Wobblers at age 2? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Wobblers at age 2?

Hello everyone! I have a Doberman names Kiro. He is two years old. Recently he was diagnosed by exam and X-ray with wobblers disease. He wasn’t able to lift his head a certain amount and was VERY lethargic. He still ate and drank he still was able to go to the restroom. Concerned we took him into the vet clinic where they diagnosed him. Put him on prednisone. He is a week into all his medication. He seems to do better but want some advice or help with this diagnosis. Haven’t really heard of a 2 year old being diagnosed so young...help me please. I can’t stand to see my baby hurt or on medication the rest of his life
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:48 PM
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How is wobbler syndrome diagnosed?
Plain X-Rays of the cervical spine may show abnormal bony proliferation in the bones of the neck "suggestive" of cervical stenotic myelopathy. Advanced imaging, such as myelogram/CT or MRI, is required to image the spinal cord and characterize the degree of spinal cord compression.

So......My suggestion is going to a Neurologist for an initial consultation.
The Neurologist may suggest an MRI and possibly a spinal tap to provide a more definitive diagnosis.

My Hoss had some neck issues going on a few years ago.....my vet at the time suspected wobblers........went to neurologist .....MRI was performed .......FYI it is absolutely amazing the details they can pick up from an MRI.........Hoss was sedated during this MRI so they also did a spinal tap (while he was already under sedation) ...the spinal tap was to rule out infections within the spinal cord.............
Results:
MRI and spinal tap normal......although the radiologist was able to pick up on an extremely inflamed nerve that was contributing to his neck pain.
Placed on non steroid anti-inflamatory called Galliprant ........great chewable pill.......easier on the pups stomach than other meds.
Took 3-4 months of low key activity ......but Hoss is all better now.

Hoping for the same with your pup.

Hoss
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 12:57 PM
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The two definitive tests to diagnose Wobblers/CVI is an MRI or a mylogram done by a specialist. Until that time, there is no proof that wobblers is the actual diagnosis, and not some other cervical issue. Vets are often pretty quick to yell "Wobblers" when it is a Doberman.

Good luck -

Mary Jo Ansel
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:00 PM
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It would be unusual for a 2 year old to have Wobblers but it happens--your regular vet is probably not equipper to make that diagnosis. I'd want an exam by a neurologist/orthopedist because an awful lot of the symptoms you describe are transient injuries which generally need time and appropriate pain meds to make the dog comfortable.

Lady Di's description of her experience with Hoss and his treatment regime are pretty much what it takes to get a good diagnosis

I'd at least invest in a 2nd opinon with a board certified neurologist.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 03:32 PM
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So... I am quite familiar with juvenile CVI issues in Dobes, just based on personal experience,

Our senior was diagnosed with a congenital CV issue as a very young dog. (A puppy actually.)
The general consensus was to euthanize him. My son refused.

With surgery, treatment (including alternative) and a strict medical regime, he is a healthy, happy old boy. He has been on corticosteroids his entire life and is fed a prescription diet to facilitate defecation. It was a long road... And not inexpensive. But the way it turned out, it was worth every penny.

Now... Picking up on dobebug's comment:

Our youngest showed obvious signs of neck/spinal problems at about 1 yo (?). As a precaution, we met with a spinal specialist who determined that it was indeed a CV issue after a hands on exam. He scheduled a Mylogram and reduced his meds (Prednisone, Tramadol and Gabapentin). He asked us to carefully observe him for either improvement or worsening. By the time his appointment came about, McCoy had improved so much, we cancelled. It was a $2500 procedure.

He was pretty much fine within a week after his first exam by the neurologist. We did keep him on Prednisone for a bit, but dropped the pain killers, as they made him weird. His primary vet, who is very familiar with Dobes eventually attributed the problem to a traumatic injury, that eventually healed itself.

In any case. Just my experience with CV issues in young dogs.

Best to you and Kiro.

John
Portland OR
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 04:06 PM
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Also had a young Doberman “diagnosed” with CVI at one year of age; evaluation by specialist and healing proved it to be a traumatic injury. Did not do an MRI. Still treat that dog, now 6, with expensive supplements and diet to support spinal health because of those dreaded words accompanying that long ago xray: spinal changes.

Have seen a number of Dobermans in the vet clinic with both CVI and acute spinal injuries- it is all extremely serious and very frightening. I’m so sorry that the OP is going through this.

I still cringe physically to see and hear on this forum how many Doberman owners use collars vs front clip harnesses to regularly walk their dogs throughout the dog’s life. I believe strongly that it is tempting fate to use the neck to control such a powerful dog with greater than average CVI potential (by genetics and structure all of our Dobermans are in this category). There is a very good reason veterinarians jump to diagnose a Doberman with CVI, unfortunately. It’s called incidence.

