Objectives: To evaluate the clinical evolution and potential risk factors of 51 dogs treated conservatively for disc-associated wobbler syndrome.
Methods: Medical records of dogs treated conservatively for disc-associated wobbler syndrome were reviewed, and owners were contacted regarding clinical evolution and survival of their animals. Relationships between age, treatment before diagnosis, type of neurological signs, results of medical imaging and outcome were determined.
Results: Fifty-one dogs underwent conservative treatment for disc-associated wobbler syndrome. A successful outcome was achieved in 45 per cent (23 of 51) of the patients. Median follow-up period was 18.5 months, and median survival time was 47 months. In 85 per cent of the dogs in which euthanasia was performed because of disc-associated wobbler syndrome, this was carried out in the first year after diagnosis. Outcome score was influenced by type of neurological signs and additional radiographic and/or myelographic abnormalities. Outcome score was not significantly associated with age, number of protruded intervertebral discs, occurrence, type and results of treatment before diagnosis.
Clinical Significance: Conservative treatment of disc-associated wobbler syndrome is associated with a guarded prognosis. It can be considered in cases where all four limbs are not affected and no additional radiographic and/or myelographic abnormalities are detected.