Wobblers Syndrome Wobblers Syndrome also known as cervical vertebral malformation (CVM) and cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) is commonly seen among dogs. It is a condition of the cervical vertebrae in which the vertebrae is affected resulting the dog developing a walk that is both wobbly and unsteady, hence the name Wobblers Syndrome. This in actuality is a situation in which there are various factors that contribute to make the one condition.
These include the disease of the major areas of the vertebrae such as the interspinal ligaments, and intervertebral discs. It is particularly found among the Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers dogs. Causes of Wobblers Syndrome Quoting the Merck Manual, "The cause of wobblers syndrome is unknown, although rapid growth rates and nutrition, mechanical factors, and genetics may be implicated." Others say the cause of Wobblers Syndrome in most dogs is partly genetic and as a result of a malformed vertebrae located in the neck region. This happens mostly in the spinal canal which is what houses the spinal cord encasing it and protecting it from harm. Normally the spinal canal has an opening that is relatively big.
However, when a dog becomes infected with the Wobblers Syndrome, the opening shrinks causing it to add pressure on the spinal cord. This then hinders the spinal cord from passing and receiving impulses. This shrinking of the canal continues as the animal increases in size, weight and age. During this period too, there is a noticeable instability apparent in the neck vertebrae.
Signs and Symptoms Wobblers Syndrome becomes apparent in less than forty eight months (four years) of age. In dogs such as the Great Danes, it becomes more evident at an earlier age. It takes quite a while to show in Doberman Pinschers. One of the initial signs that a dog might be suffering from wobblers syndrome is the dog's inability to bend its neck because of the pain it is likely to feel.
Next is an apparent lack of muscular coordination and general weakness in the dog's hind limbs. This is closely followed by a gradual weakness of the frontal limbs too. Preventive Measures According to many experiments, it is possible that most dogs that end up having Wobblers Syndrome have a genetic predisposition to it.
So it is advisable that you consider the lineage of the dogs you plan to breed be examined for any signs of Wobblers Syndrome. Others recommend that if the weight gain and growth rate are slowed down by reducing the quantity of not quality of high protein nutrition given, the dog(s) might just be able to survive and grow normally even if it had a genetic predisposition to it. Corrective Measures There are surgical procedures that can be done to either lessen the symptoms of Wobblers or even completely eliminate the symptoms.
One such procedure is the surgically implanting gold beads in the spinal area.
Hans is the owner of http://www.lucysdoghouse.net and is a life long dog owner. Lucy's Dog House offers has Helping Hands and much more to make your dog's life happier and healthier. At Lucy's Dog House, a percentage of all sales goes to support Great Dane Rescues.