Long term use of Prednisone in pets

An owner holds her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

One of the more commonly prescribed drugs in veterinary medicine is the drug Prednisone. The most common use of this medication is as an anti-inflammatory agent used in a wide variety of  chronic diseases, including:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Skin/ear allergies
  • Respiratory disease
  • Asthma
  • Neurologic disorders

Prednisone has also been used as an immune suppressive agent in immune mediated disorders of the body, as well as part of many chemotherapy protocols.

How long can my dog or cat stay on Prednisone?

When used appropriately, short-term use of Prednisone does not have a lot of side effects in animals; however, when used long- term, there are increased risks of toxicity and side effects.

What are the side-effects of Prednisone in dogs and cats?

Common side effects include increased thirst/urination, appetite and respiratory rate, as well as changes in behavior from lethargy to hyperexcitability. Secondary organ problems of the pancreas (including diabetes and pancreatitis), liver and adrenal glands may occur as well as thinning of the bone and skin. In addition, secondary viral and/or bacterial infections in any organ system may occur, especially of the urinary tract and skin. In some sensitive pets, gastrointestinal erosion and ulceration may occur, leading to bleeding and possibly anemia.

Whenever a pet is on long-term Prednisone, it is always worthwhile asking about other alternative drugs, including other anti-inflammatory agents, including antihistamines, as well as other immune suppressive agents such as cyclosporine. Herbal remedies such as licorice may also be helpful in some cases.

Most pets, however, can be maintained on chronic low-dose alternate day Prednisone therapy for a long time, as long as periodic veterinary exams and labwork are done to detect any possible side effects.

Have questions about your pet being on Prednisone? Ask your questions in the comments below! 

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  1. My dog has inflammatory bowel disease and has gone through a whole first prescription of prednisone and gained a little weight. After being off of it for a short period of time she lost substantial weight again. Are there any other medicines available to treat this disorder? I think this disorder was originally brought on by a large seizure experienced by my dog when it was 1 year old but have no proof. I read somewhere that a drug used to treat crohn’s disease in humans could possible be used. The dog is a pitbull but is hovering around the 30 some pound mark. You can see all of her ribs. Do you have any thoughts?

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 22, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    You can try yucca intensive by azmira which has cortisone like natural herbs in it.

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Prednisone may be needed for longer period of time. I would ask about drug called metronidazole, as well as consider changing to natural home made diet such as raw meat based diet. Look at natures variety on 1800petmeds. Also add enzymes and probiotics to meals such as naturevet enzymes and Fast balance. You can also consider supplement called fidomucil which you can get from http://www.animalessentials.com

  4. My 7.5 yr old Rottweiler is an allergic mess. We have been doing Allercept immuno therapy and are approaching a year into the therapy. Thus far, the immuno therapy isn’t not having any effect. He has been taking hydroxizine for many years now and it doesnt help either. I have been extremely diligent about both his antihistamines and his immuno therapy despite the fact that neither has really helped.

    The only thing that has ever given him any relief is prednisone. Though I will continue to hold on to the hope that one day the immuno therapy will start working, I want to know what is considered “long term use” for steroids?

    Understanding that long term use of steroids can cause problems in the long run and I dont want to shorten his life or quality of life anymore than it will be.

    Though I dont know the exact dosage offhand, he has had no more than 4-5 prednisone shots per year for about 3 years now. The shot gives him relief for about 2 months. With the long term effects i’ve read in mind, I have done my best to spread those shots out as far as i can.

    Any insight on if my case would be considered long term and possibly harmful use would be much appreciated. Thanks

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Sounds like you are doing everything possible. Intermittent prednisone is usually not a problem, as long as periodic labwork is done to check for hidden other health issues. I would consider a home made diet as described in book Dr Pitcairns guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd which has some excellent suggestions. Also consider holistic therapy known as NAET which you can google for animals on line and see if you can find a vet in your area skilled this allergy elimination technique that can often work wonders in allergic dogs.

  6. Thank you very much. So would consider what I described as Intermittent? I just havent been able to get a solid answer on what kind of usage would be considered harmful in the long run. Thanks again

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    3 to 4 shots a year of prednisone should not be a problem, although I prefer the injections not to be the long acting form known as depomedrol. your vet can tell if you that is what it is. In those cases, either shorter acting vetalog injections or perhaps oral prednisone tapered to lowest effective dose to control clinical signs would be best. Many dogs can be tapered to low dose every other day therapy, and that is safest way of using prednisone in animals. Also can ask your vet about different drug called atopica for allergies, although that drug much more expensive. Good luck.

  8. I curious about using prednisone long-term to reduce inflammation… My dog is 11 or 12 and has had some recent issues with stability in her back legs and falling here and there. She wobbles a lot in her back end when she walks. I took her to the vet today since she has been falling a lot lately. The doctor said she more than likely has degeneration in her spinal column and is not getting good nerve conductance. He went through my options, scans, possibly surgery (depending what the official diagnosis is), no surgery… Due to her age and the cost of surgery, I am choosing to make her as comfortable as possible. She is currently on prednisone for allergies, so she currently cannot take what the doctor recommended, Rimadyl. Once her allergies die down, I would then be able to switch her to Rimadyl. Since she suffers from allergies most of the year, could I keep her on prednisone long term to treat any discomfort from spinal degeneration and allergy issues? Do you have any other recommendations?

