Doberman - Wobbler's Syndrome

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Doberman : Wobbler’s Syndrome


The Doberman Pinscher, bred to be an outstanding guard-dog, is very energetic. The Doberman, unfriendly and ferocious as it might seem, loves to be physically close to its family members.

Highly intelligent, fearless and loyal, the Dobe needs an owner that is willing to discipline him without being afraid of him. He needs to be properly socialized to prevent over-protectiveness.

This breed needs consistent mental stimulation through positive reinforcement to stay happy and in good health.

The Doberman is generally healthy. You would hardly ever find him giving in to temperature differences or to mild ailments. All it takes are quick medication and appropriate exercise to get him back on his feet.

However, cervical spondilytis due to fusion of neck vertebrae and compression of spinal cord, commonly referred to as the “Wobbler’s syndrome” might affect this dog. This disorder is rampant among these dogs and starting with the hind legs, it might even lead to complete dysfunction of all four limbs.

The common symptoms are a wobbly gait, (which gives the disorder its name), a stilted manner of walking on the front feet, a dragging of the hind feet, severe neck pain and the neck hanging in a downward position.

These symptoms might even grow into the worst possible situation where the dog would be rendered completely motionless.

Commonly seen in older Dobermans, from 3 to 8 years of age, it is known to have affected smaller dogs as well. The younger dogs may often die as a result of this disorder, as they are less capable of coping with it. The spinal cord compression occurs mostly in the vertebrae c5, c6, and c7.

There are treatments to take care of this disorder but it depends on the severity of the spinal compression. Cortisone treatment helps reduce inflammation of the spinal cord, while acupuncture is said to work as a pain relief. Chiropractic adjustment too cannot be ruled out but it might lead to severe complications in certain cases.

In severe cases, surgery would be the most plausible resort, but one is advised to always to go in for a MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) before doing a surgery.
An alternative to surgery is Gold Beads Implant, when magnetically charged gold plated
Beads are implanted in the dog wherever pain needs to be relieved.

The major cause of Wobblers Syndrome is yet to be known but some of the causes are
genetics, conformation of the neck, malnutrition, or injury.

Preventative breeding can be an option but because dogs don’t show symptoms before their breeding age, it cannot be entirely relied on. Therefore, one can only gather complete information on Wobblers in Pedigrees and thus, breed responsibly, so that one can get a perfectly healthy Doberman later.

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