Dancing doberman disease

Dancing doberman disease

What is Dancing Doberman Disease?

Dancing Doberman disease - also known as Dancing Doberman Syndrome - is a disease only seen in Doberman dogs. It is therefore strongly believed to be an inherited disease and can the prevalence of this problem can most likely be kept at bay with stringent breeding programs that aims to breed only dogs free of the disease.

Dancing Doberman Disease (DDD) is a form of myopathy that chiefly affects the dog’s gastrocnemius muscle. (Myopathy is a term used for neuromuscular diseases where the muscle fibres do not function as they should, thereby causing muscular weakness.) The gastrocnemius muscle is a strong muscle located in the leg of the dog. This muscle is important for both standing and walking.

Both male and female Doberman dogs can develop Dancing Doberman Disease.

Dancing Doberman Diagnosis

A lot of veterinarians are still not very aware of this disease, since it is only found in Dobermans. Another problem with DDD is the fact that the symptoms listed above can be easily confused for symptoms form a wide range of other health problems, such as inflammation of the spinal cord, spinal tumors, spinal arthritis, lumbosacral disc disease, cauda equina syndrome, and cervical vertebral instability (CVI). Dancing Doberman Disease is probably more common than we tend to think, and we will probably see an increased number of diagnoses as more and more veterinarians learn more about this disease.

When a dog with neurological problems come to the vet, most veterinarians will run a number of tests in order to try and find out the reason behind the symptoms. In dogs suffering from Dancing Doberman Disease, most of these tests will come up perfectly normal – including blood count tests, x-rays, thyroid function tests, and biochemistry tests.

Symptoms of Dancing Doberman Disease

The first symptoms of Dancing Doberman Disease normally appear when the dog is 6-7 months old, but the age of onset can vary from just 4 months to up to 10 years. When the dog is standing, one of its rear legs will suddenly flex. Over the course of the following months, the problem will usually start affecting the other hind leg as well. A dog with Dancing Doberman Disease can end up alternatively flexing and extending each rear leg and this behaviour is the reason behind the name of this health problem. Many dogs will start knuckling over their rear paws and some dogs will eventually avoid standing all together; they will prefer to lie or sit. They can however still be perfectly capable of running around. There is no signs of pain associated with Dancing Doberman Disease.

Treatment for Dancing Doberman Disease

Unfortunately, there is no know cure or treatment for Dancing Doberman Disease. On the positive side, most dogs with DDD live to be as old as any other Doberman and the condition appears to be completely painless for the dog. A majority of the affected dogs can still walk. Dancing Doberman Disease is however a progressing disease that will cause increasingly weak legs and muscle atrophy.

Nervous system diseases: (click for more info)
Cauda Equina Syndrome in dogs
Cerebellar abiotrophy in dogs
Cerebellar hypoplasia in dogs
Coonhound paralysis (polyradiculoneuritis) in dogs
Dancing Doberman Disease
Epilepsy in dogs
Facial nerve paralysis in dogs
Granulomatous meningoencephalitis in dogs
Laryngeal paralysis in dogs
Polyneuropathy in dogs
Scotty Cramp in dogs
Syringomyelia in dogs
Tick paralysis in dogs
White dog shaker syndrome
Wobbler disease in dogs