Canine Wobbler Syndrome
Wobbler Syndrome is a health disease that affects some species of dogs especially giant and large breeds like Great Danes, Beagles, Doberman pinschers etc. This disease is caused by the compression of the cervical spinal cord which is the portion of spinal cord in the neck region. The spine or vertebra is seen from neck to tail of the animal and this vertebra protects the spinal cord while providing stiffness to the body. The vertebra in the cervical region consists of seven bones which are separated by cartilaginous intervertebral disks.
Causes of Wobbler Syndrome
The abnormalities of the vertebra or the intervertebral disk leads to the compression of the spinal cord in this region and cause pain, weakness etc. Heredity is found to play an important role in causing this disease. Similarly over feeding especially with feeds that contains more protein and calcium is also prone to cause this disease.
Symptoms of Wobbler Syndrome
Wobbler syndrome normally appears in dogs of 10 months old to one year old. But it is also reported in dogs of 4 or 5 years old. Symptoms may be different in different dogs depending up on the rate of compression on the spinal cord. Sometimes the symptoms may progress rapidly while in other cases it progress very slowly. The symptoms usually first appear on the rear legs. The dog may show difficulty in coordinating while in gait. Slowly these difficulties may move towards the foreleg also. The dog may have difficulty to stand up and to maintain its posture. There may be pain in the neck. The muscles in the forelimb may desolate, toenails may wear etc are also seen in some of the affected dogs.
Treatment for Wobbler Syndrome
In dogs having mild symptoms the disease can be controlled by the administration of corticosteroid drugs. If the symptoms are severe then those dogs may need a sugary to reduce the compression caused by the vertebra on the spinal cord. Surgery can also correct the damages happened to the spinal canal.