In 2009, Duke suffered a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism of the spine (FCE) which is a functional equivalent of a stroke to the spinal cord rather than to the brain and caused by tiny fragments of intervertebral disc material getting into, and blocking a blood vessel supplying the spinal cord.
Duke suffered the FCE after landing heavily on his side having jumped up into the air to catch a Bee! His clinical signs for FCE were sudden and he was paralysed in both back legs. He was rushed to the nearest Veterinary Hospital where he underwent a series of tests and a diagnosis made.
Duke has continued to make slow but steady progress over the last couple of years, and although he continues to walk with a wobbly gait, he is a happy, boisterous GSD, who gets around just fine and who of course, loves his Kong!
Surprisingly, this condition is quite common in dogs and although there is no real treatment, physical therapy has been shown to influence favourable recovery.