9 yr. old Beagle recovering from cervical spine surgery

Hello. My 9 yr. old Beagle, Treble, is 9 days post op of a ventral slot surgery to clean a herniated disk and decompress 2 more. His whole cervical spine is not in the greatest condition. He could walk prior to and after surgery. He had severe pain after surgery and was placed on gabapentin, ketamine injections, something to protect his stomach, stool softeners, an antibiotic and a steroid. He returned home after 2 days where he was rested and carried downstairs to the bathroom. He seemed better by day 5 but still woke up shaking and in pain. The 5th day, he yelled in pain when we lifted him, and again only worse when we placed him down and he tried to walk. The vet told us to take him to physical therapy. We are 9 days out and since he finished his steroid, they moved him to NSAIDS. He has been doing well. Still stiff and painful in the morning but generally better and walking around by the afternoon. Today, he stepped up while the PT was doing laser therapy and when he moved, he cried out painfully for a while again. The PT immediately took him to the on call vet. His opinion was that Treble, because of his age, would probably deal with that pain (almost like a pinched nerve or catch) for the rest of his life and there’s nothing to stop it. It happens occasionally but not all the time. My questions are, since we are only 9 days out of surgery, could the nerve potentially heal enough that he doesn’t scream in pain every few days, the sound which haunts me. Also, he’s been walking a lot with the PT every day. Is that okay or should he mostly be resting? His neck range of motion is good and the leg causing most of the painful issues has been checked with no pain upon touching. I want to hope that he won’t be in that kind of pain for years. He has always been pretty resilient.

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Krista Magnifico
7 months ago


It sounds like you have done a really amazing job at this complicated disease. It also sounds like you need some additional help with pain management. I would ask about further options. I like methocarbomal for these cases but other options like gabapentin and buprenorphine are also meds to inquire about.
It takes time and beagles are pretty notorious for being vocal and hesitant about handling after trauma or surgery.

I hope this helps. I have a lot of information on this on my blog and YouTube channel.

Best of luck.