Dancing Doberman Disease 

Have you ever heard of a dancing disease? We all think of dancing as an entertaining and fun activity, even an art form, but a disease?  Indeed, there is such a disease, and if you are the owner of a Doberman Pincher, or a dog aficionado, you might have heard of it.  

Doberman Pinchers are very special and popular. They are known as athletic, strong and handsome dogs. One of the breed-specific diseases is Dancing Doberman Syndrome or Disease. 

The disease is progressive and is characterized by the animal holding up one rear leg while standing and switching to the other leg, back and forth in a motion that looks like a dance. Over the years, the back legs become weaker and the muscles atrophy. 

Dobermans of any age or gender can present signs that start with holding the rear leg up. Over time both legs are involved and the dog presents the typical "dance" signs. Some dogs will knuckle and will prefer sitting on standing.   The condition is not painful and affected dogs can run, jump or play. The disease is similar to hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies in humans. In some cases, there is a sensation of burning soles or discomfort with pressure on the feet. A similar sensation might cause constant lifting of the feet in dogs with Dancing Doberman Disease.  

At the present time there is no treatment or cure, nor cases of spontaneous recovery.  

Despite the progressive nature of the disease, affected dogs appear to have a full and comfortable life and the long-term prognosis for a pain-free, acceptable pet is good.

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Yuval Nir
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