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I am veterinary nurse student living in Denmark, with my husband and my Miniature Schnauzer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Dog Was Diagnosed With FCE

After a sleepless night without any worsening of Colas symptoms, she was put under and prepared for a CT scan. A CT scan (computerized tomography) makes a three-dimensional image from a series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken from different angles. With this method the vet can for example see a herniated disc or a tumor.

Colas fist scan showed no abnormalities. For me this was pretty devastating, as I was actually hoping for a herniated disc. To make sure nothing was “hiding” form us a myelogram was made.

A special dye, a contrast material, was injected into my dogs spinal canal to show where the spinal cord or nerves may be damaged. The next CT scan with the myelogram showed a little narrowing over one disc in the neck area, but the narrowing was not serious, and should not be able to cause the kind of symptoms my dog has.

So by the process of elimination we have ended up with FCE. FCE also fits because she is in no pain, and the lameness affects one side of her body, which it often does. I really hope this diagnosis is the right one, and that there is no secondary problem.

The narrowing shown on the myelogram CT kind of got me worried, but as one of the vets said “We could make a scan of everyone, and on most scans we would find something. Most of the finds will never ever cause a problem.” He’s right.

I understand that FCE dogs that feel pain when pinch between their toes have a good chance of recovery, and luckily my dog does feel pain when pinched.

The treatment for dogs with FCE consists of steroids to decrease inflammation in her spinal cord, and rehabilitation. Cola had a shot of steroids today and I’ve talked to our small animal physiotherapist about rehabilitation.

I feel lucky to be working in a hospital where we’ve got a physiotherapist, a water walker treadmill and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) available for me to use.

Cola started with 2xTENS this evening. She is quite depressed, her bladder had to be emptied manually, and she got diarrhea from the medicine treatment. I can see that see feels bad when she has an accident, and I so hope she will be able to go to the toilet herself soon.

I’ve started modifying one of my dog harness designs, to be able to support both front and hind legs so that she’ll be able to walk a bit, and feel that she has some control.
Now all we can do is hope for the best!

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