Losing a dog to Wobblers


I wanted to do a series of posts addressing very common dog diseases/ailments. We’ve lost 3 dogs to these and I’m always left questioning if I could have done something different, better, or something to have kept these loves of my life around longer. The answer is mostly no, bloat being the possible exception. We lost our second dog to Wobblers, which given our losses, I’d take this one if I had to choose.

We adopted a 1yr old Doberman that was purchased from a pet store. He came to the rescue when the family somehow couldn’t get a Mange diagnosis and were at the end of their financial rope trying to get Jimmy healthy. When we got him, he was missing about a quarter of his fur and had been kept outside as he never knew how to ask to go outside.

At about the age of two, we noticed that he was holding his back left leg. He’d hold it up, occasionally rest on his knuckles. After tests and xrays yielding nothing visibly wrong, we decided it was Wobblers. A crazy expensive MRI might have been more telling but ultimately, there was very little we were going to do to beat this. We were VERY lucky that his was a slow onset. We tried Rimadyl, Prednisone, and even acupuncture, and chiropractic treatments that all made no difference. We even tried getting steroid shots, but the vet insisted on putting it in his left hip rather than in his neck where Wobblers is the problem.

Surgery is an option, but it’s not a guarantee.

As time progressed, Jimmy used his back left leg less and less. We knew that his time would come when he could no longer walk. The year of his 11th bday, we had a few days where Jimmy had accidents in his bed and wasn’t getting up anymore. We made the appointment. The night before we gave him pizza, his favorite. The morning we were to take him in, that rascal got up and went and stood in the backyard sunning himself. I canceled the appointment. We knew we were on borrowed time, so for every week he continued, he got a “last meal”. He got Thanksgiving dinner and he got a bacon wrapped hot dog. He didn’t finish the hot dog and again couldn’t get up and was having accidents again. We again made the appointment. That appointment, he didn’t get up.

What I can say about this being the way we lost this fantastic dog is that we had a good long time with him. 11yrs is a good run for a lot of dogs. We were lucky for the most part in that we knew when it was time to let him go. It’s always about quality of life. So many dog owners are so selfish and continue to keep their pets going, which pets will always want to keep going for you. It’s just not right.

posted under Misc, Other pets/animals

You must be logged in to post a comment.