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BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking advice!

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BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking advice!

Postby BoxerLovers » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:42 pm

My fiance and I have 2 dogs. A 4 year old boxer Capone and a 1 yr old mastiff/boxer, Caine. About 2 and a half months ago we noticed our boxer Capone acting as it he couldn't walk very good. His two front legs were knuckling and he would slip and slide all over the floors. He was not his usual active self anymore. About a few months prior to this he was less active and we thought he may have arthritis. So when this happened we knew it was something more serious. When we took him to the vet he was referred to a speciakist. We then went to a specialist and they first thought it was something neurological due to the knuckling. They gave us an estimate for what it would cost including surgery because they thought that he would need it. The final outcome was Approx 13,000$ we were ready to pay whatever we needed to fix our not. After two night stay in the hospital and xrays, MRI,CT scan etc it came back that Capone had FCE aka spinal stroke. We were told it would get better in time on its own and there was nothung that could be done other then physical therapy. They gave us instructions on exercises to do with him. He wasn't able to walk like usual but he could still get around pretty good with the harness we were provided with. We were told to take him in for acupunture as it could be really good in helping with healing so we tired it. The first and only session seemed to be going good as he wss doing it he seemed to relax instantly. But then the next day every thing changed. He could no longer stay up on his own or with little support. It was harder to go up the steps with him and instead of just holding his harness we had to pretty much lift him. It is now a month later and he is worse then ever. All he does is lay on the floor 24/7. We have to turn him over frequently...he urinates and defecate on the floor wherever he is laying and all he can do is bark when he wants something. He Don't even seen to have any personality left in him. He Just lays there all day with such a lost look. We dont knkw what to do at this point. Every one says we should put him down but that is the last option only if we know he will never get better. Apparently most dogs with this make a full recovery. Ita also not supposed to get any worse then it initially is but Capone seems to have gotten alot worse and it seems since the acupuncture. It is also said it isn't a painful diagnosis but every time we go to turn him he yelps and cries out. He even bit my fiance and I which is completely out of character for him. We are at a loss of what to do at this point. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank u.
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Re: BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking adv

Postby CarolC » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:13 pm

Hi,

Did the imaging check his neck?

You are right, FCE is not progressive. It should not get worse.

FCE also should not still hurt 2 months later. At most it hurts a couple of days or so.

All I can think is, it does not sound like FCE.

One condition that is sometimes seen in boxers is Wobbler Syndrome or Wobblers Syndrome. If it was that, I think it should show in the cervical imaging.

I have not heard of a problem worsening due to acupuncture. However, I can imagine a situation where a dog had a sore neck with instability in the vertebrae of the neck, and it got worse during a drive to and from the vet, or being lifted out of the car and back in, or onto the examining table and back off, or something like that.

I do not know what to suggest at all, because you already saw a specialist. I think you urgently need to talk to the specialist again.

Ask them if they could re-examine the cervical imaging and see if anything might have been missed. Or ask if they can get another vet in the practice to look at it and see if s/he interprets it the same way. Also, ask them if they think the imaging produced good images. I once had a cardiac ultrasound that was expensive, but in the end the report from it said essentially "lousy images" in several different ways of phrasing it. In spite of what I paid for it, it produced little useful information. I don't know if you ever get poor imaging from MRIs, hopefully not, but I would ask just to be sure.

I believe they will agree with you, these symptoms you describe do not sound like FCE.

Go ahead and be the squeaky wheel. Go ahead and advocate for your dog. I think it is your best option right now. Talk to them again. If nothing else, it sounds like he needs pain meds or a muscle relaxer or something. I'm so sorry you spent so much money and are still in this situation. Please post back what you find out.

:grouph:
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Re: BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking adv

Postby BoxerLovers » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:31 am

Yes they did check his neck. They didn't even know what it was at first. At first they thought he might have a slipped disk because on the St At they could see something compressing his neck but after all the testing we paid for they said it was one of two things and they checked for meningitis and we had to wait for the testing to come back on that...then we had to wait another day with him in ICU and they came back and told us he has FCE. At least they told us he didnt have a tumor or any thing neurological like they first suspected so he wouldn't need the surgery. So we ended up only having to pay $4000 instead of 13000. We contacted another Dr who specializes in acupuncture and Chinese medicine therapy and she is coming into our home on Monday to try the acupuncture again. We don't know what else to do. We have been thru alot with this dog. A year and a half ago we were victims of a hoke invasion and they shot two of our dogs killing one instantly and Capone got shot in the neck and survived. He was fine afterwards and this only happened a few months ago. We got a new dog when the other one died and he is about a year old now. Capone and the new dog got in alot of fights and for the past six months the new dog has been much bigger then Capone and seemed to pin capone down in alot of fights. We wonder if that is what caused this with Capone. I am going to contact the vet again because every thing i have researched does not sound like he has FCE. When he eas first diagnosed he could walk but just kinda slipped around and his paws knuckled in the front. Another thing Capone front legs are affected and with most FCE cases it usually the rear legs or all four legs. Over rhe last two months Capone for worse. With his harness on we used to be able to still walk him and take him upstairs to our room at night and he woukd help. Now he can't walk at all. He last down all day and night and barks when he wants something and we have to turn him frequently. He won't lick himself he won't do anything its like he is just there in body and not in mind. He does not have a personality or anything anymore. One thing he still has is his same appetite. I just don't understand how after every test possible they could misdiagnose him and how that would be possible bit I am getting to the bottom of it. Thank you.
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Re: BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking adv

