Wobbler Syndrome in Dogs

Cervical Spondylomyelopathy or Wobbler Syndrome is the disease of cervical spine of the large and giant-breed dogs. CMS is characterized by compression of spinal cord and/or nerve roots which lead to neurological signs and/or neck pain. The term Wobbler is used to describe strange or wobbly gait that the infected dogs have.

The bony malformation in large and giant-breed dogs can compress the spinal cord from top and bottom, from top and side or just from sides. Dynamic spinal cord compression (compression that changes with different positions of cervical spine) always occurs with any type of compression.

Doberman Pinschers, rottweilers, Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds and basset hounds are breeds that are more prone to this condition.

Common symptoms of this condition are:

Strange, wobbly gait

Neck pain, stiffness


Possible short-strided walking, spastic with a floating appearance or very weak in the front limbs

Possibly unable to walk – partial or complete paralysis

Possible muscle loss near the shoulders

Possible worn or scuffed toenails from uneven walking

Increased extension of all four limbs

Difficulty getting up from lying position

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