......is there an alternative to surgery?

Book sales proceeds go to Atlanta Doberman Rescue

Sneak preview of Syl’s Book! Funny escapades in the life of...


A True Journey of Hope and Success.




And after...

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 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.

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.


As soon as we suspected wobblers, I immediately switched from a collar and lead, to a harness and lead, in order to take any pressure off her neck.  We also put rubber backed runners throughout the house so that she had a safe path and was in no danger of slipping on the floors.  This increased her confidence, and more importantly, kept her safe from falling.  These two things are extremely if you suspect that your dog may have wobblers.  (Rubber backed runners can be purchased by the yard at home improvement stores.)

Sylvia's neck was wrapped from just below her ears to the top of her shoulders.  This wrap was on 24 hours a day and was changed at each acupuncture appointment.  It was very thick and pretty tight to give her stability and allow the healing to take place. (con’t next page)

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


[Home] [Neck Wrap] [Treatment] [Implant Day] [The Journey] [The Journey  Page 2] [The Journey Page 3] [All Better!] [Syl's Diet] [Links]
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