Canine Wobbler Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

One of the most common dog-related diseases is wobbler syndrome. It's also known as wobbler disease, cervical spondylomyelopathy, and Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI). When dogs suffer from Wobbler Syndrome, they lose control over their movements. An unsteady or wobbly gait characterizes wobbler syndrome.


What Is Canine Wobbler Syndrome?

There are two types of Wobbler syndrome. The first type occurs when abnormal vertebral centers put pressure on the spinal cord in a dog's neck, causing wobbler syndrome. In a healthy neck, the middle vertebra is round, while in Wobbler Syndrome, the middle vertebra may be square, triangle, or hourglass shaped. As a result of this abnormal shape, the spinal cord loses its round shape over time due to pressure.


The second type of Wobbler Syndrome is seen in adult dogs, whereby an intervertebral disk bulge in dogs gradually presses on the spinal cord. A large or giant dog is most likely to experience this. Basset hounds are another breed affected by wobbler syndrome, although they aren't classified as large breeds.


Symptoms Of Canine Wobbler Syndrome

The following are some of the symptoms of canine wobbler syndrome:


  • A propensity to fall over
  • Short strides, spasms, or frail front limbs
  • Incoordination of the hind legs.
  • Inability to hold up their head. If your dog cannot lift its head high enough on its own accord, it may suffer from canine wobbler syndrome (CWS). This often happens when there's a weakness in the spine area between
  • An inability to walk in a straight line, walking in short strides, or having problems with the front limbs
  • As a result of uneven walking, your dog's toenails may be worn or scuffed
  • It may be challenging for dogs with CWS to stand up from lying down


Causes Of Canine Wobbler Syndrome

Although the exact cause of cervical vertebral instability (wobbler) is unknown, nutritional, genetic, and congenital factors may contribute. In some dogs, however, the degree of vertebral canal narrowing or stenosis plays the most important role in developing wobbler syndrome. There is also a possibility that this narrowing can cause new compressions to the spinal cord due to degeneration.


Treatment For Canine Wobbler Syndrome

Depending on where the problem is located and how severe it is, Wobbler Syndrome can be treated. To improve the situation, surgery is usually recommended. As part of the surgery, pressure is relieved on the spinal cord, and further damage is prevented. The procedure cannot reverse the damage already done, and most dogs may not be able to walk normally again. Surgery, however, can enhance your dog's quality of life. 


Treating affected dogs with medical management is also possible if surgery is not appropriate. These include pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs.


It is strongly recommended to use chest harnesses when handling dogs with this condition due to neck problems, and neck leashes should not be used.


Canine wobbler syndrome can be a frightening experience for your pet, but it can be treated. Various treatments are available for dogs with such conditions, and new therapies are being investigated. 


At Stone Oak Veterinary Clinic, We'll Take Care Of All Your Pet's Needs 

At Stone Oak Veterinary Clinic, we focus on treating sick pets, handling complex cases, and prevention. We can prevent diseases and illnesses in your furry loved ones through routine wellness care. Besides veterinary care, we also provide boarding and grooming services. Give us a call or visit our website to book an appointment.


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