This is the story of Pippo, a beautiful young Great Danes that quite early during his growing presented symptoms related to an unfortunately quite common disease in such as giant breed. This disease is called Wobbler Syndrome (cervical spondylomyelopathy), a neurological disease affecting the spine in the neck region that result in poor transmission of nerve signals between the brain and the body. This can be translated in a general instability and a neurological disability of the body resulting in a “wobbly” uncoordinated gait.
The diagnosis is confirmed using some specific imaging tests like x-rays but the best tests are the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the computer tomography (CT) scan to examine the spinal cord and the intervertebral discs between the cervical vertebrae. In some dogs spinal fluid could be necessary to collect as a confirm of the diagnosis. The treatment for Wobbler Syndrome depends on the cause and severity of the problem, surgical or non-surgical are the two possible treatments.
The owner consulted some neurology clinicians to be sure of the final diagnosis. All of them were agree to propose a non-surgical treatment that could allow the stabilization of the disease and Pippo started his treatments based on pain killers, anti-inflammatory and food supplements.
What We Did
The owner doesn’t let go of the hopes and consulted me directly to find out whether alternative medicine could support his dog while under drug therapies. Since the physical therapy is vital in this disease I proposed sessions of electroacupuncture in order to improve the partially compromised spinal nerve conduction and sessions of manual therapy to maintain the muscle tone.
The owner exactly followed every advise suggested. We was trained to apply some manual therapy by himself at home like the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy. The collaboration of the owner to be an active part of the home therapy is very important because that allow to treat the young dog every day.
After a beginning package of every week session for a total 10 electroacupuncture treatments, our beautiful Great Danes young dog started to became more stable both on front and hind limbs. Then the TENS has been applied at home twice a week alternating with monthly sessions of electroacupuncture.
At subsequent follow-up visits neurologists were very happy overall appearance of Pippo, who just turned two years old and 75 kg in weight, can lead a peaceful life and play with his own in the fresh snow.
Pippo is currently only under maintenance therapy with drugs prescribed by specialists, turmeric and fish oil recommended by me, TENS carried out by the owner with dedication and love twice a week alternating monthly maintenance sessions electroacupuncture.
Enjoy Pippo on his Pippo Facebook fun page