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Low dose every other day prednisone therapy is usually ok long term as long as periodic blood work done, and no digestive or pancreatic side effects. You could also ask vet about prescription drug tramadol. Consider supplements like vetridisc from company vetriscience, and ligaplex II from company standard process which you can get on line. Also a good case for chiropractic and/or acupuncture. To find a vet trained in this see http://www.AHVMA.org

  10. 7 yr old female Corgi. She was diagnosed with Multifocal lesions affecting the maxillary branch of CNN 5 (left and right) and CNN 7 (left) and the cervical spine. Neuritis of the trigeminal/facial nerves and myelitis of the cervical spinal cord. She has been on Prednisone & Cyclosporine since July. The Predisone seems to take care of the constant pain she was experiencing and I am now administering 1/2 pill twice a day and 25mg Cyclosporine twice a day. She has been comfortable at that dosage. I would like to get her off the Prednisone completely and will try 1/2 pill once a day starting today until I’m out. I have extra Cyclosporine so will keep her on, 25mg once a day, until it’s gone. The Cyclosporine doesn’t seem to have any affect and is quite expensive and the initial doses were 100mg twice a day. Neurological specialist I’ve been seeing says try it and see what happens. I just don’t want her to have a reccurence of the pain. She has gained a few pounds on the Prednisone and has a bloated belly but her blood work is normal considering the meds. Is there anything new on the market, as far as inflamatory drugs, that we can try to get away from the Prednisone? Thanks.

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Not much other options. You could ask neurologist about alternative steroid like budesomide. Also consider working with holistic vet regarding acupuncture and chiropractic and diet for this condition as well.

  12. Hi, my dog ( a mini daschound about 11 lbs)has been on prednisone for about a year and a half for allergies. She had a terrible cough and hacking problem before and the prednisone cleared it right up. I tried to take her off the dosage, but after while the symptoms came back so she went back on it. I have her on as small a dose as I can. She gets a bit over 1 mg every 3 days, but now her symptoms are back again. She has even started making this wee zing sound she has never made before. Should I give her a higher dosage or should I look into finding another way to treat her? Can she build immunity to prednisone?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    She may need a higher dose of prednisone for a period of time. I would check with your vet however on this before starting.

  14. My old dog (a x-breed with German Shepherd in her and around15 years old) has suddenly lost her appetite. THe vet started her on prednosone on alternate days and that seemeed to spark her appetite on those days but she still ate very little. Then she stopped eating for 3 days. Now she is on an increased daily dose and eating again, but very little at a time and only certain foods. Her food tastes change daily so that I never know exactly what she is going to be prepared to eat on any day. If she doesn’t want to eat the food she sniffs it and turns her head away or else gets up and walks away. Is there anything else I should be doing for her

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I would ask your vet for a proper diagnosis i.e blood work, etc to help with other supportive treatments.

  16. I have a 9 yr old Bouvier with osteosarcoma. Her leg was amputated in June and she had 4 rounds of carboplatin. I was trying to get her in the U of PA trial for a bone cancer vaccine but her immune system tested too low to have any change to respond to the vaccine. her bone tumor tested positive for Her2-neu so she has a more aggressive form of osteosarcoma. By late-October, several tumors were visible in both lungs. Prognosis was 1 month maybe 2. At week 3 she developed a fever (103.8) and stopped eating. Dog was placed on Baytril for 1 week and 60mg prednisone. In two days she was eating and starting to enjoy life. She continued on Ciprofloxcin and prednisone (and Pepsid which she has been taking since July). I was told that after a month, the prednisone would need to be increased to remain effective. It is now day 27 on this protocol and my vet is on vacation out of the country. Last night she ate dinner slowly and left some and was panting more than normal. This morning her temperature is 102.1usually on prednisone her temperature is 100.0. Her eating is off but I didn’t get her to eat cooked chicken. How much should I increase her dosage? I gave her 75mg this morning. At this point, I am only trying to provide some quality of life in her final days. She still gets a kick trotting outside and visiting neighbor dog and sniffing for rabbits, so once again the priority is reducing the fever. Can you suggest dosage schedule and any other palliative measures your would consider.

  17. My dog was prescribed Prednisone 10mg, Doxycycline 100mg and Simplicef 100mg to help raise her platelit levels and to help kill Woolbachia, the secondary parasite assoc with heartworm disease. She also had some vaccinations, heartworm treatment and medication applied for fleas. A month later I took her to have her blood count rechecked and there was no improvement with her platelit levels. I was told she has an autoimmune disease (Evans Syndrome). She is currently on 20mg of Prednisone and 100mg Doxycycline. I would like to know if probiotics, digestive enzymes,krill oil, ubiquinol, joint support with biovaplex, cod liver oil, mushroom extract supplements, amino acid supplements, vitamin & minerals will ineract with the Prednisone and Doxycycline? If some that I’ve listed will, could you please list them and any other supplements that should be avoided? I strongly believe my dogs immune system was weak prior to the vaccinations, heartworm &flea medications and so her immune system was triggered by the toxins. Also I believe the underlying cause for her anemia has to do with the heartworms, could you give me your opinion on this? I was told to watch out for any bleeding and I seen a red tint in her feces earlier today as the sun light hit. Stools from yesterday appeared somewhat black in color as charcoal. Does this mean she is bleeding internally? I appreciate any and all help/advice you can give me, thanks in advance.

  18. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 11, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Yes. Definitely not a dog I would have vaccinated given all of the health issues and problems. I agree on autoimmune disease. You list quite a bit of supplements. All can be potentially helpful. I dont see any problems with most of them, however it may be worthwhile to consult individually with a holistic vet who can review diet, supplements, etc in more detail. To learn more see http://www.doctordym.com Her heartworms can trigger autoimmunity but so can all of teh vaccinations and topical flea meds.

  19. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I would see local vet in your area as I cant recommend increasing dose without first examining your dog. Sounds like you have done everything possible. Bumping up prednisone by 25% may be helpful but vet visit suggested first.