Btw, I do not think the prong collar reduces that dangerous potential at all and may increase it for various reasons.

Good luck to the OP. Keeping you in my thoughts.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triciakoontz View Post
Also had a young Doberman “diagnosed” with CVI at one year of age; evaluation by specialist and healing proved it to be a traumatic injury. Did not do an MRI. Still treat that dog, now 6, with expensive supplements and diet to support spinal health because of those dreaded words accompanying that long ago xray: spinal changes.

Have seen a number of Dobermans in the vet clinic with both CVI and acute spinal injuries- it is all extremely serious and very frightening. I’m so sorry that the OP is going through this.

I still cringe physically to see and hear on this forum how many Doberman owners use collars vs front clip harnesses to regularly walk their dogs throughout the dog’s life. I believe strongly that it is tempting fate to use the neck to control such a powerful dog with greater than average CVI potential (by genetics and structure all of our Dobermans are in this category). There is a very good reason veterinarians jump to diagnose a Doberman with CVI, unfortunately. It’s called incidence.

Btw, I do not think the prong collar reduces that dangerous potential at all and may increase it for various reasons.

Good luck to the OP. Keeping you in my thoughts.
You could be correct, but full chest halters have always caused problems with our dogs. Irritation, primarily. I do have a Ruffwear Frontline harness that we use occasionally. The problem is that with our months of rain, given that they are walked in rain coats, it kind of makes a front clip harness very hard to use.

I think that the biggest problem with prong "training" collars is operator error.
Folks just buy them, slap them on and think all is OK. No training.

My best luck with a full harness has been to use 2 leads. One attached at the front and one on the top.

The thing that makes me "cringe" is the idea of a face halter (Halti for example)
on a Doberman, Great Dane etc.

Ideally, we could walk our dogs "naked". But that is totally illegal here in Portland.

And with the vast majority of dog owners/walkers being completely clueless and having no control over their dogs, it would never fly.

Oh well...

John
Portland OR
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 05:18 PM
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BTW... Speaking of traumatic canine injuries, I spent many hours yesterday with a good friend whose 7 yo 130lb. Rottweiler sudden became disabled on Friday. His "brother" is also a male Rottie, about a buck and a half. He is 10. They were playing (lightly), when Dom fell down and exhibited signs of lack of coordination.

My friend figured it was a sprain and let it go. By Sunday, Dom was basically paralyzed and unable to urinate or defecate on his own. He could not even raise his head.

His vet is my vet, and happens to be my DIL's father. I called him and he came over. The initial thought was to euthanize him. My buddy loves his dogs but, honestly, he is broke. A diagnostic alone could run $5000-$6000.

So, our vet made this boy comfortable the pain meds and steroids and suggested that we run him by his hospital on Monday. That way he could do a full exam including X rays, without any expensive procedures and then make a tentative diagnosis and lay out a plan.

So... This morning, we made a makeshift gurney and took him to the clinic. Ever try to move 130 lb. of dead weight that is alive and in pain? Ugh...

So sad.

What phenomenal doctor to make a house call at 9 pm on a Sunday night.

Dom is still at the the clinic.

We will see...

John
Portland OR
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 06:22 PM
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Sad story 4*4 , He sounds like a very kind vet ! Sorry about your friends dog and hope things turn around for him.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 06:35 PM
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Thanks aj..

It probably just a "keep comfortable" situation. My buddy is a true working class redneck.

4 things he loves in life:

His cars/motorcycles/dune buggies

His friends

His wife

His dogs.

Bummer...

John
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 08:57 PM
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Dom (my good friend's boy) just passed.

RIP Dominic.... Sleep well big boy. Run free. Pain free.

Your pal

John
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:04 PM
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I'm sorry...give him my condolences.

The suddenness of something like this is so hard to bear.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 09:34 PM
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Thank you Mel. Right now he is deep in grieving and will be for a bit. At least he has Bronson, his big, nice healthy senior. And Sherrie, his wife, has her rambunctious Chihuahua.

Man, I hate seeing our boys pass. It is the circle of life

John
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 07:54 AM
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Hi Kiro, any updates? Hoping for good news.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 05:41 PM
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Our boy is 5, a few months ago started limping, 4 days later was completely paralyzed. Had an MRI and the neuro rushed him into surgery. He had a ventral slot. He always had a "funny" gate in his back legs and the Dr. confirmed IVDD (one of the types of "wobblers") is genetic, rare, nothing we did caused it, collars or otherwise. It was a long recovery and he has been doing great until a few weeks ago now when he gets up from sleeping or resting his neck is stiff for a few minutes, just put in a msg to the Dr to see what she thinks is going on. We didnt have the money for the surgery but we didnt care, he is our boy, we are in debt but eventually it will get paid off.
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