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Dancing Doberman Disease

Dancing Doberman disease is probably genetic.

Dancing Doberman disease is a condition in some Doberman pinschers that affects their rear limbs while they're standing up.

Cause of Dancing Doberman Disease

The cause of this condition isn't known for sure, but it's suspected to be a genetic neurological or muscular condition.

Signs of Dancing Doberman Disease

When a dog has dancing Doberman disease, one rear leg is held up, or flexed, while the other is straight. This occurs when the dog is in a standing position.

After a few months, the other leg often becomes affected, and the dog will appear to be dancing back and forth on the rear legs—as one goes down the other lifts. The condition doesn't seem to cause pain, and it only occurs when a dog is standing still, not when running or lying down.

As more time goes on, muscles in the rear limbs can atrophy, or become smaller and weaker.

Diagnosis of Dancing Doberman Disease

There is no specific way to diagnose the condition with certainty. However, other conditions that may cause similar signs should be ruled out because they have more severe progressions. One of these differential diagnoses is IVDD, or intervertebral disc disease, of the lower spine. Another is cancer of the lower back spinal cord or nerves.

Treatment of Dancing Doberman Disease

No treatment has been found to control the symptoms. However, most dogs don't seem to be negatively affected in their daily lives by the condition.

Some veterinarians do recommend massage of the leg muscles routinely to help avoid the atrophy that can be seen later in the course of the disease.

Affected dogs shouldn't be bred because dancing Doberman disease most likely has a genetic basis.

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