What is Puppy Paralysis?

Puppy Paralysis or FCE (Fibrocartilagenous Embolism) affects a small minority of Irish Wolfhound puppies and may be hereditary. It typically occurs between the ages of eight and sixteen weeks. The puppy suddenly loses the use of its hind legs due to an embolism in its spinal cord. If the puppy receives prompt veterinary attention, within about three hours, the administering of a steroid and anti-inflammatories greatly aids recovery.Once initial recovery has been achieved, physiotherapy, acupuncture and extended hydrotherapy (“doggy paddle”) usually allows a near complete recovery.

The condition occurs in wolfhound puppies, older dogs in other breeds and humans and relatively few vets have encountered it. Since time is of the essence for successful treatment a wise owner will draw attention to the possibility of FCE. It is a good idea to check if your vet knows about FCE early on. http://www.robinsonvet.com/documents/Fibrocartilagenoussynd.pdf

Hounds that have had FCE should not be used for breeding.