"The Willow Veterinary Clinic Taking General Practice to a Higher Level"
Fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE)
What is a FCE?
A FCE is a sudden blockage of a blood vessel supplying the spinal cord causing a spinal cord injury.
What causes an FCE?
The embolism material causing the blockage is thought to arise from intervertebral disc material which lie in between the vertebrae in the spinal column.
How will a dog with FCE present?
Quite often dogs are active at the event, but FCE can occur whilst inactive as well. Most dogs will yelp out at the time of the event, but seem non painful after the initial insult.
This can result in loss of function of one limb, both hindlimbs, one side of the body or all 4 limbs dependent on where along the spinal cord the insult has occurred.
Diagnosis is often made on history and clinical signs which are non-progressive. However, as signs can be similar for intervertebral disc disease (which may require surgical correction) imaging in the form of CT or MRI is quite often required to confirm diagnosis.
Treatment for this non-surgical condition is supportive care and physiotherapy. Recovery can vary greatly with some dogs back on their feet within 24 hours whereas some can take weeks to months to regain full function.
This very scary condition happened to Ethan a 7 year old whippet whose owners Barbara & Jeff Poole were out photographing their whippets running at the time. Ethan was brought to us within an hour of it happening and it wasn't until later his owners discovered that Jeff had actually captured these distressing images of it happening. Fortunately Ethan has made a fantastic recovery as the final images show
BELOW THE RECOVERY
Please click on the images to enlarge & scroll to the next one
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