Wobbler Syndrome

 

Wobbler Syndrome

Wobblers syndrome is caused by a malformation of the neck vertebrae which causes pressure on the spinal cord, the trapped nerve results in poor coordination and a distinctive wobble in the stricken dogs gait.

Dog Health Issues - Description of Wobbler Syndrome
Wobbler Syndrome describes a dog with generalized failure of muscular coordination and weakness that can affect first the rear and then the front legs. Wobblers syndrome is caused by a malformation of the vertebrae within the neck causing pressure on the spinal cord.

 

 

As the animal gets older, the space within the vertebrae continues to shrink in relation to the size of the spinal cord. The condition is serious and can progress to complete paralysis. The term 'Wobblers Syndrome' refers to the condition in a horse which appeared to seem wobbly when walking or exercising.

Dog Health Issues - Alternative names for Wobbler Syndrome
Wobblers Syndrome is not a specific term as it describes a dog with generalized failure of muscular coordination. It is also commonly known as as Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI). Other specific names include:

  • Cervical Spondylopathy (disease of the vertebra)
  • Spondylolisthesis (abnormal tipping of one vertebra over another)
  • Cervical Malformation-malarticulation (diseased joint)
  • Cervical Vertebral Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI)

Dog Health Issues - Cause of Wobbler Syndrome
The cause of Wobbler's Syndrome is undetermined but the higher incidence in certain breeds suggests that heredity is a contributing factor. 80% of dogs diagnosed with Wobblers Syndrome are Great Danes or Doberman Pinchers pointing to a genetic cause.

 

Dog photograph

 

Dog Health Problems - Symptoms of Wobbler Syndrome
Wobblers Syndrome is marked by symptoms which can include the following:

  • Unwillingness to bend the neck
  • Weakness and lack of coordination in the rear legs followed by
  • Weakness and lack of coordination in the front legs

Dog Health Questions - Dogs susceptible to Wobbler Syndrome
Any large breed is at risk for this disorder but Great Danes and Doberman Pinchers are the commonly affected breeds. Great Danes are usually affected when they are young at  about 1-3 years of age. Doberman Pinchers and other breeds are typically 6-9 years of age when the symptoms begin.

 

Dog Health Information - Treatment of Wobbler Syndrome
The treatment of Wobblers Syndrome is dependent on the condition but can include pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, use of a neck brace and surgery.

Dog Health Advice
We hope that the canine health information and dog health advice has been of some assistance. But please remember that if you are in doubt about your Dog's Health please consult your Canine Health Specialist.

 

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems
The sole purpose of the Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems is as a reference manual to provide useful information to dog and puppy owners. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat sick dogs or as a substitute for obtaining professional veterinary advice. Please remember that if you are in any doubt about your Dog's Health please consult your Canine Veterinary Specialist immediately.

 

Wobbler Syndrome

 

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