Welcome to the forum and I am so sorry you found DT under these circumstances. I do not have any advice but I am sure someone with experience will chime in. My thoughts and prayers are with your Doberman.
Before I ever opted for surgery of any kind I would take the dog to a chiropractic vet. Take the X rays with you. He might not be able to fully treat right now til the bone heals if it is broken but he can definitely tell you if he can treat it and there is a good chance in a dog that young it is not wobblers as there obviously has been an injury.
A Chiropractor specialized in the spine and muscles and is a far better one to evaluate neck injuries. If treated in time the dog could have a full recovery all through natural techniques and help - not must meds to mask pain and surgery to cut it out. There are many risk to surgery. I always opt for the natural first. So far for my guys it has worked and keeps them active and healthy.
unfortunatley in Bermuda we do not have the resources - No specialist vets no MRI available for dogs either, to be 100% positive of diagnosis we would have to fly him off island A visiting specialist did look at xrays and tell us that he was 90% sure that this was the problem !! Has anyone ever used the neck brace or is this only effective after surgery ??
How did he get a cracked vertebrae? and why do you or the vet say you suspect Wobblers? He's awfully young to have Wobblers which usually progresses over the years, with age. If the xray shows a crack, then he probably 'just' has a cracked vertebrae and you should see what the vet says in terms of the best way to treat that.
Weigh the pros and cons. I am assuming the cracked vertebrae is in his cervical vertebrae. Let's say, if it heals on its own and heals improperly for whatever reason, then maybe surgery is necessary. But if it can heal on its own (and your dog is young - good), then that is the best way. As for a neck brace, my laywoman opinion is that it would depend on how much of a crack and where in that disk it is and things that only a vet could advise you on.
I am just throwing out ideas for you to think of in terms of weighing options.
In no way am I giving you advice.
Have an MRI done. Doc was diagnosed with Wobbler's syndrome around 2 years of age... He has many abnormalities with his vertebrae in his neck; from narrow space between the vertebrae, compression on his spine which causes all sorts of issues all the way down to his toes in his rear legs, and issues with his ligaments.
Sometimes a vet will misread xrays, an injury can look similar to Wobbler's so I would at least repeat the xrays in a month or as the vet recommends. I would also seek out a specialist and have an MRI done... it really is the best way to confirm Wobbler's.
Doc never had the surgery. I use medications and therapy to help ease his symptoms. He responds very well to electro-acupuncture and water therapy. I have him on a routine now and he usually shows no symptoms. I have to be very careful with his exercise though. No more frisbee He gets his ball thrown but I have to limit the time we do so. Walks and runs he still goes for but he is always in a harness.
Best of luck to you and your pup, sending ease
Oh, I just read that you can't do any MRI...
I wouldn't use a neck brace unless it is recommended by your vet. Any sort of confinement really seemed to bother Doc when he was first diagnosed... He really liked to be able to move his head, rest his neck and head in various positions on lots of pillows, the couch, the bed... He would stretch often and move a lot. Doc's vet also did minimal chiropractic moves with his neck and she told me to do them so long as he wasn't painful. Since you can't do an MRI, I would definitely repeat the xrays in a month and see how the vertebraes look. Until then I would let your pup rest, would get him in a harness and give any medications your vet prescribed him.
Again, sending good vibes your way.
*disclaimer* my advice is relating to Wobbler's. I don't have much to say about an actual cracked vertebrae. Maybe someone else will chime in with experience there. What happened to your pup to cause such an injury? Poor guy