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DENVER/March 7, 2024 — Morris Animal Foundation announced that researchers at The Ohio State University are the recipients of funding for a new study focused on Canine Wobbler Syndrome

The team, spearheaded by Dr. Ronaldo da Costa, will study the potential of physical therapy to improve neurologic function and promote better quality of life in dogs with Wobbler Syndrome, a painful and debilitating neurological disorder impacting the spinal region of the neck. 

"This study holds exceptional promise in elevating the well-being of dogs afflicted by Canine Wobbler Syndrome, marking a significant step forward in our relentless pursuit to provide hope and improved care for our beloved companions,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation.

Generous support for this investigation comes from the Doberman Pinscher Club of America.

Wobbler Syndrome occurs when there is spinal cord and nerve root compression within the neck region, primarily affecting larger dog breeds. Despite surgical intervention to alleviate compression, the disease often persists, posing significant challenges in the care and mobility of affected dogs.

Unfortunately, the disease leads many owners to contemplate euthanasia due to the difficulty in caring for large or giant dogs unable to walk.

In this study, researchers aim to build upon prior findings indicating favorable outcomes from physical therapy interventions. They will investigate two distinct physical therapy protocols tailored for dogs with Wobbler Syndrome, striving to ascertain whether these approaches can enhance neurological function and improve the quality of life for dogs grappling with this agonizing and debilitating disease.

About Morris Animal Foundation  
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding nearly $160 million in more than 3,000 critical animal health studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at

Media ContactAnnie Mehl