Until this extremely frightening situation happened to one of ours we had never heard of FCE. On the day it happened we had taken the dogs out specifically to capture some images of them running. They had done a couple of runs after their ball and all was well. On the third run Ethan suddenly started screaming in agony and his back legs had suddenly become paralysed. It happened extremely quickly and it was just as though he had been shot. At first we thought one of the others had run into him and his hind right leg had come out of socket at the hip and then it looked like he might have broken his back. It was just absolutely shocking and very scary to say the least. We tried to keep him calm as not only was he screaming in pain he was absolutely terrified. Jeff rang his daughter Vicky, also our vet, who suspected it was an FCE. We took him straight to the practice and within an hour of it happening he could almost hold his weight and had some control, albeit small, return in his hind legs. The fact that the pain had almost gone and that there was some improvement strongly suggested it was text book FCE, he was given a steroid injection but nothing else. This type of recovery can happen quite quickly or it can take hours or even days before you start to see an improvement depending on where in the spine it happens. A neck FCE will affect all the legs and cause paralysis in them all. We took him home and kept him very quiet on a padded bed in a crate. Luckily he still had control of his bladder and bowel. We were to monitor him closely and if the improvement did not continue then he was to be scanned. Hydrotherapy & physiotherapy would have also followed to aid his recovery. His muscles in his back and thighs had gone into spasm as well so we gently massaged him several times a day and this really seemed to help him.
The images show there was no collision & exactly what happened and also his recovery. Unbelievably after two weeks he was back having short walks with the others both on and off the lead. We are so lucky that he recovered so quickly and pray we never experience this again in any of our dogs. Apparently this condition is more common than you would think and dogs can have a very good recovery which can take from days to months. There is lots of information on websites and I am putting a link to one of these which is well worth reading and recommend it. Apparently also once they have had this happen it does not mean it will ever happen to them again and they can usually continue with a normal life. Another reason for sharing this is to highlight this condition as we would not want anyone to make the wrong decision on your dogs future if this was misdiagnosed by your vet as a more serious spinal condition which might result in euthanasia.
I hope you find the images and information useful and hopefully it will never happen to any of yours.