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Wobbler Syndrome in Dogs

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Treatment will depend on the location of the spinal compression and the severity of the problem. If surgical treatment is not elected for, treatment may be given on an outpatient basis. Dogs that cannot walk should be kept on soft bedding, and should be closely observed and turned to lie on their other sides every four hours to prevent bed sores from developing.


Bladder catheterization may be used to allows the dogs to rest and not have to go outside to urinate. Your doctor will instruct you in how to do this procedure properly, with an emphasis on sterility to prevent urinary infections. Medically treated dogs typically need to have their activity restricted for at least two months. Surgery often offers the best chance of improvement (80 percent), but there is a small risk of significant complications associated with cervical surgical procedures.


Dogs which have had surgery should have their activity restricted two to three months postoperatively to allow bone ankylosis (adhesion and union) at the site of surgery. Physical therapy is essential for post-operative dogs to avoid muscle loss, atrophy, fusion of bones, and to hasten recovery. Your doctor will set up therapy sessions for your dog within the clinic, or will instruct you in methods by which you can help to maintain your dog's muscle integrity.


Living and Management


To protect your dog from further injury, do not allow any jumping or running for at least two to three months after after treatment. Body harnesses should be used in place of neck collars, since neck collars can harm your dog's already compressed spinal structure. Diet may also need to be adjusted. Cutting back on protein, calcium and excess calories is often recommended in dogs that are affected by CSM.


Your veterinarian will schedule follow up neurological evaluations as needed for your pet. If the symptoms of wobbler syndrome return, call your veterinarian immediately to be advised.



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