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Hello crew,

please anyone tell me of any experience with cervical vertebral instability (wobbler syndrome).
My male dobe, 4yrs old, has started to show a change in his hind leg movement, yet has no hind leg or back pain. he does have a sore neck. Vet has prescribed anti inflammatories and bed rest for 10 days to see if he improves (to rule out strained muscle/s). But if no good once he is off the meds, may have to look for changes in the cervical vertebrate.

I don t know anyone who has had this in their dog and want to hear from someone who has delt with it.

off now to find medical journals on the subject.

thanks in advance
Nelle
 

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i have never seen it but have heard of it a few times.... however... i wish i could be of mroe service to you... ill also do some research and see what we can come up with... hope he gets better hun... hugs from p rince and tasneem
 

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im sorry youre having problems with your boy :(

the first thing i would do is seek out a veterinary neurologist - they are most equipped to deal with this, especially in the early stage of the disease.

Wobblers, aka cervical vertebral instability, etc is a disease common in the doberman breed and the great dane, but other breeds do get it. what it is, is a malarticulation between the vertebral bodies that compresses the spinal cord. when this happens, your dog begins to show neurological signs like decreased or absent conscious proprioception (knowing where their feet are in space), may have neck pain and relucant to lift or lower their heads, and have problems going down stairs.

there are a variety of options for a wobblers dog -- surgical, medical, alternative.
medical treatment for minor cases, dogs that are bad surgical candidates, or owners not willing/able to do the surgery, includes cage rest and pred.

surgery can be performed a variety of ways, but most often dogs get hemilaminectomys - ventral or dorsal. what is done is that part of the vertebra that compresses the spine is literally removed, and then sometimes the spine is stabilized with metal implants. many dogs do very well with the surgery, some dogs do not significantly improve, and some dogs never really recover from surgery. its common in the beginning for them to get worse before they get better.

there is also alternative therapies including neck wraps, acupuncture, and gold bead implants.

what you choose is a decision you need to make in conjunction with your famliy, your veterinarian, etc. but before that, i would definitely go see a neurologist or a vet very savvy in neurology, and consider some diagnostic testing (like an MRI or a myelogram).

i can go on, but this is the short and sweet version. my own dog has a herniated disk at C6-C7 that presented almost like wobblers (and he very well may have wobblers now!), so i can relate to this intimately. each dog is an individual - we are currently at over 2 years past diagnosis and he is still most definitely getting around !
 
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thanks doberkim, still fingers crossed. His movemnet is still iffy on the anti inflammatories- i dont know if thats good or bad but it is only day two out of ten. But I know he stil loves me :))
 

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Zorba had ordinary X rays done on the 9th (last week), I took them to a specialist radiographer who I do w/exp with to read. She found slight subluxation of C6 and a slightly wedge shape disk space between C6-7 (largest part of wedge towards spinal cord foramen.). Surgery sound really expensive, and after my fiances own back surgery not giving the results we thought we should get, are hesitant to put him though it. If anyone has kept a wobbler dog w/out surgery I want to know how they went. I have a referal to a vet who is know for spinal surgery so I am hoping to talk to him soon (this week). Very depressing. I have read a few journal research articles on this area of dysfunction and alot of dogs without clinical signs had changes on radiography (approx 30%) that was done in new zealand btw. I dont understand how acupuncture works and another study on electroacupuncture suggested for mild cases 16-21 treatments would be needed to show improvement. Maybe someone can shed light on thiis. Doberkim- what medication are you talking about because no one has mentioned that so far as a long term thing. He is now on Macrolone a SAID and bed rest. is this going to be the shape of the rest of his life?

going now before I depress everyone.
Nell
 

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Nelle, I've only delt with two dogs(both Dobes) that have been diagnosed with wobbler's and both owners opted for no treatment.

However, I came across this web page a long bit ago and had bookmarked it because well I'm a sucker for happy endings and thought the information might be useful somehow in the future. I hope it will be of use to you, if not for treatment but the knowledge that dogs with wobbler's can and do live normal lives. Wobblers
 

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Wobblers

My dobe showed signs of poor hind end coordination at around 8 yrs.old. Eventually took him to a holistic who gave him acupuncture. Had a chiropractic dr. Work on him a few times. Put a neck brace on him to stabilize him as he would have difficulty lifting his neck. At the time, he weighed over 100 lbs. we got the weight down to 85 and no longer needed the neck brace. He lived to 13 1/2 years old. Thought he would die from complications associated with wobblers. Nope, discovered melanoma in his jaw and he was gone in 3 weeks. Go figure .
 

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This may be the oldest thread I've ever seen resurrected.
 

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Very old thread indeed.

Unfortunately Max lost his battle with Wobblers about 4 years ago.
We did wight loss, neck brace, pain meds and steroids. He slowly improved and we were hopeful. Then my hubby decided we needed a puppy and Max returned to his old, healthy self for about 6 months. The specialized vet estimated a cost of $10,000 for MRI, surgery and rehab, and unfortunately we had 2 kids in college and just could not spend that. Mostly because he was 9 and the vet had a low level of confidence in recovery.

If I had it to do over, I would have done the gold beads quickly after diagnosis.

Its a sad thing to watch you much loved dog struggle withe very step.

Side note, we put area rugs all over our house because we have hardwood floors. This helped him a great deal to get around.
 
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Eva 10 y/o Dobe HADR, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 6 y/o, RIP Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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