Doberman Wobblers Syndrome

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Wobbler's syndrome affects dobermans and other large breeds.
Wobbler's syndrome affects dobermans and other large breeds. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Greeblie)

Wobbler's syndrome, or cervical vertebral instability (CVI), affects doberman pinschers and other large, fast-growing dog breeds. Wobbler's syndrome is painful and makes it difficult for the doberman to walk.

Effects

Older dobermans and young Great Danes are the most frequent victims of wobbler's syndrome. The condition occurs when malformed or unstable neck vertebrae compress the spinal cord.

Symptoms

Dobermans with CVI have a wobbly gait, especially noticeable in their hind legs. They may also walk with their heads down to alleviate neck pain. In severe cases, dogs may have problems standing.

Effects

Dobermans with untreated wobbler's syndrome may eventually rupture a disc, leaving them unable to walk.

Prevention/Solution

To prevent wobbler's syndrome, doberman owners should use a harness rather than a leash on their dogs. This precaution prevents neck pressure and injury.

Diagnosis

If your veterinarian suspects your doberman has wobbler's syndrome, she will order diagnostic tests. They could include x-rays or a CT scan to assess damage to the neck and spinal cord.

Treatment

Your veterinarian may prescribe up to a month of restricted activity or cage rest for your doberman, as well as pain and anti-inflammatory medication. If your dog's condition does not improve, he may order surgery.

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