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Wobblers……is there an alternative to surgery? July 20, 2008

Posted by MSW in Wobbler Syndrome.

PLEASE NOTE THIS WEBSITE is now at http://www.syllysylvia.com/

This site was created to tell the story of Sylvia and the alternative treatment used in the healing of Wobblers, (as prescribed by several veterinarians, both conventional and holistic). It is meant to provide information for those who prefer to avoid invasive treatment (spinal surgery), and I have included the names of Sylvia’s veterinarians for those who wish to pursue the information further. Along with this, is information on Sylvia’s diet, supplements,and vaccination protocol that I have followed. A more detailed story appears in the Summer and Fall ’99 issues of Doberman Quarterly. A further update can be found in the Fall 2001 issue.


SYLVIA is a rescue we adopted in March 1995 when she was 14 months old. She’s a wild clown whose antics have provided fodder for the “Sylly Syl” stories in the Doberman Quarterly and The Doberman Annual. She participates in obedience and agility and her story can be enjoyed at: Sylvia and Mo……on the web.

In late December 1998, I noticed that she was slipping on our hardwood floors, but other than that, she was as active as ever. Having had one bitch with wobblers, Syl’s symptoms were so different that I assumed she just needed an adjustment. So off we went to Dr. Bill Connolly who practices sports medicine.


In watching her move, he saw something far more serious. An x-ray sent to the University of Georgia resulted in his recommendation for a myleogram and surgery at the University. I explained that while he knew medicine, I knew my dog and her personality would not handle the required months of inactivity following surgery, nor did I want to proceed with such invasive treatment. I told him that I wanted to treat her with acupuncture and any other holistic means he could come up with. He agreed.


After the first set of 3 treatments we began a weekly routine. On the first of these visits, Dr Connolly mentioned an upcoming seminar for holistic vets on gold bead implants. Dr. Terry Durkes of Marion, Indiana was coming to Atlanta in eight weeks to teach the seminar. The implants would produce a constant stimulation of the acupuncture points, eliminating the need for weekly treatments. He asked if I might be interested in implants for Sylvia, to be done by Dr Durkes at the seminar. Of course I was. READ MORE



Team Sylvia


Dr. Bill Connolly of Gwinnett Animal Hospital, Snellville, GA, who recommended surgery, but when I refused, picked up the ball and found someone who could address wobblers with an alternative solution. 770-972-0447


Dr Terry Durkes, Western Avenue Animal Hospital, Marion, IN who paved the way with his treatment of wobblers–implanted acupuncture beads and a neck wrap. His gentle hands and intuitive ways provided the final step in her healing process. 765-664-0734 Email: durkes1@mcleodusa.net Website: http://www.durkesanimalhospital.com/


Dr. Sandy Hedge of Briarcliff Animal Hospital, Atlanta, GA, Syl’s conventional vet, who trains with us and knew that Sylvia’s personality was not suited for conventional methods. 404-874-6393

Dr. Susan Wynn of Wynn Clinic for Theraputic Alternatives, Marietta, Ga, whose interest and support was greatly valued, along with her wonderful website. http://www.altvetmed.com/ 770-424-0303

A most heartfelt thank-you to Syl’s team.


Christy Waehner

Atlanta, GA


Janine Adams wrote a wonderful article on Syl’s treatment and recovery in the August 2001 issue of The Whole Dog Journal. She did a superb job interviewing me and has some wonderful quotes form her interview with Dr Durkes as well.

Questions? Please email Christy at Syllly Syl@aol.com



1. rescuedobe - August 8, 2009

Hi all! I’m so happy to see Sylvia’s story here and hope that Titi continues to do well.

I have a new project that I just finished up! It’s the Sylly Sylvia book! You can take a look at the first 15 pages at this site:


This is not the story of her recovery from wobblers, as you can read about that on her site, but it’s a celebration of her madcap escapades with her buddy Mo. I hope you’ll take a look!
Christy Waehner

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