Arthritis or possible disc degeneration

Orthopedic/Arthritis: Problems associated with joints, bone, and connective tissue, and CH (cerebellar hypoplasia), or brain damage.
Post Reply
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:14 pm

Arthritis or possible disc degeneration

Post by Kepola » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:30 pm

My dog Benni (13 years) has had back issues all her life. Every now and then she jars it either playing with my other dogs or gets too excited and strains it. The past couple weeks though, she has been in pain and the vet says that if it is disc degeneration, there is no cure. Even with surgery, no guarantee and she isn't a great candidate to be put under with anesthetic as she has had issues with that before with her teeth. I can't put her though that so we are using Gabapentin and Metacam (liquid) and another anti inflammatory (can't remember name...methocarbamol).
The gabapentin makes her groggy and she has problems with wobbly legs after the dosage (which is very common from what I read). over the weekend, she was not too bad actually. Tried to walk more around the yard, still eating and drinking, doing her business outside, etc. The drugs do make her thinks she is better as well so will tend to walk around more in the house. We are carrying her up and down the stairs as per Vet request to alleviate her pain. She thinks she can sprint outside or jump up though, so constantly have to watch her and never leave her alone for a minute fearing she will hurt herself again.
We pick her up with one hand under her bum and one hand over her chest so that she is supported to carry her outside or up stairs. She seems good for a few days and then rejars it again. Crate confining made her aggitated and she tried pushing the door with her face and legs and once again hurt herself, cried a little.
She has rebounced before but this time it is much more worse. The vet is monitoring her but it is so hard to know if it is helping. Vet told me it would take 6-8 weeks for improvement and I don't want her to be in pain for that long. My husband and I thought we had to take her in last week and thought that was the end as that day was a bad day for her, lots of crying and pain when touched. Much better since then, and we are hoping rest helps. Just it is so hard to have her rest as she doesn't understand for weeks upon weeks. We are hoping that this will help her as it is our last thing to try given her age.
Has anyone else tried these drugs with their dogs? sugggestions?

User avatar
Founding Member
Posts: 13341
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:00 pm

Re: Arthritis or possible disc degeneration

Post by critters » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:13 am

:whale: For back/spinal problems you will also want to see the neuro board at viewforum.php?f=4 for lots of ideas. The meds are good. Could some of the crying be behavioral (such as looking for attention)? Many critters highly protest being crated.

Yes, I had a spinal cord injured boy who used 2 rounds of gabapentin for nerve zaps, and it worked nicely.

User avatar
Posts: 12326
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:00 pm

Re: Arthritis or possible disc degeneration

Post by CarolC » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:58 pm

Dolly was given the same thing (methocarbamol / brand name Robaxin) for neck pain plus Rimadyl. The Robaxin is a muscle relaxer and the Rimadyl is an NSAID as Metacam is. I had her crated in a playpen and she was crying/barking it seemed endlessly day and night, it was very stressful for her and the rest of the family. She is not a big drama queen but she is maybe a little high strung, but I could tell that she could not get comfortable, and that was not her fault. All that barking was not helping her neck either, and it was driving me crazy because she had her medicine and I felt like there was nothing else I could do for her but keep her crated and wait for it to work. When your dog is like that, every day seems about as long as 3 days. :waiting:

Then the vet added Diazepam (Valium) and wow! It made all the difference right away. It didn't make her sleepy, it just made her more like her normal self and she was finally able to relax and began to get better fairly quickly. You might ask the vet if that would be an option for your dog. Where I live it is a controlled substance so they only gave me one tablet, which was 4 doses, but that was enough.

The experts do stress the importance of 6 weeks of crating for a back problem if you are not going to do surgery. I do understand you tried that and it was a problem when the dog hates it so much she makes herself worse trying to get out. If the Diazepam helps her tolerate it, then hopefully you can crate her and let her really heal. If you just crate her till she appears better, she is more likely to have a relapse. They recommend 6-8 weeks to let the disk fully heal.


P.S. Forgot to add, the vet also increased the dose of medication my dog was on. She started on a lower dose, it wasn't enough, so he increased it. If you feel the medication is not working well enough for her this time, you might ask the vet whether s/he thinks increasing the dosage would be an option. Note that I am not a vet and am only sharing what was done with my dog.

Post Reply