Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wobblers Syndrome in Dogs

If you are an avid fancier of Doberman, Borzoi or/and Great Dane you may be aware of some of the neurological abnormalities that these dog breeds are often susceptible to. Wobblers Disease is one of such neurological syndromes that affect mostly Doberman Pinschers, Borzoi and Great Danes.

Researches have been carried out on Wobblers Syndromes in dogs, and documentations have indicated that apart from Dobbies, Danes and Borzoi, certain other canine breeds are also susceptible to this disease, although not seen as frequently as in Dobbies and Danes. These dogs are Dalmatian, Weimaraner, Boxer, GSD, Old English Sheepdog, Basset Hound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Samoyed, Bull Mastiff and Greyhound.

What is this Wobblers Syndrome in dogs all about?
Wobblers Syndrome in dogs is a disease that affects the cervical vertebrae (neck spinal column), which in turn causes weakness and disorganized & uncoordinated gait. Wobbler Disease adversely affects the animals through malformation - especially narrowing of the vertebrae and intervertebral disc protrusion. The condition affects the interspinal ligaments, ligamenta falva (ligaments connecting the laminae of adjacent vertebrae, from the axis to the first segment of sacrum) and articular facets of the vertebrae. Wobblers Syndrome is also called Cervical Spondylopathy or Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI). Some researchers thinks that this condition is incorrectly referred to as Spondylopathy.

Although the exact cause of Wobblers Syndrome in dogs is not yet been unearthed, but researches have shown that this condition is related to gene. Many scientists opines that osteochondrosis may be the wobbler disease in dogs. In dogs, as well as in other animals like horses wobbler disease cause tremendous pain, discouraging mobility and in worse case it leads to partial or complete paralysis.

Symptoms of Wobblers Syndrome in Dogs

Symptoms of Wobblers Syndrome in dogs are common in all canine breeds and usually start off with pain in the hind legs. The dog’s age of exhibiting the symptoms may vary from breed to breed. While in case of Dobermans the symptoms may be first noticed at the age of 3 to 5 years, the Great Danes may show wobbler disease symptoms at a very early age – with one year. The dog will show lack of coordination during movement and will face trouble while standing up. The distressed movement can be noticed if the dog tends to turn round – either ways (right or left) -- a corner. With the maturity the back legs will be placed apart stiff with the feet scraping on the ground.

The condition may worsen with weakening and stiffening of the front legs, accompanied with a wobbling mobility. Bending the neck will be painful.

Diagnosis of Wobblers Syndrome in Dogs

Wobblers Syndrome in dogs may be diagnosed by wide range clinical tests, including of physical as well as neurological exams. The vets will advice to do x-rays and blood tests for the dog in order to diagnose if the dog is affected by wobbler disease. X-ray report will indicate the specific compression in any region along the vertebrae. Myelogram (fluoroscopy) or/and an MRI is usually prescribed by the vets.

How to avoid Wobblers Syndrome in Dogs
Well, this is the most important part of this post. Breeding should be carried out in a very planned and selective ways. Dogs with this condition in their history should be barred from the breeding program.

Here you can find a mine of information about dog diseases

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2 comments:

Unknown August 23, 2011 at 9:46 AM  

Prognosis for dogs with Wobbler's Disease has been recently changed and it is no longer poor. A new surgical treatment is now available for dogs with Disc-Associated Wobbler's Syndrome. This surgical treatment involves implanting an artificial disc (cervical arthroplasty) in place of the affected disc space. This is a less invasive technique with minimal risks and post-operative care. All dogs treated have displayed excellent short and long terms clinical results. Cervical arthroplasty can also be applied in multiple spaces and it is cost effective. For further reading on the new procedure, please see "Cervical Arthroplasty in Two Dogs with Disc Associated Cervical Spondylomyelopathy." JAVMA, Vol 239, No 6, September 15, 2011, http://www.scribd.com/doc/56257403/DrAdamoFullArticle.

Other Links:

www.bayareavnn.com (more information on me, the procedure, and our patients).

a recent media video on the topic: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=8233338.

Unknown August 23, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

Prognosis for dogs with Wobbler's Disease has been recently changed and it is no longer poor. A new surgical treatment is now available for dogs with Disc-Associated Wobbler's Syndrome. This surgical treatment involves implanting an artificial disc (cervical arthroplasty) in place of the affected disc space. This is a less invasive technique with minimal risks and post-operative care. All dogs treated have displayed excellent short and long terms clinical results. Cervical arthroplasty can also be applied in multiple spaces and it is cost effective. For further reading on the new procedure, please see "Cervical Arthroplasty in Two Dogs with Disc Associated Cervical Spondylomyelopathy." JAVMA, Vol 239, No 6, September 15, 2011, http://www.scribd.com/doc/56257403/DrAdamoFullArticle.

Other Links:

www.bayareavnn.com (more information on me, the procedure, and our patients).

a recent media video on the topic: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/health&id=8233338.

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