Treatment Recommendation for Back Pain in Dogs from The Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic

These are a list of the things that the doctors at the Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic may recommend for back pain or back injury with your pet, this may also include disc injury.  Many times with back injuries multiple medications are needed depending on the location and pain level of your pet.  Many time your pet will re-injure their back in the future and require re-treatment.

1. Pain medications- Tramadol , hydromorphone, and buprenorphine are morphine type products that can help with back pain. This product may cause constipation; therefore, laxatives are recommended.

2. Muscle relaxants- Methocarbamol or Diazepam may be used to help reduce the amount of muscle spasms that your pet may experience with back pain. These are recommended if they are restless, panting, or unable to sleep at night.

3. Weight loss and exercise- if your pet is overweight we will recommend weight loss. Exercise is recommended to keep the muscles in the back strong. Leash walk or swimming is the best exercise. Absolutely no fetch, and no jumping should be allowed for the next month, as this type of exercise can continue to injure the back.

4. Anti-inflammatory medications- Prednisone (cortisone) may be recommended for disc disease.  This may also be recommended if your pet is not responding to other therapy.  This cannot be given with any aspirin type products. Some potential side effect include: diabetes, liver disease, immune suppression, and stomach ulcers.

5. Other pain meds may include rimadyl, aspirin, metacam, etc- these cannot be given with any type of cortisone, and should be discontinued if any vomiting or diarrhea is noted.

6. We recommend fiber to prevent constipation: canned pumpkin or metamucil.

7. Docusate sodium (Colace) may also be recommended for constipation.

8. Injectable adequan can speed healing with arthritis, and with disc disease. This is usually given 1-2 times per week for one month, then monthly.

9. Heat and massage therapy on the area that is painful may help relax the muscles and aid in recovery. This can be performed daily at home.

10. Acupuncture and a chiropractic adjustment with Dr D’Monte has had some significant success in treating back pain, and back injuries.

11. Duralactin is highly recommended as an effective anti-inflammatory agent for arthritis in the back and back injuries. This will probably be recommended for life if your pet injures their back.

12. Fish oil appears to be helpful in the treatment and prevention of back injuries and arthritis. Fish oil does take some time to build up in the body to start showing its effectiveness.

13. With disc disease it is possible for your pet to become completely paralyzed, if this happens surgery may be the only solution for this condition. Monitor your pet closely through the recovery period, and recheck immediately if worse or if not improving.

Dr. Bill Langhofer

The Scottsdale Veterinary Clinic

Open 7 am – 11 pm, 7 days per week (Closed on major holidays)