Doberman Wobblers Syndrome


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Greeblie
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