  20. Thank you so much for your reply and if I may ask, could you give me your opinion on the red tinting I seen earlier today in her stool? I did give her strawberries last night, could they have caused the red tint? I didnt see them in their whole form so I’m skeptical. What about the charcoal colored stools from yesterday, could the color be a result from internal bleeding? Again thank you in advance for your help/advice.

  21. Hi all..exactly 1 year ago my 60 lb 4 year old flat coated retriever mix was diagnosed with IBD via endoscopy ( in his large intestine) He has been on and off prednisone since. As soon as we reduce the dosage to 5 mg a day he starts to have flair ups, not only with diarrhea but also skin sores. He is also on prescription hypoallergenic hydrolyzed protein diet…His case seems to be \chronic\
    The dosage of pred that seems to keep his system happy is 10 mg per day to keep the inflammation away, he also has regular blood work done every 6 months because of his condition and also because he is on the meds. IBD is a tough nut to crack, and in our case we monitor his stools daily, if he seems to be going soft, we up his dosage and then taper down..10 mg seems to be the miracle dosage for him. We are aware of the potential side effects, but the quality of his life is so important to us. If you suspect your pet has IBD, the only way to find out for sure is to have the endoscopy done ! IBD can be managed, but never cured. We did try the Budesonide at 3 mg daily, only to have a \very bad\ reaction, so like my vet set…Prednisone is the medication for him.

    Please keep your pet happy and healthy by regular vet visits, blood work etc. after all, they are a part of our family and we should treat them with all the unconditional love and compassion that they give to us !

  22. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing the success story of your dog and dealing with his IBD. I have found that as long as dogs are monitored long term with periodic exams and blood work that low dose daily to every other day corticosteroid therapy is tolorated by the body fine in most cases. I will however say that as an integrative veterinarian of 21 years experience both in traditional and complimentary medicine, there are many mild to moderate cases of IBD that can be managed through more natural diets and long term chronic constutional homeopathic therapy. To learn more see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as http://www.doctordym.com

  23. I am trying to find out if prednisone affects the outcome of surgery in dogs. I had an eight-year-old collie who broke his leg (It appeared to have spontaneously broken) and I was told by the emergency vet that the prognosis of surgery on his leg was not good because of the prednisone he was on.

  24. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Prednisone can slow down healing of fractures, but as long as pred tapered and stopped, surgery should be ok for a positive outcome. Also try the homeopathic remedy symphytum in 30c potency, given once weekly to help with fracture healing in my cxperience.

  25. My old Jack Russell Albert (nearly 15) has developed severe sensitivity to certain grasses, plants & gets unbearably itchy. He has been prescribed 3 courses of Pred 5mg which I taper off by gradually cutting the doses as advised & it is supposed to be fixed but then it comes back! It drives him crazy, comes on quickly & he is often crying in pain before I have time to get him to the vet for the next lot of pills. I would like to know if (a) it is dangerous to keep giving these to him (he has a heart murmer) & (b) if there is an alternative that I can just buy without having to book in to see the vet & keep on hand when it starts up without any bad side effects.

  26. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    You cold maintain him on a good antihistamine such as hydroxyzine or benadryl or chlorphenirimine. While not as effective as pred, it may help calm the itching. Also using oral fatty acids like be well may help long term from 1800petmeds and supplements like yucca intensive. Pred can be used long term at low doses but pets need to be monitored with periodic bloodwork and urine checks , etc to guard against side effects.

  27. My 14-year old shih-tzu with herniated disc spent much of 2012 on prednisone. From March-July he was on every other day 5 mg dose, reduced to every third day in August, and again to every third day for most of October and November after allergy season ended. In the 2-1/2 weeks after Thanksgiving I reduced the dose to 3.75 mg then 2.5mg and the dosing to every fourth day. He seemed just fine since then, until yesterday, he had a sore spot, and in looking it up, it seems to be in the location of his kidney/adrenal gland. It is no longer so sore today, but after looking up adrenal gland which led to reading about secondary Addison’s, I’m now concerned that I took him off steroids too quickly, although at the time every dose seemed toxic. The other signs I see is the skin on his belly is a darker dull pink, he has a little shudder at the end of some breaths for the last week, and urinates frequently, 5-6 times a day. He sleeps good, eats good, bowel movements are regular, but often dry/hard. He has a number of pink cauliflower growths, some dark spots on his skin here and there, and a large claw that became deformed all while on the prednisone that seem unchanged since being off it. Is there anything I should be watching for, or any testing he should have?

  28. Sorry, my 14-year old shih-tzu weighs 15.5 pounds.

  29. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I dont think you took him off of the pred too quickly, and dont think the sore spot on his body is related to his adrenal glands. Chronic disc problems are not cured by prednisone so relapses can occur at any time. As for testing, I would have periodic blood work done at your vet twice yearly as I recommend in all older pets. If back problem or sore spots worsen, then have vet recheck. Other meds such as prescription tramadol may help. Also consider supplements like yucca intensive by azmira from 1800petmeds.

  30. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Duly noted.

  31. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    You are very welcome.

  32. 7 yo Siberian Husky with IBD, confirmed by EGD and colonoscopy. Stomach grossly inflamed and pliable. 2 very experience internists were unable to pass scope into small intestine. (+) biopsies from stomach and colon. On doxy 200mg/day for over a year (failed flatly trial and this seems to work). Started on prednisone in 10/20/12 following EGD confirmation. Now weaned to 5mg. Very sensitive to most foods and medications. Now with otitis, organism is methicillin resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, sensitive to doxy. Needless to say, we are starting him on marbofloxacin. Benefits of doxy in light of meth resistant infection? Are we opening the door for more extensive abx resistant organisms? Other alternatives? Benefitting from prednisone, but even at lower dosages, would it be concerning for infections?

  33. Thank you for your response Dr Dym, before I got your reply I took my JR back to the vet (a new one as we moved) & he has changed his medication to regular prednil 1000 (which also contains an antihistamine) every 2nd to 3rd day but this dose doesn’t seem to be having any effect even if I give it every day. (the previous dose was 5mg Pred but tapering off over a few weeks to nothing). I need to increase the dose or change the drug & would like to know what is a safe low dose of pred for a 9kg JR (15 years old). Also what is an oral fatty acid & how does it work on itching?

  34. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    For a 9 kg(20 pound) dog, 2.5 mg prednisone twice daily should be ok to start, but then taper every few days to lowest effective dose, hopefully eventually to every other or every third day. As for fatty acids, they can help with inflammation anywhere in the body when used over a long period of time, including allergies, arthritis, etc. Try nordic naturals omega 3 fatty acid from 1800petmeds which often works great.

  35. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Sounds like very complex case, where you have gotten excellent care from internists. Being on doxy so long does open up possibilities of resistant yeast and/or bacterial infections. Consider consulting with vet trained in Chinese medicine and/or homeopathy for alternative approach in my opinion and experience of 20 plus years as a conventional and holistic vet. You could try other immune modifying supplements like transfer factor http://www.tfpets.com Also learn more about homeopathy at http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations, as do I nationwide.

  36. My 2 y/o cat has been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis and put on 5 mg Prednisone every other day. What are the long term side effects?

  37. … I am not convinced of her dx, but she had chest xrays, bloodword and TTW to determine this dx.

  38. …blood work

  39. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Can include secondary infections, and occasional diabetes in cats.

  40. Dr Dr. Dym
    I have a 13 y.o. cat with IBD. It is a very complicated case. He had diarrhea for over a year. Tried Amoxi, Flagyl and chemotherapy. Novel protein diet failed. Probiotics worsened his diarrhea. Stool testing was negative. Tigan failed. Only hi dose pred worked. He was on daily pred 20 mg over a year and developed hyperglycemia and my vet wanted to start Insulin. I took him to an endocrinologist and she agreed that the cat needed Insulin. I refused to start insulin until the pred was stopped. When I tapered the pred his diarrhea returned. He was so thin with muscle wasting and looked so terrible – his skin was hanging off his skeleton. I was about to put the cat down but decided to put him on a raw meat diet (Feline Pride). I was very against raw meat for animals (I am an Infection Control Nurse and former vet tech) but tried it as a last ditch attempt. Overnight his diarrhea disappeared. I tapered the pred and he was fine for over a year. However now he is losing weight but has no diarrhea (went from 20 lbs to 13 lbs). He is eating but vomiting intermittently. He was worked up completely for intestinal lymphosarcoma and everything was normal except for diffuse inflammation on ultrasound. B12 and specialized lab tests were all normal (there were so many specialized tests done that I don’t even remember the names of them. Whatever was recommended I said do it). Pancreatitis work up revealed nothing. My vet started Budesonide daily. She said he will have to be on it for his life. He is doing better on the drug but I am concerned about what side effects there are long term concerning his prior problem with hyperglycemia on pred. My vet said there are less systemic effects than pred since it is concentrated in the gut. What are you thoughts about Budesonide long term?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  41. Thank you for replying. Do you think it is worth another opinion, even after all these tests?

  42. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 4, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Always worth getting a second opinion from a vet who can examine your cat in your area.

  43. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 4, 2013 at 12:42 am

    HI Pat. As far as I know budesonide is safer than prednisone in pets, but is still at steroid. The risk of diabetes is still there but lower. You could also ask your vet about the drug leukeran or chlorambucil, which can often be helpful at same time as steroids in severe IBD cases. Other option would be to work with veterinary homeopath. To learn more see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  44. My “15-ish” poodle/cocker mix female has been on a low dose of prednisone, every other day, for the last three years..arthritic hips. Is it safe to put her on a topical flea treatment medication? (eg: Advantix, Frontline, etc)


  45. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Using topical pesticides in geriatric patients can be risky in some patients. check with your local vet. You could also consider natural alternatives such as http://www.wondercide.com

  46. I have an 8 year old 30 lb. beagle. His symptoms started with coughing that led into a dry wretch, and then a few weeks after that, the sneezing started. The violent, mucous producing sneezing occurred for roughly 6 months with visits to our vet during that span. Nothing seemed to work, we tried Benadryl, Zyrtec, to no avail. Finally, as a last resort the vet prescribed Prednisone. We first were dosing him @ 10 mg daily. After 5 days of the steroid and no results and we were sent to a specialist. We then were told to change his food (we were giving him Science Diet small bites, and then switched to a hypo-allergenic blend of Royal Canin) as well as 200mg daily of Doxycycline and upped the Prednisone to 30mg daily. The sneezing has gone considerably down, but the Prednisone’s side effects are really taking hold. Black stool, lethargy, increased thirst/urination. They scaled the dosage back to 20mg daily and he has been on that dosage for about 3 days now. Is this safe? It seems like an awful high dosage and we have noticed other odd behavoir- difficulty jumping onto the bed (which is allowed). We are going to our vet tomorrow for a blood test regarding the black stool- but my main question is can we start weaning him off the Pred?

    Thanks for any input.


  47. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    HI Brad. The 20 mg of prednisone is alot to me in a 30 pound dog. I would indeed ask vet about weaning down on steroid possibly to 10 mg or lower. Also ask about a definitive diagnosis of nasal problem, so that long term treatment plan can be safely started.

  48. Just wanted to add a little history to my question above. After all the tests she went through she was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. I was told since she was a rescue, not knowing what she may have been exposed to, she probably had an infection which caused irreversible lung disease and scarring. Do you think I should get another opinion? I know you said it is always worth it, just wondering if this diagnosis makes sense to you. I am trying not to over react but I want to make sure she has been diagnosed correctly. Thank you.

  49. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Always best to get second opinion from preferably vet internist or specialist in internal medicine in case like this.

  50. My akita has been on prednisone for the year and eight months, 30 mg daily to control atopic dermititis. Her anti-bodies attack her entire skin and it crusts over without it. She has recently developed arthritis in her hind legs and quite possibly begining in her front legs. She has also been taking cephalexin. She has now been prescribed tramadol for the pain. I live in an upstairs apartment. Thank god they are on the inside of the apt. because she can no longer climb the stairs. She stays at the bottom of the stairs and the area is very small. We have to maneauver around the door to get out. I’ve taken her to her vet and was told she also has cataracts. She eats well, but has difficulty peeing and pooping because her legs won’t support her for long. I fear for her. I know that large dogs usually have some issues, but, is this a result of the prednisone? What are her chances? What can I do for her? I am on a fixed income and don’t want to lose my baby because I can’t afford treatment other than her pills. Please help!

  51. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 16, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I would consider excellent joint supplements like super joint enhancer from 1800petmeds as well as the antioxidant proanthozone. Also add fish oil to meals like nordic naturals pet omega 3 fatty acid from 1800petmeds. See if these help over several weeks.

  52. Hello Doctor,

    We have a 6 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback who is diabetic. She is on 10 units of insulin twice a day. She was diagnosed with distemper about 4 weeks ago. She has gotten through the runny nose and eye stage and how seizures on and off. She is on 30mg of phenabarbital twice a day. We think should also be taking a something for the inflamation in her brain. What would you recommend? She is about 48 lbs. We have heard that prednisone can be good for that.

    Thanks so much,

  53. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 3, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Hi Laurie…..Prednisone is not wise to use in dogs with diabetes as it can make that condition worse and/or more dificult to manage. Your case sounds interesting as distemper is VERY RARE in the adult dog population. I have seen reactions in this breed from vaccinations either distemper or rabies vaccinations ironically. Might be good case to consult with a veterinary homeopath. To learn more see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com MAny homeopathic vets offer phone consultations as do I.

  54. Hi Dr. Dym
    Our 6 yo West Highland Terrier has suspected Pemphigus auto-immune disease. Bridge to nose is losing colour, crusts around lips, weepy eye. She has had long term problems with her skin which has been controlled reasonably well with the Hills Science Ultra diet. Our vet strongly suggests a biopsy to determine the strain of disease so it can be treated accordingly. My concern, assuming it is the less serious pemphigus, is the long term effects of treatment with prednisol as I understand the dosage to manage this disease is quite high. I am curious to know what sort of quality and length of life is she likely to have whilst on prednisone after the biopsy is done? Thanks for your help :o)

  55. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 21, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Many dogs with this condition can be successfully managed with prednisone and/or other immune suppressive medication, and hopefully doses can be tapered down as response occurs. There is always risk of some reaction to the drugs, which vets usually monitor for with periodic blood workup, etc. Other option would be to consider working with a homeopathic vet who looks at this disease differently and can potentially help overall health long term. To learn more about homeopathy see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  56. I have a 9-yr old GSD with progressing spondylosis. She had a fall in Feb that resulted in worsening symptoms indicative of a spinal injury. We had her on the usual high dose Prednisone for 5 days, then titering down to 1/2 pill every other day. She was doing much better, so I reduced the Prednisone and started her back on Previcox. However, within 3 days she once again could no longer get up on her own and had the wobblies. I stopped the Previcox and after 72-hours started the Prednisone at 1 pill given in halves 2x daily for the last 3 days and she is doing very well. It appears that this is the only way to allow her comfort and quality of life, but can I keep her on Pred long-term?? She is also taking Tramadol, 2-3x daily as pain indicates.

  57. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Sounds like prednisone may be only drug that can help her and should probably be used long term at lowest effective dose. Also consider working with vet trained in acupuncture as well http://www.AHVMA.org to find vet in your area which can also help dramatically in many cases.

  58. I have a pit bull terrier that is 4 months old and 30 lbs. Recently, he’s developed an allergy to something. I’m not sure what it is. He has bumps all over and some of them have puss sometimes. He’s scratching a lot. I have not changed his diet since he started eating dry foods, which is natural choice lamb and rice. He doesn’t get treats or eat any house food at all ever. He does, however, like to romp around in the backyard. I’m sure it’s something from the yard, but the guesses are many as to what it could be.

    My question is that I had some leftover Prednisone 5 mg left from my other dog that has sensitive skin (chihuahua 7 lbs). I want to give him the right dosage for his weight. Obviously, I’m pretty sure that the same dosage for my chihuahua does NOT apply. So what is recommended? I gave him 1/2 (2.5) about an hour ago only because I’m concerned, but I’m pretty sure that dosage won’t do anything for him. Please assist. I’d like to prevent a $600 vet visit just to get the same medication.

  59. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Dose of pred in a 30 pound animal is 5 mg once to twice daily initially until response and then taper slowly. I cant recommend this drug unless your vet prescribes it. Keep in mind that problem with prednisone and especially starting at this young age is tendency to relapse with worse itching when drug is stopped.

  60. Thank you for your response Dr. Would Zyrtec be better? I’ve read that it helps. And I put some Vitamin E oil on him just now to help with the dry skin. I’d like to try the Zyrtec tomorrow and give it 24 hours before I take him in to the vet, just to see if that does help.

  61. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I have little experience using zyrtec. you could try benadryl at dose of 1 mg per pound twice daily.

  62. My cat, who is now 5, started having periodic seizures when he was 2, shortly after receiving a rabies booster. His vet did not make the connection. Then he had a 3-year rabies vaccine at the end of December, and has been very sick ever since. He had another seizure 9 days after having the vaccine. A few weeks later, he lost his appetite, lost a bunch of weight and became very lethargic. I am now taking him to an integrative vet who at first prescribed natural remedies. When these didn’t work after a month, he put him on a very high does of prednisolone, 7.5 mgs. twice a day. My cat was on this dose for 3 weeks. He was eating more, but not responding as well as he should have. His vet then recommended ozone therapy. After 2 treatments, my cat was improving. He had perked up, was eating well and gained weight. His vet then began weaning him off of the pred. But after the 4th ozone treatment, my cat took a nosedive, stopped eating, became lethargic again and lost a bunch of weight. His vet wants me to get him back on a higher does of pred: 5 mgs. twice a day. I am concerned about this. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  63. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Prednisone is always an option. you may want to consider working with a classical homeopath on a case like this who prescribes homeopathic remedies individually based on pet’s constitution. To learn more about homeopathy, see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations.

  64. Thank you for your reply. I had a consult with his vet tonight, who was actually leaning toward putting him down. I am against this because no one has been able to figure out what is wrong with him. He has had numerous tests: x-rays blood work twice, echocardiogram and sonogram. All were normal, except for non-specific inflammation in his abdomen, which his vet was treating as IBD, with no success. I also took him to the University of Pennsylvania and they also could not come up with a diagnosis. So they, too, treated this as IBD. His current vet said he could have cancer. But none of the tests indicated this. And unless I knew this for sure, I would hate to put him down. Meanwhile, I have a friend who is a holistic vet who recommended a homeopathic detox. She sent me some heavy metal and lymphatic detox remedies. His vet has agreed to try this because he did determine through muscle testing that my cat got sick due to a reaction to the heavy metals in the rabies vaccines. The vet told me to get my cat off all of the meds, including the pred, cold turkey. I am terrified, but feel this is the last resort. Wish us luck!

  65. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 29, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Good luck Alissa. In future you may want to consider a more classical homeopathic approach. To learn more about classical homeopathy and vets trained in that specific modality see http://www.TheAVH.org http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as http://www.doctordym.com

  66. My 10 year olg female pug is a mess. She has always had allergies and has been on meds most of her life. She is currently on 3 meds. Prednisone, Simplicef, and Ketocnazole. This is making her pee in the house and even a bowel movement in the house. She has never ever done this before. She has been on it for 3 days it started the second day. Is this a normal side effect?

  67. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Some pets are sensitive to side effects of prednisone. Check with your vet about lowering dose or prednisone.

  68. My 16 year old male shorthair has been diagnosed with Chron’s Disease about a year ago. He was a rescue cat they were going to euthanize because he was a black cat. I couldn’t afford the extensive X-Rays and in depth testing and I was very fortunate to find a Dr willing to work with me on testing the prednisone to see if he in fact had Chrons. The Dr. put him on Prednisone 5mg for about a week with a B12 shot and then back to 2.5mg (half a pill) daily in the morning. His symptoms tend to come and go now- especially as the day wears on to evening. As I notice diarrhea and vomiting pertaining to eating I generally give him another 1/2 a pill that evening if needed. (He used to do ok with 2.5mg but lately I find him needing that extra dose at night) He is VERY picky with foods that he will eat and that varies on a day to day basis so I end up keeping all sorts of flavors on hand if he isn’t up to options A or B. He can hold down most classic pate fancy feast, and sometimes protein based raw chicken meal dry food. I end up giving him 4 cans a day and he will likely eat 2 – 3 on a good day of what I put down. I have tried the fancier organic and healthier canned foods and he turns his nose at them. He definitely drinks a lot as a side-effect of that pill. At a constant 8lbs he is too underweight in my eyes (I weigh him every few weeks or so trying to see if I can get him to gain at least several lbs) I also get him gluten free boar’s head all natural chicken or turkey breast cold cuts from the deli to increase his appetite and food intake on his off days and he can hold these with no issues. He is my baby so I do tend to spoil him but I make sure his meat with no extra sauces or additives, I even cook him his own chicken breast on the side if I am making a chicken dish. Do you have any other suggestions on helping his weight improve? Would is it be dangerous long-term to keep him at 5 mg a day on a regular basis if it increases his quality of appetite and living?

  69. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 21, 2013 at 9:52 am

    AT this age, keeping him on 5 mg pred is probably ok. May even need higher. You could ask your vet about another drug called chlorambucil given every other day which I have found helpful in many cats with chronic severe inflammatory bowel disease or even cancer of the bowels. Adding digestive enzymes to meals such as naturevet enzymes from 1800petmeds also may be helpful. Try wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds which I find many cats like or pet guard food from your local whole foods. Continue with B-12 shots every one to two weeks. Also consider the great antioxidant supplement protandim. To learn more about this product see the video http://www.abcliveit.com If you would like to order it for your cat or even yourself, go to http://www.mylifevantage.com/drdym

  70. Stasia NapierskaJuly 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Hi, I have a 13 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, she was diagnosed 3 years ago with a mast cell tumour on her chest, the vet removed as much as she could and she was prescribed Prednisolone 5mg day and Ucerax antihistamine 25mg twice a day, this kept the tumour away for 3 years, due to arthritis the vet suggested taking her off the preds due to long term use and putting her on Previcox, half a 227mg tablet a day, her mobility improved but 1 year later the tumour is back. my old vet advised that if she had a flare up she could have a dose of steroids. I have spoken to my vet about this and she is happy for me to administer 2.5mg of preds up to 3 times a week, but it seems to flare up with this sporadic use. If I give the 2.5mg of preds every other day it helps considerably but this means she is getting it 4 times a week. She gets Milk Thistle, omega 3,6 & 9, K9 Immunity and transfer vits every day which seems to help as far as liver kidney function etc. Could this be dangerous or if not what are the negative signs I should look out for? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  71. Stasia NapierskaJuly 31, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Oh, and to add, her stools are perfect, colour and consistency. Appetite is normal, activity daily etc. I keep a close eye on her and so any changes would be discussed with my vet. The preds take the swelling down almost within hours, also would it be ok to give her the Ucerax?

  72. Pamela SandersonJuly 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you so much for responding. Glad to hear 5 mg is safe you’d think – however he is set up to get his check up on the 12th. When I give him 5 mg in the morning (2 half pills) he still seems fairly so-so on the tossing of cookies but its every few days or so – sometimes he can go a week still OK. I will look into the other additives – he wont take things slipped into his food however he is a good oral pill patient. Going to print this out and bring it with me when I go to the vets so I dont miss anything. Thanks again! I’ll be sure to shop 1800 pet meds for anything else he needs!

  73. Hi,
    I haven’t been here for a while. I am very sad to say that I had to put my cat down on June 17 because his vet’s associate finally discovered that he had vaccine-associated sarcoma, due to being over-vaccinated. Apparently, the pred suppressed the cancer. After he was off this for a few weeks, the sarcoma appeared. I am about to adopt a new kitten. I have learned a sad, hard lesson.

  74. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 31, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Alissa. My heart and thoughts are with you. I am sorry to hear of your loss. I would recommend the wonderful book The Natural Cat, by Anitra Frazier to learn more about more natural and healthier methods of raising cats. Also see my website http://www.doctordym.com

  75. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 31, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    You are very welcome Pamela. Let me know if I can help in any further way. Good luck at the vet.

  76. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 31, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Signs to look for are systemic signs of vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, etc I would also recommend the wonderful antioxidant called Canine Health By Life Vantage, which I have had great success with in practice in reducing oxidative stress in older patients. It is very similar to their human product called Protandim. To learn more about it see http://www.abcliveit.com To order Canine Health, go to http://www.mylifevantage.com/drdym I also love the cancer supplement oncosupport from Rx Vitamins now available from 1800petmeds.

  77. Thanks. I am very familiar with that book. I will definitely be much more cautious this time around.

  78. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 31, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Not that familiar with Ucerax, but you could ask your vet about new drug for Mast cell tumors called Palladia

  79. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 31, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I think it is wonderful book. I work with Anitra on raising health of cats naturally and holistically and did contribute to her wonderful book. Let me know if I can help with your new kitten.

  80. My 10 1/2 year old lab has had allergies driving him crazy for the past couple of years. I have givien him allergic immuno-therapy shots, put him on a no grain diet, omega 3 chews, and just finished his third round of prednisone in two years. Also, i just Started a multivitamin with probiotics. Prednisone seems to be the only thing that works. If I gave him one 20 mg pill once a week would that be considered long term use or too hard on his body? Do you have any other suggestions?

  81. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Try yucca intensive by azmira from 1800petmeds. Antioxidants like proanthozone also may help. 20 mg once weekly of prednisone will not likely cause a problem.

  82. Hi, I have an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd neutered male. Every year around mid spring early summer he begins to itch severely and chews himself raw and bloody if we don’t have him treated. Every year when this would begin, the vet would give him a shot of prednisone, a week’s worth of prednisone pills, and a week’s worth of antibiotic. It works wonders. This year, a different vet in the group saw him and only gave him a Vetalog shot. That was one week and and there has been no change in his itching, chewing and licking, and, in fact, it seems like it’s getting worse. How soon after Vetalog can he be given his regular once-per-year prednisone treatment?

  83. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Vetalog is actually STRONGER steroid than prednisone. You would have to wait 2 weeks before getting any other injections.

  84. I have a 7.5 yr old pitbull with insulinoma. He is presently being treated with 10 mg prednisone twice a day since late February/early March. He has been doing very well until approximately 2-3 wks ago when we noticed he was developing large scabs under his fur on the top of his neck area. Our vet thinks it could be caused by the use of the prednisone so we have decreased the dosage to 5 mg twice a day and are treating the scabs with Mupirocin. I’m starting to find more scabs; however.

    Any thoughts or comments.
    Thank you.

  85. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Perhaps he needs course of oral antibiotic like cephalexin or simplicef in case the scabs are from bacterial skin infection. Also add fatty acid to meals like nordic naturals pet omega 3 fatty acid from 1800petmeds. Also try proanthozone antioxidant. I also LOVE the antioxidant called Canine Health By Life Vantage in case like this, which I have used on my own pets. To order this product go to http://www.mylifevantage.com/drdym

  86. my 15 year old cat has been on prednisone for almost 2 years. she has been having side effects here and there but today was not good. she has not eaten for 3 days and no water. lays by her water dish. i did get 2 eyedroppers full of water down her ,and she did not throw up. please help !

  87. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Cat needs immediate vet exam and blood work to search for underlying diseases.

  88. Hello, my dog was put on Prednisone a week ago because she has no mobility on the right side of her body to stand and walk. How long does it take for her to be able to walk again after taking this? She’s still taking it once a day now? She tries to get up but her front and back let won’t work for her to stand.

  89. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 12, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Should work within several days. See vet for recheck if no improvement.

  90. Dear Dr. Dym,

    PLEASE FORGIVE THE LENGTH OF THIS HISTORY AND QUESTION. I felt that a good history would help you in being my second opinion on my question.

