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Cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM), or wobbler syndrome, is a disease of the cervical spine (at the neck) that is commonly seen in large and giant-breed dogs.
- Look for the characteristic symptoms of wobbler’s syndrome (sometimes called Wobbler’s Disease) in your dog, such as moving stiffly and dragging the hind toes as he walks. The stiffness may seem worse in his hind legs, and he may walk clumsily as if partially paralyzed. He generally won’t show signs of pain, such as whining.
- Watch your dog’s movements when turning a corner. A dog with wobbler’s syndrome may seem fairly normal walking in a straight line but have difficulty making a sharp turn. She may appear drunk or uncoordinated or even fall down when turning quickly. At other times, she may walk with her hind legs spread for balance.
- Notice how your dog carries his head. Dogs with wobbler’s syndrome may carry their heads down or stiffly.
- If your dog is showing these symptoms and other causes have been eliminated, come in and we’ll test for wobbler’s syndrome. The sad news is that there’s no simple cure for wobbler’s syndrome, but catching the condition early can give us options for treatment.
Wobbler disease is a condition of the cervical vertebrae that causes an unsteady (wobbly) gait and weakness in dogs and horses. The term wobbler disease refers to a number of different conditions of the cervical (neck) spinal column that all cause similar symptoms. These conditions may include malformation of the vertebrae, intervertebral disc protrusion, and disease of the interspinal ligaments, ligamenta flava, and articular facets of the vertebrae. Wobbler disease is also known as cervical vertebral instability, cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM), and cervical vertebral malformation (CVM). In dogs, the disease is most common in large breeds, especially Great Danes and Dobermanns. In horses, it is not linked to a particular breed, though it is most often seen in tall race-bred horses. It is most likely inherited in dogs, it may be hereditary to some extent in horses.
Wobblers is most common in the following dog breeds: