Yea, we're Great Dane lovers also and know that sick feeling all to well.
Fact is that Great Danes, regal as they are, tend to lack coordination at times, especially during the first year when they're growing like crazy. And since in Danes, Wobblers more commonly first shows with young pups and juveniles, normal, clumsy Dane coordination can certainly cause a Wobblers scare.
Please know, we are not Veterinarians. This particular page was published to share a little more information about Wobblers as we receive many, many emails regarding the disease.
In addition, we have published our Wobblers Home Test, a.k.a., "body awareness test", as many of you have written and requested it.
Woblers Syndrome is a disease that affects many breeds yet is most commonly seen in Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers. Symptoms are similar in both breeds and include lethargy, lameness, or weakness in the rear legs, loss of balance and coordination, and pain typically in the area of the neck.
Ironically, in many cases, it is not uncommon for early signs of Wobblers Syndrome to show in the front legs. You may notice your dog scraping its nail while it walks, or, landing on its knuckles rather that the paw pad, this is often referred to as "knuckling over".
A dog with advanced Wobblers disease will have a difficult time walking and maintaining balance, hence the word "Wobblers" was used to name this condition.
Although the actual cause of Wobblers Syndrome is not scientifically known, it is widely agreed upon that both heredity and nutrition are major factors for predisposition to this condition. However, injury, trauma, or excessive stress to the vertebrae can also lead to Wobblers.
This is why with young Dane puppies, it is so important to go easy. With such an exponential rate of growth, care should be given as to limit the intensity of exercise and rough play. Proper nutrition is also top priority and never commit the cardinal sin, NEVER SUPPLEMENT CALCIUM TO A DANE PUPPY!
Symptoms of Wobblers Syndrome are caused by pressure to the canine spinal cord due to vertebral instability caused by compression, or, deformity of vertebral discs, typically disc C5, C6 & C7. However, disc protrusion can also cause unnatural stress on the spinal cord.
Many acute cases of Wobblers disease can be treated using steroids with a fair success rate.
There are a variety of surgical procedures used to repair deformed discs with some success, such as cervical fusion. These procedures are major surgery and unfortunately, Great Danes do not thrive as well as other breeds after these type of surgeries.
Alternative medical procedures including "gold bead" implants and acupuncture are also used to reduce pressure on the spinal cord and are becoming more commonly chosen for Danes.
I really hope this information puts many of you more at ease.