Skip to content

Case #1

Case #1: 7y FS Doberman Pinscher

CC: Trouble using hind legs

  • Owner took Case #1 camping this weekend
  • When she got back home, she was reluctant to rise and seemed wobbly in the hind end
  • Has improved since yesterday

Physical exam:

  • Normal TPR and mentation
  • No CP deficits
  • No ataxia
  • No pain on palpation of neck, spine, or limbs


  • Bloodwork:
    • CBC: WNL
    • Chem: WNL
    • T4: 1.0 (0.1 below normal)
    • Free T4: 8.1 (low normal)
  • Lumbar spine radiographs: WNL

Presumptive diagnosis: Wobbler’s

  • Cervical vertebral instability
    • Commonly seen in Doberman Pinschers, but reported in numerous breeds of large dogs
    • Compressive spinal cord lesions affecting the cervical spine leading to ataxia or paralysis
      • Physical exam findings:
        • Acute or chronic
        • Progressive or non progressive
        • Variable neck pain and/or muscle atrophy
        • Ataxia, generally hind limbs affected more severely
  • Disk related: generally mature dogs
    • Disk degeneration or vertebral instability leads to herniation and compression on the cervical spinal
  • Vertebral related: generally growing dogs
    • Malformation or malarticulation

Radiographs: Cervical spine

  • Right lateral view reveals dorsal displacement of C2 relative to C1
  • VD shows possible decrease of C2-C3 disk space

Ongoing care for Case #1:

  • Needs to be walked in a harness
  • Monitor for neuro signs, treat with steroids if they occur, referral for MRI/surgery if owner wants to do so
Posted in

Tennessee Avenue Animal Hospital

Font Resize