Cervical Vertebral Instability (Wobbler’s Syndrome)
What is Cervical Vertebral Instability (Wobbler’s Syndrome)?
CVI is a condition affecting the spinal cord in the neck region that in large and giant breed dogs that leads to pain, weakness, and paralysis. There are two types of CVI identified. In young dogs, developmental abnormalities lead to malformation of the vertebrae in the neck and pressure on the spinal cord. In older dogs, the condition is associated with intervertebral disk movement and pressure on the spinal cord. This may be due to vertebral joint instability.
How does my dog get CVI?
There is no proven genetic linkage however, there is definitely a predilection to large breeds and specifically Dobermans and Great Danes. See below for other affected breeds.
How do I know if my dog has CVI?
Depending upon how long the condition has been going on, the severity of the signs will vary. In both young and old dogs, the signs may include neck pain, difficulty getting up, decreased muscle tone, and incoordination of all four legs. Since there are other conditions that have similar signs, your veterinarian will need to do a thorough examination and take radiographs. In some cases, special radiographic techniques (myelogram) may be needed to confirm CVI.
What can I do about CVI?
Limiting activity to avoid worsening the condition. Surgery is the treatment of choice. Although, how long the condition has been going on will determine the prognosis for complete recovery. Corticosterioids are frequently used to decrease spinal inflammation, pain, and weakness and are effective in mild cases.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting?
Careful assessment of large breed dogs and their lineage to help choose dogs with a lower risk of developing CVI.
Are there certain breeds that get CVI more often?
Numerous large dog breeds. Old Dobermans. Young Great Danes.