WOBBLERS SYNDROME???

15 replies [Last post]
DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Hi everybody I have an 11 year old dobermann and i noticed his rear legs shaking since this summer. I went to his veterinarian
to examine him and he told me he sees nothing wrong with the dog and this is probably because he is getting older. However
he told me not to worry and just give him some vitamins (he suggested me canosan and neurobion). However , about 5 months later i noticed that he was loosing control of his back legs not too much but enough to worry about. He started stumbling and urting his legs more often when playing outside. I went back to the veterinarian and he insisted that this is because of his age.However he told me just to be on the safe side to go to a specialized veterinarian for this kind of things which i did. The second doctor examined him and told me that my dog has wobbler's syndrome in the early stages so we have to act fast.He suggested myelotherapy first and then surgery.
However I went back to my veterinarian and told him what the other one said. and he told me that he doesnt agree with him. He told me that dobies usually are in danger of wobbler syndrome from the age of 4 to 8. Mine is 11 so it shouldnt be that. He also told me that that type of surgery is very difficult for the dog and its not sure that it will have good results. Because the dog is 11 years and we should n t make him suffer he told me that there is also a drug therapy for wobbler in early stages. So he told me to try give him for 40 days Medrol 16 mg and we see how it goes. Now we are having this treatment for 8 days.

Please can anybody make me some recommendations? what is your opinion about what the two doctors said?

Thanks!!!

Seiitsu's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-02-17

I don't have any experience with Wobbler's Syndrome...but your vet keeps giving you the same solutions and thay haven't worked right? Maybe talk to the other vet about what your vet said, and it couldn't hurt to at least TALK to the specialist right? Good luck and I hope your dog gets better!

DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Thanks for your reply !

The thing is that the specialist believes that only a surgery can solve this problem however my vet suggested me to try medrol treatment which i am currently doing the last 8 days.we must keep the treatment for another 32 days. the problem is that i am afraid of putting my dog in such a situation especially a surgery which as far as i ve seen on the internet it might not bring anything good. Specially in my country are not that specialized as in other countries thats why I  am scared and this is the reason I am looking for someone that might be a specialist or maybe he had a dog with the same syndrome.

Thanks anyway for your reply!

Seiitsu's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-02-17

Oh, I thought he suggested therapy first? Well then yeah you should probably go through with this treatment and hopefully it works!

Lady Kate's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-10-28

Pet Profiles

So sorry to hear of your worries with your guy. I wish I could offer something more than just an "I'm sorry" I too, have no experience with Wobblers' however, stay tuned.. Saturday is kind of a slow day here on the forum.. everyone is out playing with their kids.. I'm sure you will get some suggestions from others when they are back on line.

Are you in the U.K.?

DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Thanks for your concern LADY KATE.

I live in Greece. I hope somebody will provide me some usefull information here...

Thanks again!

Chipindob's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-02-09

Pet Profiles

God bless you both, all I can offer is prayers. We just got our first Dobe, she's 9 wks. There's lots of good people on here, and maybe someone can help.

glengate's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009-07-22

Is it just his rear legs?  If so, I would be much more inclined to think it's degenerative myleopathy at his age.  I would suggest googling it, and reading about it and seeing if you think the description fits.

I had to euthanize my old guy, Rocket, at 11 and he had degenerative myleopathy making it hard for him to get around.  I had seen it a couple of years prior in my 14 year old German shorthaired pointer, who also had it. 

Even it is Wobbler's, to be honest, I wouldn't pursue any aggressive treatments like surgery due to his age.  I'd personally do whatever else I could to keep him comfortable for as long as possible.  To confirm the diagnosis of Wobbler's, one must have a myleogram which can be a pretty hard procedure under anesthetic and one would only do it if they were also prepared to have the surgery for Wobbler's at the same time.  The recovery period is hard, and he's already compromised by age. 

Patriot's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-08-16

Pet Profiles

My last boy Jake had Wobblers at 9 years old.The final diagnosis came after having an MRI scan of his spine.The doctor said it could also be a tumor pushing against his spine causing the pain and loss of feeling in his front leg.Did this specialist do a scan of his spine?Wobblers is caused by a vertabrae shifting out of alignment with the rest of the spine,causing pain and loss of feeling.From what I learned through this,looking at his spine can completely determine what is causing his weakness.After the diagnosis he went into surgery immediately to correct the problem.In our case his vertabrae was at the base of his neck so the doctor went through the front of his neck and actually removed the vertabrae causing the problem.(I have a pic of him in my gallery after the sugery)It was about a month long recovery and I was able to spend four more happy,healthy years with him until his heart gave out.This procedure was done at Tufts University Animal Hospital which is a very highly regarded facility in New England.Based on his age and what you say are a lack of specialists in your area,I would absolutely continue with his current treatment first.Finish the 32 days and see how he is.I went through different treatments with my local vet for a couple months before she finally recommended Tufts.

DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Hi glengate thanks for your reply.

Yes it is just the rear legs. He can run he plays he is energetic. I am not considering the surgery as an option now unless somebody tells me that the dog is in pain or he might not walk again.

DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Hi Patriot thanks for your reply!

I would like to ask you what kind of treatments did you follow before surgery? becausse the only treatment i know is the one my vet suggested me which is medrol 16 mg cortisone for 40 days. 2 pills (1 morning/1 evening) every day the first 10 days.

then only one pill every morning the next 10 days and finally one pill every other day for the next 20 days. is this one of the treatments you followed?

Could you also please tell me if you followed any particular diet before and after the treatments and if yes what kind of diet?

Thanks a lot!

Patriot's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-08-16

Pet Profiles

I was giving him prednesone and some type of muscle relaxer as the idea was that it was a strain either in his muscle or just a slipped disc.The prednesone helped for a while but I think it just masked the original problem.Based on what you just wrote regarding his mobility and pain,I would say it is not Wobblers.My Jake had extreme pain when he would turn a certain way and he lost such control of his front paw that it would drag a little as he walked.Causing him to wobble when he walked,thus the name.We followed no special diets berfore or after because his weight was ideal.Hope this helps,I'm no expert but I did go through the experience.Any more questions,don't hesitate to ask.

DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Thank you patriot,

well as i mentioned before the specialist told me its wobbler and that my carlos is in much pain now.I told him that i dont think he is in pain because i know my dog and i would have noticed such a serious matter.However my vet also believes that the dog is not in pain because his movement in general seems ok except his rear legs. he still likes throwing him a ball and he fetch although i stopped all such activities now untill the therapy ends. I trust my vet because i know him more than 10 years maybe the other one the specialist is looking only for money thats why he said wobbler.I dont know all i know is that i love carlos so much thats why i am still looking for something new.I will mention the prednesone drug to my doctor and see what he tells me.

thanks again for your concern!!!!

Patriot's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010-08-16

Pet Profiles

I believe your Vet.....My boy had cry out loud type pain.He was basically bed ridden with very slow movement to eat or go out......and nothing more.Prednesone is a steroid that,in my opinion,was only hiding the pain,and may have actually done more harm than good.Unless it's muscle related.The fact that Carlos can run and play would tell me he does not have Wobblers.My Jake couldn't hardly move.......and this was not gradual.He went to bed one night normal,and cried out in pain come morning when I tried to let him outside.He progressed a little worse over the two months before the surgery,but basically never improved.Your problem sounds more degenerative,caused by age....which makes me think Glengate is right.Lets face it,at his age anything could crop up......one positive experience I received through my ordeal..... was an appreciation of a second chance to spend four more quality years with my best friend.I'll never stop missing him,but I understand this...... I have love in my heart and the ability to enhance the lives of more.....before it is my turn to go. 

DobePin's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-03-19

Pet Profiles

Once again, thanks a lot Patriot!

Maybe the other doctor i went he only wanted to make profit......Anyway I'll keep doing him the treatment with cortisone and then we see. my vet believes the same and i know him for more than 10 years and he loves Carlos. So whatever he decides its for Carlos good.

rgreen4's picture
Offline
Joined: 2008-10-26

Red started showing some unusual actions and weakness in his rear legs in November. He was due for his annual exam, when I took him in on Dec. 1, I asked my vet to look at him. This was actually the newer vet who has been with the practice several years but is very competent. He took him out and walked him watching his leg action.

Red at the time was a little over 7 1/2 and there were three possible causes: 1) Arthritus 2) Hip Dysplasia or 3) Wobblers. He has always had a different gait, and I was suspicious of Hip Dysplasia, but now it was worse. The only way to determine for sure would be to x-ray the entire spine. We put him on rimadyl for a while and he seemed better.

Then at the end of the month when he developed a cough and I took him in, the other vet (who has treated my Dobies for over 20 years) did a chest x-ray to look at the congestion and found the tumors.

If x-rays are not too expensive, you might have some done of the upper chest area encompasing the lungs and spinal area.