Sunday, August 7, 2011


While at a recent event, I noticed Sawyer had begun acting funny. He was walking sorta funny and was pushing himself against the brick wall. I brushed that off as him trying to get his Doggles off as sometimes he doesn't love them. He was actually throwing his his and rear end against the wall first. Later when he stood up his whole rear end area was funny looking and he was bending his knees weird. So I decided we should leave especially with the heat. I was hoping the next day he would be all better....unfortunately that was not the case. I made an appointment with the vet and they were going to do some x-rays and check him out. I called a few folks and was hoping this was not Wobbler's as he's at the right age for this to show up. The vet called me a little while after I dropped him up and said she didn't feel comfortable sedating him and doing x-rays there because *if* it were Wobbler's than that could actually cause more harm and thought an MRI would be better. She referred us to Dr. Gallagher in Cary at VSRP. The following Tuesday we were in Cary bright and early. The staff was very nice and loved Sawyer! Dr. Gallagher came out along with his intern and we went outside so they could watch him walk and move. He then wanted to examine Sawyer, being the spaz that he is Sawyer wasn't too fond of that. After going over all the options we decided they would do x-rays as it did appear to him that Sawyer did have some degree of Wobbler's. Less than 30 minutes later we were looking at the x-rays....good news is that he has excellent hip confirmation! Bad news is that he has a few "bad" spots in his neck. His C3 and C4 vertebrae were fused, he had tipping on his C5 and the spacing between the C7 was a triangle shape instead of the normal rectangle. The diagnosis: Cervical Vertebral Instability aka Wobbler's.
I did learn something interesting with Wobbler's, apparently the term is used loosely and to describe a few different spinal cord diseases.
Surgery is way too risky and it seemed to have many more cons than pros, so that was quickly dismissed. I don't feel the gold bead implants would be the best as I've heard about them either helping for a little while or not doing anything. He probably wouldn't make the best candidate for acupuncture as he's so funny about anything being on him other than a collar! So for now we just watch him and if he starts getting worse with walking then we will start him on a low dose of steroids. We also will have to make sure and assist him walking down steps as a bad fall could do damage. Sawyer is a good boy and we'll do all we can to make sure he's happy and comfortable.


Jenny Schultz said...

The surgery is 'too risky' is a long held misconception- even by well meaning general veterinarians. Neurosurgery is quite advanced and a skilled neurosurgeon has done the procedures many times over. Danes with CVI are immensely helped by surgery and can go on to live very good lives :)

Scottie Hamer said...

Try k-laser first. MAGDRL's happy to pay for it, as a whole course of treatments is under $250, and after the 1st session you'll know if it'll help or not. It's a "cold" laser and they only have to sit still for a short time - no pins. Even high strung dogs end up staying calm because it's relaxing. THe Wobblers dogs we've had up here and the others we've recommended k-laser to have vastly benefitted! Good luck!