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Name: Stacy
[ Original Post ]
Yesterday our 5 year old Lab suddenly could not use his hind quarters. He could sit up, but he couldn't walk, he could only drag his hind quarter :(
Since we are out in the country & lots of neighbors have horses, cows, mules, sheep, goats.... We thought he had gone somewhere & got taught a lesson by an animal bigger than he. We took him to the Vet immediately, since he had been running around the night before.

The Vet did X-rays and found NO Trauma, so he diagnosed our dog with FCE Fibrocartilaginous Emboli. He gave our dog high doses of steroids to reduce the swelling in his spinal cord.

Today he was suppost to be improved, but wasn't . He actually had gotten worse, his prognosis was now looking very gloom, and time would only make things worse. So we opted to put him down painlessly, rather than to let him suffer & slowly die in pain.

Has anyone ever heard of Fibrocartilaginous Emboli (FCE) & did your dog recover?
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Name: lindalu | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 5:57 PM
Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE) is a condition often characterized by acute lameness or knuckling over without apparent tenderness. Lameness can be a symptom of numerous conditions and proper diagnosis of FCE or any other condition requires a doctor's exam and or diagnostic tests (ex. x-ray, bloodwork).

Typically with FCE, the symptoms appear suddenly, often while engaged in active play such as fetch or frisbee. The dog may land from a jump incorrectly and become unable to use one or both legs normally. Handling the lame leg will not reveal any soreness or discomfort to the pet.

What is FCE?
FCE results when material from the nucleus pulposus (the gel-like material which acts as a force-absorbing cushion between two vertebrae) leaks into the arterial system and causes an embolism or plug in a blood vessel in the spinal cord. The condition is not degenerative, and therefore does not worsen. FCE is not painful for the pet, but some permanent nerve damage is likely. Roughly half of all patients diagnosed with FCE will recover sufficient use of their limbs.

Who is likely to suffer from FCE?
The most typical victims of FCE are large breed adult dogs, although all dogs are susceptible. It most often occurs during hard play or as a result of a accident or injury (ex. a hard fall or a hit by car).

Diagnosis
X-rays rule out other possible causes for the lameness and/or neurological symptoms such as fractures, inflammatory disease, cancer, or a slipped disc. Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) taps and myelograms are usually normal.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the imaging modality of choice for the diagnosis of FCE, and is a service offered at Shaker Veterinary Hospital, P.C. MRI is able to distinguish embolized areas of spinal cord from those with swelling or compression.


Axial T2 MRI Image The cross sectional view through the area of hyoerintense signal shows the area of nerve injury within the cord. There are normal CSF columns around the cord and minimum cord enlargement. If a myelogram was done, it would probably not show the this damage. Axial post contrast T1 MRI Image This is the same cross sectional view as the axial T2 view. If the area of hyperintensity were inflammatory in origin, contrast would leak out of dilated vessels and cause the area to have hyperintense (white) signal. The reason it is not present is because there is a loss of blood flow to the area preventing contrast from reaching it, consistent with a fibrocartilaginous embolus. 

Name: Deanna | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 7:27 PM
Sorry to hear that Stacy. We had a black poodle and the neighbor poisoned her and I had to have her put down. I swear I was traumatised from it! 

Name: winnmom | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 7:49 PM
stacy,
I feel for you. 11 years ago I had to put our family dog down, and it was such a hard thing to do.We put it off as long as we could, but it did not help him any, .
All the best during this hard time. 

Name: Hiddy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 8:34 PM
I recently had to have my dog put to sleep after 15 years.
Its tough, especially when you are there when they do it. 

Name: Stacy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 9:00 PM
Thank you ALL, it is a hard situation, but I couldn't stand to see him suffer. 

Name: Hiddy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 9:04 PM
Keep your dogs memory in your heart and he will be with you always 


Name: Hiddy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 9:22 PM
BTW....nice cutting and pasting lindalu.

You, sure as heck couldnt have known that off the top of your head. And how do I know you cut and pasted?

Some big words used there, bigger than what your capable of, and no spelling mistakes, highly unusual for you. 

Name: Stacy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 10:11 PM
Hiddy,
Be nice!!! Cutting & pasting is OK, why retype when you can cut & paste. 

Name: Hiddy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 10:15 PM
I am just pointing out the fact that when I comment on a post in here, its stuff that I know, off by heart.
When any of the others post anything, its cut and pasted.

The mole patrol are the ones that think "I" know nothing, yet all they can do is cut and paste. 

Name: Stacy | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 10:39 PM
BE NICE!!!! 

Name: N/A | Date: Oct 24th, 2006 10:55 PM
Im sorry stacy my first dog a westhighland terrior had the same thing happen to him spent 11 years with him:-) Now i have a 3 month old boxer and a 10 month old pitty I love em and they love each other. 

Name: charla | Date: Oct 25th, 2006 1:38 AM
stacy i am very sorry to hear that!!! 

Name: lindalu | Date: Oct 25th, 2006 2:36 AM
Yup Hiddy Im sure you do know every thing of the top of your head lol! 

Name: lindalu | Date: Oct 25th, 2006 2:37 AM
Stacy I hope the info was helpfull, and I am trully sorry for your loss. 

Name: charla | Date: Oct 25th, 2006 2:44 AM
i dont think hiddys info comes from her head top or bottum of it!!! 

Name: Stacy | Date: Oct 25th, 2006 2:56 PM
Charla, Be nice. 

Name: charla | Date: Oct 25th, 2006 7:05 PM
I WAS!!! 

Name: Jane | Date: Jun 21st, 2010 10:10 PM
our dog has it, has trouble every time he has to stand, do stairs, etc. he's a yellow lab, about 15 but we cannot afford a vet. can we give him something to do it ourselves...cannot shoot him, he's too good a dog!! 

Name: Michelle | Date: Jan 14th, 2011 7:17 PM
I just had to do the same with my 11 year old dachshund. He was diagnosed with fce, and his prognosis was very grim as well. I coudn't bear to watch him suffer, he was in a lot of pain. It helped reading your story. Thank You. 

Name: lablover | Date: Apr 20th, 2011 3:24 PM
We have just put our family dog down this week form FCE. He was only 5 1/2. He was too young. 

Name: Bianca | Date: Dec 24th, 2013 9:39 AM
If someone reads these posts, please do not listen to what most people say. After the first 24 hours of a FCE, a dog is not in ANY pain. Furthermore, the condition does not get worse. After 24 - 48 hours, if your dog is displaying more problems, he/she probably did not have a FCE. The condition gets better, not worse.

Also, please don't diagnose your pets simply based on an x-ray. You need to at least do a CT-scan or ideally a MRI to eliminate other causes.

My dog had a FCE very recently and was completely paralyzed in his hind legs. For the first few days, he was very nervous but he was in intense physical therapy and has now regained mobility.

It's extremely scary but it is no reason to simply put your dog down. Please give him/her a chance to heal, which is the norm with a FCE. 

Name: whatever | Date: May 1st, 2014 3:53 PM
Bianca not everyone was has a cash flow to do tons of tests MRIs pay for the meds and pay for intense physical therapy. My fathers dog is going through this now. He is on meds and there has been no change. The vet told us with the meds you would usually see improvement in 24 to 48 hours. My father is not mobile and he is 78 ON A VEY LOW FIXED INCOME. I work full time and cannot do it all on my own and pay for it. I have two dogs of my own. It is a hard decision but if there is zero improvement 

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