Bauer the Lab from Mount Laurel, NJ

Bauer was playing fetch when a fibrocartilagenous emboli (FCE) paralyzed his back end.

Vet Bill: $4,940

Fibrocartigenous embolism claim


Bauer, a 7 year old Labrador Retriever, was a healthy pup the day that he dropped a ball at the feet of his pet parent, Sarah M., in hopes of playing fetch. No one could predict that on just the second throw Bauer would have a spinal embolism that would paralyze his back end.

Sarah tells Bauer's story:

"Bauer is a 7 year old Lab who is happiest fetching tennis balls, swimming, or laying belly-up for regular belly rubs. On a normal Sunday afternoon, Bauer dropped the ball at my feet, asking for a Chuck-It session in the large field behind our house. The NJ heat wave had finally broke- so outside we went. First throw - he retrieved the ball fine. Second throw, mid-sprint, out of nowhere, he yelped in pain and hit the ground. When I ran out to him, his legs were laying funny and he could not get up. My initial thought was a torn ACL or broken leg- but as soon as my fiance picked him up, we knew. His whole backside was limp.

We rushed him to the local Animal Hospital in Mount Laurel, NJ who advised rushing him to Penn Veterinary Hospital in Philly. Bauer saw a neurologist who, after an MRI, diagnosed him with a fibrocartilagenous embolism of the spinal cord. It was explained to me in layman's terms as a stroke in the spine which completely severed connection from his brain to his hind end. Seeing him paralyzed, confused, and scared was absolutely heartbreaking. If I could have slept on the kennel floor in the hospital with him, I would have.

Bauer spent 3 nights at Penn and then came home. The first few days were really hard. Bauer weighs about 95 pounds and is super active- so holding his rear up to give him mobility was very hard. He also was unable to go to the bathroom on his own, so daily visits to his home vet at Voorhees Veterinary Center were necessary to do a catheter or express his bladder. I have since learned how to use a catheter, and can manage that better at home.

We enrolled him in physical therapy right away, as the neurologist and his home vet said the prognosis for FCE dogs is good with lots of TLC at home and intense physical therapy. He absolutely loves the water and the doctor and technicians at PetPT in Cherry Hill, NJ are absolutely amazing. We see a little progress in Bauer each day. This weekend, his tail started wagging again, which brought tears to my eyes. He uses a cart on a regular basis to get around- which has also helped us at home tremendously. We can now go for long walks and he can chase his favorite tennis ball again. Bauer has a long road to maximum recovery, but after 2 weeks, he is doing really well.

After everything was said and done, Bauer's bills were almost $5,000. Multiple claims were submitted from all the places that cared for Bauer. I called Embrace numerous times to check on the claims and cried to more than a few people who answered the phone. I felt appreciatively moved that each person I talked to genuinely asked about Bauer's well-being before even talking about the claims. Having Embrace has taken a huge pressure away from this situation- as the cost of pet medical bills is always a heavy burden. But now, all our energies can be spent not worrying about paying the bills, but more importantly- on getting Bauer back on his feet again."

Bauer's Claim Refund

Claim DetailsAmount
Actual Vet Bill$4,940.38
Covered Charges$4,893.38
Annual Deductible$200.00
Total Embrace Reimbursement$3,754.70