My Husky, Thor, had a Fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) on 22nd December 2018. He just came into the house from eating his dinner and just dropped at his feet, there was no warning signs, no yelps of pain. I was in shock as I have never seen this before and called the emergency Vets.
I then dropped to my feet as my local vets stated that they couldn’t help me and we were to be referred immediately to specialist Neurologist (For MRI to test for FCE, stroke slip disc or meningitis) Being the festive season nearest one available was a 2.5 hour drive away so off we went.
He saw a neurologist that day who booked him in for MRI scan Christmas Eve. From the MRI they confirmed that is was an FCE and that I could pick him up at take him home that night to have Christmas at home together to then start the road to recover with a referral to Physio centre.
What is FCE…I never knew of it or even something like this could happen…
(Rehabilitation of Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE) As a non-surgical disease of the spinal cord, rehabilitation has a huge role to play in managing dogs diagnosed with FCE. … The level to which a patient is affected by the FCE will vary from dog to dog)
Being at 35KG dog and unable to support his right back leg so the vets gave me a sling and shoe boots to support and protect him going forward in his recovery. This was a very intense tough two weeks for both of us . He needed support 24/7 so ended up with my bed in the living room so I could be there ready if he needed anything from going to the garden, water, food. I also had to ensure floor mats where all over the house to avoid slipping over on the tiles, blocking any stairs to avoid any accidents still to this day I keep it blocked just encase! They also referred him for Physio and Hydro therapy.
At our Local Park and fellow neighbours mentioned they had great success with Canine Physio Hydro Centre at Bingham run by Pamela Marsh MSc, M.C.S.P.
We started in January this year and saw the changes to him with the physio within several weeks, you do also need to do this at home, Pam teaches you and I must admit it takes a while to build your confidence which, sometimes is very difficult to get him to relax, whereas Pam’s centre must have the right balance and calming affects bit like a spa as he always relaxes there!
After a month of physio we moved up to the Hydro Water treadmill which is a brilliant experience didn’t know this even existed for animals. I saw that after only a few sessions, he was able to walk better and for a longer period of time. I was thrilled at the changes in his recovery, which I did not expect would be so quick. I’m convinced that the water therapy really made a huge difference as we continue to go every week we see improvements thanks to Pam and her team.
Did you know “Hydrotherapy” means “water healing” in Greek, and dogs can benefit in the same way humans do.
I would say that recovery from FCE can be frustrating, and extremely exhausting at first, but it does get better. Every little milestone is a reason to celebrate