Pet Insurance Quotes

Get FREE Quotes!

Wobbler Syndrome in Dogs

Big dog in a walking wheelchair


Wobbler Syndrome Overview

Wobbler syndrome, or cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) is a spine disease that occurs when compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots in the neck region leads to neurological issues, most notably a wobbly gait.


Signs & Symptoms

  • Wobbly gait
  • Neck pain
  • Weakness
  • Short-stride walking Inability to walk
  • Muscle atrophy in the shoulder area
  • Worn or scuffed toenails from uneven walking
  • Difficulty getting up from lying position


Commonly Affected Breeds


It is most commonly found in large breed dogs. Breeds that appear to be predisposed to this condition include Doberman Pinchers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds and Basset Hounds.




Wobbler syndrome is diagnosed via visualization. That means your dog will need to undergo X-rays, CT scans and MRI imaging, which will allow your veterinarian to view the spine and vertebrae. X-rays are used to rule out bony disorders while CT scans and MRI’s are used to visualize the compression of the spinal cord.


Treatment Options


Treatment will depend on the location of the spinal compression and the severity of your dog’s condition. The most common and effective treatment for Wobbler Syndrome is surgical repair. This will alleviate the compression on the nerves and reduce the symptoms by fixing the underlying issue. Surgery involves implanting an artificial disc (cervical arthroplasty) in place of the affected disc space to correct the issue. Physical therapy, medication and even diet changes may also provide relief.

Fortunately the prognosis for dogs with Wobbler's has improved drastically over the past decade due to advancements in technology and surgical treatment. Unfortunately, spine surgery to treat Wobbler Syndrome costs thousands of dollars.

Cost to Treat: $5,000 to $6,000


Get free pet insurance quotes


Other Spine Issues in Dogs


Related Content


Common Pet Health Problems


Get FREE Quotes! BBB Business Review

We’ve generated over 1 million quotes and sold thousands of plans.
About Us

Magruff's Story

“Our pet insurance plan saved us $4,300 when our dog Magruff needed hip surgery.” - Lou & Kim
Pet Insurance Reviews

Why Use Us?

  • Compare all 12 companies
  • Save 25% by comparing rates
  • Fast, free and 100% independent

See How We Can Help

Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance pays up to 90% for veterinary treatment when your dog or cat gets sick or injured.

Learn More

Compare Plans & Prices From the Top Companies

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance ASPCA Petplan Pet Insurance Pets Best Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance Nationwide Trupanion FIGO