Fibrocartilaginous embolism or FCE

Suffering from a bee sting, runny tummy, cut into the nail quick or had a little mishap around the house, then you can find some friendly advice here on how to deal with life's little accidents and help your dog recover quickly or calm them down, so you can get them to the vet. If in any doubt about an illness or injury, please contact your vet as soon as possible.
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All the information provided in the First Aid section is gathered from the collective experience of our members and is provided for information purposes only. The advice contained within this section is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, care, diagnosis or treatment. Each dog is different and may react differently to the recommended first aid advice. If you suspect your pet has a medical condition, you should consult your vet as soon as possible. You use this First Aid advice entirely at your own risk. If in doubt, speak to your Vet.
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Jaffa's mum
Posts: 589
Joined: 02 Jul 2009, 16:45
First Name: Cheryl
Dog #1: Leo
is a: Black Giant Dog
Born: 0- 0-2005
Dog #2: Monty
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 08 Jan 2012
Dog #3: Millie
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: West Yorkshire

Fibrocartilaginous embolism or FCE

Post by Jaffa's mum » 10 Oct 2017, 13:22

Hi, Does anyone on here had a pet with the above back problems that has been diagnosed with FCE?
Any advice you could give us would be very welcome.
Cheryl, chief cook and bottlewasher, Peter (OH, 6ft 5ins giant,) Leon (8 year old Giant) Monty, P&S Mini (1st birthday 8th Jan 2013) Millie, P&S Mini, 1 cat (Spud) 11 chickens.

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Robin black mini
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First Name: Jo
Dog #1: Robin
is a: Black Mini Bitch
Born: 13 Dec 2014
Dog #2: Stanley st poodle
Born: 24 Nov 2012
Location: Italy

Re: Fibrocartilaginous embolism or FCE

Post by Robin black mini » 10 Oct 2017, 13:37

very sorry to hear you are encountering this very serious condition....sometimes referred to as a spinal stroke,this spinal embolism need swift attention and should be addressed asap if the dog has a chance of schnaUsers are an "at risk breed "for this condition and some links explain the condition below..
This first link has good info and I like the last statement...

"There are several sites on the Internet that contain information about FCE. Just beware that many of these are quite pessimistic about prognosis. Our experience with FCE (based on over 20 years of combined experience) is that most dogs recover to normal quality of life." ... olism-fce/" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

Also.. ... olism.aspx" onclick=";return false;

Rehab ... pathy-fce/" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

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Posts: 3802
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Fibrocartilaginous embolism or FCE

Post by zeta1454 » 11 Oct 2017, 18:02

So sorry to hear that one of your dogs may have been affected by this condition.

Although we did not have this specific diagnosis for one of our mini schnauzers, 11 years ago we did experience very similar symptoms as those described for FCE in the links Jo has provided. Our ten year old miniature schnauzer got up one morning and came to greet us as usual before suddenly collapsing on to her bottom as her back legs gave way. Her back legs appeared to be paralysed and, by the time we had got her to an emergency appointment at the vet surgery, she had lost the use of her front legs too. She was kept in the vet hospital for tests / X rays etc but no diagnosis was ever made as no cause was found at the time. Initially she had to be tube fed but she was in no pain. The nurses at the hospital would leave her "kennel" open or have her lying on a blanket near their desk in the back room, as she could neither stand or walk but periodically they would take her out to try and get her to stand. We visited every day and, to be honest, I cried every time in fear she would die. However, after a week she was eating and drinking, could toilet herself if she was supported in a standing position and she was in no pain. The vets said that they could do nothing for her, that she might improve or might not and it was our decision whether or not to take her home. We did, of course, bring her home and, with advice from the vet nurses, continued to try and encourage her to stand for as many seconds as she could, supported her to toilet etc. She did actually perk up a lot once she was home but it did take many months before we reached a state where she could walk unaided. I would carry her to a nearby green in our estate and let her walk once she could manage a few steps and progressed to taking her out in a pet buggy to different places so she could stagger about somewhere new! I would say it was many months before she was able to walk ...eventually run and actually even do a small jump! She never recovered her normal walking gait - her front legs moved stiffly and fast and her back legs moved in slow strides which meant she did look rather drunk on the move but she was such a stoic and determined girl. She was actually less noticeably disabled when moving fast but could not maintain a run and her walking pace remained slow. She needed no medication and all her "rehabilitation" was carried out by me and my partner. She definitely continued to enjoy life once she regained some independence by being able to walk unaided and lived almost to her 13th birthday before passing away after a major stroke.

I realise this may not have been FCE but, as we did not have any other diagnosis from the vets at the time, despite a range of scans and tests, and the symptoms are not unlike those of that condition, I thought it worth sharing just to hopefully give you some encouragement that, even with the most frightening of symptoms, our dogs can fight back and recover either totally or with a limited but still enjoyable quality of life. We never once regretted taking her home or the time and patience needed to rehabilitate our girl - she was our first mini and a true star in her own way :-)

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

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