Postby CarolC » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:28 pm

Your experience with being broken into is describing one of my worst nightmares. I don't know if his previous injury could have left him more susceptible to an injury from rough playing or play fighting or fighting. He was fine for months after he healed from being shot, but then he began having these problems, and it makes sense the playing might be involved, and possibly the past history of injury. I would really think your observation about playing with the bigger dog and being pinned down might be an important fact in this. Did you tell the vet about that, and did the vet listen to you?

You shouldn't blame yourself, because it is totally understandable that you would want another big dog after your experience, and you had no reason to keep them separate because he seemed fine. Teenaged dogs (and cats) can be full of energy and not know when to stop.

I really think if it was my dog, I would absolutely want him on some kind of anti-inflammatory (like prednisone) to see if you can get any improvement. Also, if it was my dog I would ask about a muscle relaxer. If you've ever had a sore neck, the first thing you want is a muscle relaxer. Ask them "What could it hurt???"

You said they saw something compressing his neck in one image but then they shrugged it off and decided it was nothing. I wonder if doing additional imaging focusing on that same spot might be helpful, so you can take a second look and be more sure about it.

Don't take 'no' for an answer. They don't understand how important this is to you and your family, to help this dog.

Right now while he is lying down, do you have malewraps for him to keep him dry? A malewrap is also called a belly band or a male doggy diaper. It's a wide belt that goes around the waist and fastens with velcro. You put an absorbent pad (like Poise or another adult incontinence pad) in it and change as needed. It is extremely important to keep his skin dry while he is laid up. If he lies in wet bedding, he can quickly get a urine burn on his hip and they are easier to prevent than to treat.
:malewrap:

If he still has a good appetite, that is fantastic. He's 4 years old, young and strong. I think you need to really go to bat for him. Tell them he appears worse because now he can't walk at all, and furthermore he seems painful, and you know this isn't how an FCE goes.

Actually, if you aren't getting anywhere, something else you could try is to ask elsewhere. You did what anyone would do if they had the money. You went to a specialist. But if you are getting totally nowhere with the specialist, and if you know another vet who will at least listen to you, talk to them. Tell them you did the tests, they said they couldn't find anything, they decided to call it FCE, but you know that what you are seeing does not match FCE and your dog needs help. Maybe your regular vet would consider treating him based on symptoms. Or maybe he will know of another place to refer him to.

I have had 2 unfortunate experiences with imaging here. In the first case they missed the problem completely. In the other case they weren't sure, and based on my previous bad experience I wasn't going to trust them, so I decided to have my pet treated by our regular vet and that turned out to be a good decision.

The other thing you might do is, ask your regular vet if s/he knows whether the equipment in use at the specialty place you went to is top notch. Here where I am there is a different specialty practice 90 minutes away that has the latest and best equipment for imaging. I've decided next time I need imaging, it will be worth the drive. So perhaps your regular vet knows of another practice within driving distance that happens to have newer equipment that might give better results.

I am not a vet and I have no idea what kind of equipment or expertise you have available at the place you already took him to or anywhere else. I'm just trying to think of alternatives since you still don't have the information and treatment you need. You and your dog deserve to get to the bottom of this!
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Re: BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking adv

Postby critters » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:39 am

You know, just thinking here, but I wonder what a trial of prenisone or other steroid would do? I agree with Carol that this just doesn't sound like FCE, and I wonder if he has inflammation in his neck.
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Re: BOXER with FCE(spinal stroke) ...desperately seeking adv

Postby BoxerLovers » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:42 pm

We are taking him back to the vet this Friday. I am asking them for prednisone and some pain meds also for him. After spending $4000 already on xrays, MRI, CT scan etc and being told it is FCE...which I know it is not...they are going to have to take another look at all his test and see if they missed something. I will keep u all updated soon as I have more news...hopefully better news. Thanks
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