receives acupuncture, laser acupuncture, laser therapy and osteopathic treatments - all as needed.

I will say that at her original diagnosis (and we had the MRI done to confirm Wobblers), she was unable to walk, she could not potty on her own, she couldn't do stairs - and I had zero confidence that she could come back from that. She's recently had some issues and now she has a "new normal," but she is able to use the bathroom on her own and does not struggle to walk. We no longer take her on walks (other than end of driveway and back, mailbox and back, things like that). She loves going on walks, but too much and it sets her back so we don't risk it. We also never use regular collars on her anymore; she's harness only.

If you have any questions about Roxy's treatment or our experience, don't hesitate to ask. Big hugs to all of you.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 10:23 AM
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I sorry to read Achilles is going through this. I can't offer any specific help but you'll both be in my thoughts and I'll be rooting for ya.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKozaFam View Post
Hello everyone,

On Sunday March 13th, my 7.5 year old Doberman, Achilles, acutely became paralyzed in all four limbs with no trauma or incident known. He was rushed to the vet where radiographs were taken and a full blood panel was run. Blood work was within normal limits and his rads showed some degenerative disc disease in his thoracic region but nothing obvious in his neck. On physical exam, pain could not be elicited anywhere in his spine or neck. Unfortunately we could not afford an MRI or surgery so we elected to give him time with a course of steroids to see if he would respond. Possible diagnosis' included, FCE, Wobblers or other disc related injury. He was started on Prednisone, Doxy (just in case it was tick borne), Tramadol, Gabapentin, and Methocarbamol..........

We were hopeful of an FCE and just needed 4-6 weeks to recover but Achilles had stretched his neck up and yelped loudly. He is still very painful if not given his meds. He is currently getting 100-150mgs of Tramadol 3x daily, 300mgs of Gabapentin 3x daily. (no NSAIDs yet, wash out period after being on Prednisone) He is eating very well, acting himself and can drink water, although not drinking as much as he normally does. He has lost 17 pounds since day one. (hes eating normally but the Prednisone did a number on his muscles.) He cannot get up on his own but he can army crawl and flip himself onto each side. He has slowly progressed and got better each week. Lately it has been hard to tell if he has made anymore improvement. (sometimes I think he does but don't know if it is the positive thinking).........
TheKozaFam - so very sorry your Achilles is dealing with the dreaded Wobblers.
- reading your post / makes me finally realize, what took our former Amy
- yelping too in severe pain, from neck movements, one Saturday night & never reoccured
- weekend emergency vet visit, yielded nothing / suspect now, it was Wobblers
- she lost her legs once on front porch, few weeks before the end
- even when finally paralyzed from the neck down (year after yelping)
- her heart was still beating strong / ruling out DCM
- she seemed to have 3-4 strokes, in the middle of the night, final day

All we did, was take her in for chiropractor/acupuncture visits, 3-4 times/year.
- once she could no longer jump into my 4x4 truck or hop onto the master bed easily
- last 4 months, climbing house steps to 2nd floor was avoided

Now we know, god bless you and Achilles.

------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

Last edited by Beaumont67; 04-15-2016 at 11:13 AM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 02:05 PM
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I wish you the best. The same thing happened to my last girl. She was diagnosed on a Monday with Wobblers, she took very strong medication which robbed her of her mind. She went downhill so rapidly and by the end of the week we had to give her dignity back to her and let her go. She was a little over 9 years old.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 02:28 PM
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So sorry...

A dog in pain from wobblers will break your heart.

I hope things will improve for him.

Hugz to you and Achilles.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 10:32 AM
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So heart breaking.. and I'm so very sorry you're going through this..
Advice is fairly easy to give if you've not gone through the pain of losing your best bud. I can pontificate about dignity... keeping them for YOU instead of letting them go for THEM. Selfless love....stoic dobermans.. the list goes on and on ..
But until I face that decision of keeping Sofia close to our hearts..or letting her fly free... the only thing I will add is: God bless you and know prayers are being said for all.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-16-2016, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Kate View Post
So heart breaking.. and I'm so very sorry you're going through this..
Advice is fairly easy to give if you've not gone through the pain of losing your best bud. I can pontificate about dignity... keeping them for YOU instead of letting them go for THEM. Selfless love....stoic dobermans.. the list goes on and on ..
But until I face that decision of keeping Sofia close to our hearts..or letting her fly free... the only thing I will add is: God bless you and know prayers are being said for all.
Absolutely agree. My husband and I have talked (countless times) that while Roxy's "new normal" right now isn't bad; she's different, but she's happy, she's still very much "Roxy." If she ever goes back to where she was at her initial diagnosis and treatments stop working, well, gah, I can't bring myself to say it, but we're as prepared for that as one can be and will continue to put Roxy's well being as priority #1.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 10:06 PM
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I haven't had a Doberman with Wobblers, but my last Dane did have it. Although we did surgery with him, we also did acupuncture and swim therapy after surgery and those treatments helped a lot. If you have a holistic vet or physical therapy place around you, you should consider checking those out.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2016, 01:21 PM
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I am so sorry to hear this.

Wobblers is the saddest....
One of my family Dobes that I grew up with had wobblers.
We started noticing when he was around 7 years old.
He would try to run and play and just fall...
He would be down for days.
The ONLY thing that helped after tons of vet visits etc was the holistic vet and therapy.
I hate to get hopes up, because Gator was one of the few... but he made it another 3 years and ended up passing of old age/heart failure.
After months of therapy and visiting a holistic vet, he started to show more strength and less pain.
After about 6 months, he was back to his normal self.
He would still go through "spells" where it almost seemed he couldn't control his legs while trying to run.
But he never got as bad as he was in the beginning.

I will keep your Dobie in my prayers.
I hope that no matter what, you and your Dobe find peace without suffering.

Best of luck !
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