When to Put a Dog Down With Wobblers

When to Put a Dog Down With Wobblers

Wobblers Syndrome, also known as cervical spondylomyelopathy, is a condition that affects the cervical spine of dogs, causing compression of the spinal cord. This can lead to a variety of neurological symptoms, including weakness, incoordination, and paralysis. Unfortunately, in severe cases, the quality of life for these dogs can be greatly diminished, leading to the difficult decision of when to put them down. Here are some factors to consider:

1. How severe are the symptoms?
If your dog is experiencing severe pain, paralysis, or is unable to walk, it may be an indication that their condition has progressed to a point where euthanasia should be considered.

2. Are the symptoms progressing rapidly?
Wobblers can progress rapidly in some cases, leading to a rapid decline in your dog’s quality of life. If your dog’s symptoms are worsening quickly, it may be a sign that euthanasia should be considered sooner rather than later.

3. Is your dog responding to treatment?
In some cases, dogs with Wobblers can respond well to medical management, such as anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. However, if your dog’s symptoms are not improving or are worsening despite treatment, it may be a sign that euthanasia is the most humane option.

4. Can your dog maintain their bodily functions?
If your dog is unable to control their bladder or bowels, leading to frequent accidents and discomfort, it may be an indication that their condition has progressed to a point where euthanasia should be considered.

5. Is your dog experiencing a poor quality of life?
Assessing your dog’s overall quality of life is crucial. If they are in constant pain, unable to enjoy their favorite activities, or seem to be suffering, it may be time to consider euthanasia.

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6. Have you consulted with your veterinarian?
Your veterinarian is your best resource when making this difficult decision. They can assess your dog’s condition, provide guidance, and help you determine the best course of action.

7. Are there any other treatment options available?
In some cases, surgery may be an option for dogs with Wobblers. However, this is a complex procedure with varying success rates. If surgery is not feasible or has been unsuccessful, euthanasia may be the most humane choice.


1. How long can a dog live with Wobblers?
The prognosis for dogs with Wobblers varies depending on the severity of the condition and the response to treatment. Some dogs can live a relatively normal life span with proper management, while others may have a shorter life expectancy.

2. Can Wobblers be cured?
Wobblers cannot be cured, but symptoms can be managed with medication, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

3. Will my dog be in pain?
Dogs with Wobblers can experience varying degrees of pain, which can be managed with medication. However, in severe cases where pain cannot be adequately controlled, euthanasia may be considered to prevent further suffering.

4. Can Wobblers be prevented?
Wobblers is believed to have a genetic component, so prevention is not always possible. However, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding excessive exercise in large breed dogs may help reduce the risk.

5. How do I know if my dog has Wobblers?
If your dog is exhibiting symptoms such as a wobbly gait, weakness, or difficulty walking, it is important to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI, or myelography may be necessary.

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6. Can Wobblers be treated without surgery?
While surgery is often the most effective treatment for Wobblers, some dogs may respond well to conservative management, including medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

7. Is euthanasia the only option for dogs with Wobblers?
Euthanasia is a difficult decision to make, but in severe cases where a dog’s quality of life is greatly diminished and other treatment options have been exhausted, it may be the most compassionate choice to prevent further suffering.