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Wobbler disease is a disease of many names and causes. The main problem is excessive joint movement of the cervical vertebrae.

In the Great Dane and the Mastiff we also see that there is not enough room for the spinal cord in the spinal canal. This is usually seen in dogs that weigh 120 plus pounds by the time they are 10 months of age. The longer it takes for the dog to reach 120 pounds, the more space that will be available for the spinal cord and the better they will respond to the gold bead implant.

The primary purpose of the gold bead implant is to prevent excessive vertebral movement of the cervical area of the neck. By preventing this excess movement, we reduce the inflammation of the spinal cord. The gold beads themselves will reduce inflammation of the cord and cause remodeling of the cervical vertebrae.


The following two X-rays are from dogs with wobbler disease. The red arrows shows where there is excessive rounding of the anterior border of the vertebra resulting from too much movement of the vertebra.


Cause of Wobbler Syndrome:

  • Unknown
  • Genetics
  • Rapid growth rate
  • Nutrition
  • Genetics, nutrition, and rapid growth rateare all interrelated

Clinical Signs:

  • Cannot make a definitive diagnosis fromclinical sign.
  • Paresis and ataxia of hind limbs or forelimbs
  • Progressive incoordination and paralysis ofthe limbs
  • Clumsy, wobbling and swaying of rear legs
  • Difficulity walking on slick surfaces
  • Pain
  • Non rhythmic gait in the front leg
  • Overall weakness in rear legs
  • Dragging nails on the floor
  • Difficulity in making sharp turns
  • Clumsy Puppy
  • Stands with neck hanging down
  • Short choppy rolling stride


This picture show us starting to implant a dog for wobbler disease. The needle is placed 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep into the tissue from the lower neck to the upper neck area.


The next picture shows how the first side of the neck looks after having the gold bead implant. The areas with the most blood coming from the acupuncture points have the most pathology.


After we implant the neck with gold beads to treat wobblers we then wrap the neck with cotton.


After putting the cotton around the neck we then cover it with vet-wrap.

Following the vet-wrap we then wrap the neck with 2 inch tape. This firms up the neck and allows for quicker healing. About 20% of the doberman refuse to wear the neck wrap. If this happens then it takes about 3 times as long for healing to take place.

Cause of Wobbler Syndrome:Breeds Affected :

  • Doberman
  • Great Dane
  • Mastiff
  • Boxer
  • Basset
  • St Bernard
  • Weimerane
  • Laborador Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Dalmatian
  • Standard Poodle
  • Samoyed
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Irish Setter
  • Borzoi


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Business Hours

Tues, Weds, & Thurs 8:00am to 5:00pm

Durkes Veterinary Clinic
1021 East Start Rd. 18
Marion, In. 46952
Phone: (765) 661-7873
Email: Dr. Terry Durkes

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