How do we treat Wobbler Syndrome?
There are a few ways we can treat wobbler syndrome. The best method will vary depending on the severity of the condition and the general health of your pet.
For older dogs, or those whose surgical outlook is poor, we’ll opt for non-surgical management of the condition. While not a cure, it will allow for some stablisation. Non-surgical treatment options include:
- Exercise restriction – Your dog should rest completely in the short term, while their exercise should be modified in the long term, including avoiding jumping and climbing and going for short walks rather than long ones.
- Anti-inflammatories – Some pets will benefit from anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling, as well as additional painkillers, particularly if they show signs of neck pain.
- Physical and hydrotherapy – Rehabilitative services like these can help to ease symptoms, rebuild strength and improve mobility.
Surgery is the most effective form of treatment, with the aim being to try and relieve the compression on the spinal cord. There are two types of surgical treatment available:
- Decompressive surgery – This type of surgery involves removing a window of bone from the spinal canal. This allows us to remove any disc material that’s adding to the compression.
- Vertebral distraction-fusion – This surgery involves stretching the abnormal vertebral tissue in order to reduce the compression. They vertebrae may also be fused so as to stabilise it.
All surgery is carried out by one of our highly experienced specialists. They will explain the procedure in depth beforehand, as well as highlight any potential complications.
What is the prognosis?
The success of treatment depends on a number of factors, including the number and type of compressions, as well as the age and weight of the dog.
In general the outlook for dogs with wobbler syndrome is good. As with most surgical procedures, there is a small chance that the patient may have complications, but many if not most dogs go on to have an improved quality of life. For dogs who have non-surgical treatment, their condition will need managing throughout their lives.
We’re always here to help should you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s condition – just drop us a message or give us a call. If you’re a veterinary professional and wish to make a referral, head on over to our referrals page for more information.