This is the ordeal my wife and I are facing. We have a shih-tzu. She is the best dog we have ever had, and only 3 years old. About a year ago, she hurt her back, we still don't know how that happened. We took her to the vet and they gave her a steriod shot & some muscle relaxer and told us to keep her quiet. She was better the next day, but the 2nd day she had a terrible relapse. We then had to take her back to the vet, this time they kept her in the "hospital" for several days. During this time, she was diagnosed with a bad kneecap. It kept slipping out of place. She finally overcame her back problems, and had the knee surgery. We thought she was as good as new.......now 10 months later, she is in the same situation. If you have never been around a shih-tzu, you are missing one of the most loving dogs around - at least ours is, maybe because she is spoiled. We have been trying the steriods, muscle relaxer, etc again for the last 7 days. Last night, she was in so much pain, that she did not want to be touched.....at all. That is totally unlike her. Even though she didn't want us to touch her, she still wanted to be close to us. It was terrible watching her just stand up in so much pain, that she could not sit or lay down. We took her to the vet, and again they kept her. Now they are saying that this medicine doesn't seem to be working and that we are probably going to need surgery on her disc. We really don't want to do this, but we can't bear to see her in so much pain. Sorry for the ramble, but pet lovers understand, and others will say "it's only a dog". It is only a dog, if you don't have one to love. Just wondering what to exect from this surgery, and how long she will be down.