Wobbler Syndrome causes compression of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots in the neck and affects typically large and giant breeds of dogs. Even after surgery to remove the compression, the disease continues to progress at a rate similar to that seen in dogs treated medically for the same condition. In both cases, survival for these patients is about three years from diagnosis. Nonsurgical treatment for a similar human disease includes activity restriction, medications and physical therapy. Physical therapy exercises can help dogs with disc hernias and other spinal cord conditions. However, researchers have little knowledge regarding the benefits of physical therapy in dogs with Wobbler Syndrome. A single report of three affected dogs suggested promising results. In this study, researchers will build on these findings and investigate two physical therapy protocols for dogs with Wobbler Syndrome. The team hopes to establish if physical therapy can improve neurologic function and quality of life in dogs with this devastating and painful disease.
Grant amount awarded
The Ohio State University
Ronaldo da Costa, DMV, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)