Hi. My 9 year old golden retriever had back surgery for a herniated disc…

Hi. My 9 year old golden retriever had back surgery for a herniated disc in his lower back almost one year ago. He was unable to use his back legs at all before surgery. Following the surgery he was able to get up and walk again. It was a very rough recovery because all the medicine he was on made him very sick to his stomach. We did get through 3 weeks of misery and were so happy to have our baby back. However he has continued to have bouts of rough times. He has walked with a limp since the surgery but also has had times where his back legs give out on him and accidents. We manage him on steroids when this happens and they are a miracle he will get better again. The problem is when he is on steroids for longer then a week he loses control of his bladder and his bowel movements. He once again is having a bout of his back legs giving out on him where he is falling over. I gave him a steroid tonight in hopes that a few days of steroids and rest will help him again. We spent over 8,000 and in no way could afford another surgery. Do you know of anything else we can do for him or any other medications we could try? We love him so much but he is a very large golden and weighs 120lbs which makes harder to handle. He is still so sweet and showing no signs that he is in pain. The steroids do work but I can not have my house ruined by the horrible accidents they cause. I will take any advice on this subject. Thank you so much!

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Krista Magnifico
3 years ago

Hello, I don’t know where you are or what access you have to veterinarians? If you are in the USA go back to the neurologist who did the surgery and ask for help. Or go to your veterinarian. I would ask about alternatives to the steroids. Like an NSAID. Which will hopefully not have such an adverse effect short or long term. I would also ask about medications like gabapentin, etc. also ask about physical therapy like aqua therapy or even acupuncture. A cart or sling might also help. My advice is to keep asking for help from people you… Read more »

carrie Urquhart
3 years ago

I would recommend weight loss, and pain medication and nsaids, like Dr magnifico said. Weight plays a big role in back pain. In my experience steroids don’t do alot to control pain and inflammation, but there are many options available that do and don’t cause bladder control issues.

3 years ago

I am so sorry that you are owing through this. It is very hard to watch when your pet is having a hard time. A few words of advice- first, perhaps when he is on the steroids you can keep him contained to say the kitchen where an accident if it happens, is less likely to cause damage and easier to clean up. Second- your vet may be able to recommend some homeopathic medicines to help, either in addition to the steroids or to help reduce the need for them. I would talk to the vet and ask if they… Read more »