Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sad day!

Today our 6-year-old Lab, Georgette, suffered a very unusual and tragic accident! She tried to jump on our bed in the morning, missed, let out a small cry, and suddenly could not use her hind legs at all! We took her to the vet, and then the vet emergency room (where Arlie and I spent four hours!). All signs pointed to FCE, or Fibrocartiligenous Embolism. This is a situation where a dog can be acting completely normal, and after playing (or a fall, such as in her case) suddenly collapses and is unable to use their back legs. What happens is the gelatinous fluid between the disks is suddenly pushed into the arterial system in the spinal column. It is essentially a "stroke" causing paralysis and nerve damage to the affected area (usually the rear limbs). At this point, Georgette can move her front legs normally, but her back right leg is completely paralyzed and drags and her left back leg is weak. Recovery can be complete or not at all. We just have to wait and see. In the meantime, we'll be taking her with us on our camping trip. We have a sling to help her move and walk and we'll just have to keep an eye on her and give her good nursing until we see some improvement, hopefully within the next few weeks. It's very sad to see a active, happy, playful dog suddenly become handicapped, but essentially, that's what it is. We will update her progress as she hopefully improves.

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