    I have a 12+ year old spayed female Appalachian Mountain Feist (every inch the Terrier of her heritage) which we have had since she was about 5 months old. Last year I felt that she had a lump on her abdomen but my husband did not feel it. My Vet verified that she had a lump (actually 2 via ultrasound) on her spleen and it was surgically removed and had a clean biopsy report. (My Vet has practiced 25 years in a now large, multi Vet state-of-the-art animal hospital and she said I was the first client to ever have discovered a lump on a dog’s spleen!)

    In May of this year we found a lump (caudal right thigh) that aspirated with excessive mast cells. Our Vet put the dog on prednisone with the intent of shrinking the tumor. The tumor did not shrink as much as our Vet had hoped (but it did get down to 5 cm – still about 2/3rds original size when found) she proceeded with surgical removal. The surgical margins were clean, but the deep surgical margin was less than 1 mm wide. The microscopic findings were Mast Cell Tumor, Grade III.

    Post op, while the surgical site was healing we discussed the next step. My husband and I did research and decided we wished to try Kinavet. (My husband and I chose Kinavet based on patients’ favorable response to it in Europe where it is in use under a different name.) Our Vet also did internet research on it because she has suggested a different therapy.) Kinavet had not yet been used in our Vet’s practice due to its conditional licensing in the US, but our Vet agreed it was worth a try. By the time the surgical site was healed our dog had developed 2 more tumors. One was on her (L) side and the other was opposite her (R) hock (both aspirated as MCT’s). The one on her side was the size of large marble and the one on her leg was the size of a pea. (I understand that new tumors are considered new incidents and not metastasis.)

    Per Vet when we started the Kinavet daily (per Mfg.’s dosage directions) and the dog’s daily dose of Pred was changed to every other day. (Because our dog had terrible thirst and urination in her sleep due to excessive water drinking my husband did more research and our Vet let us switch her to Methylprednisolone which she tolerates much better.) After our dog was on Kinavet a few weeks the tumors disappeared completely (although there was some in situ hair loss on the leg), but about a month later our dog started to get very sick and was vomiting several times a day. Because of mouth noises she made in her sleep I had already suspected GERD and started her (per Vet) on a daily dose of Prevacid or Prilosec. My husband decided to stop the Kinavet for awhile and 12 days later the two tumors were back and were already their previous size. We restarted the Kinavet and the tumors again disappeared in a few weeks. We are hoping that the fact the Kinavet is acting on those tumors that it is also controlling metastasis from the first tumor. We added an antiemetic – Phenergan / promethazine per vet.

    As soon as we started the dog on Kinavet we had her urine checked and blood work done every 2 weeks. She was doing well enough that we then went to one month, and then last time 2 months although her red blood cell count was marginal on her last blood work (my husband was concerned, our Vet was not). When I say WE I am referring to our dog’s care team, our Vet and us because we truly have been acting as a team. Initially our Vet had us dosing the dog only as directed by Kinavet, but after the last blood work and urine testing she gave us permission to experiment with “holidays”. My husband has chosen 4 days on, one day off, then 5 days on, one day off, then repeat.

    Because the dog has been on Prednisone (and later Methylprednisolone) since late May, and because it did not seem to be extremely effective in shrinking the first tumor, I am questioning whether, based on what happened when the dog was off Kinavet for 12 days and then back on it for a short time (and the tumors disappeared with no further incidence) whether we can risk discontinuing the Methylprednisolone (because I know that “cortisone” is not without its own set of side effects)?

    Thanking you in advance,


  91. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 21, 2013 at 2:20 am

    HI JEanne. Not easy decision, as well as fact I have no experience with kinavet. Have used a different drug called Palladia in these cases with good results. I personally would probably just stick with kinavet, as I dont think the pred is doing much as per your description and given the grade of the biopsied tumors. I would also consider working with a holistic vet on supportive diet and nutritional supplements that can help strengthen immune system and help lessen long term side effects of these strong drugs. I find an integrative approach works best. To learn more see http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  92. Hi, thank you in advance for answering my question.

    I have a 6 year old cat who is 14 lbs that has been recently diagnosed with asthma. He was given prednisone in a decreasing dosage until he got to 5 mg once a day, which he has been on for a few days now. My vet asked me to check on cost of Flovent from Costco and I learned that it is $180 per month. I just can not afford this since it will be on going for his whole life, per vet. I feel terrible. I know pred. Is not good to stay on and has many side effects. Can you give me other medicines I can ask my vet about that will have no side effects or at least less? Also are there any homeopathic approaches for asthma? His first attack was pretty bad. He never had it before. I had to rush him to emergency vet. x-rays showed he had asthma. He is doing well on this dose and so we are going to lower it again, per vet, but I would like to know what else We can do. I feel terrible that I can’t afford the $180 a month. We have just paid the $700 bill from emergency and follow up vet bills just to control with shots, diagnose with x-rays and provide antibiotics and prednisone. Plus we have a one year old german shepherd who is having a slight itch that we haven’t been able to trace the cause, so we’ve spent another $800 on her many visits and new food as well. i don’t know if these two new problems could be related at all. Thank you for any suggestions you can provide.

  93. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 3, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Hi Patricia. Sorry you are having so many expensive health issues with your pets. Regarding the asthma situation, I would ask your vet about the services and equipment available from http://www.aerocat.com which has ways of getting nebulized meds into airways of cats to help cut down on cortisone dose or frequency. Other meds you can ask your vet about include theophylline, as well as terbutaline, which may help some cats. Finally I would work with a homeopathic or holistic vet on an individualized approach to the asthma long term. To learn more about homeopathy go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations nationwide, should none be available in your area.

  94. My husband and I rescued a 3 month old puppy in September from a kill-shelter in NC. His name is Jax. Around the first of November, Jax, who is normally a very active dog came into the bedroom and laid down and didn’t seem to want to move very much. We figured he was probably playing with the other dogs and was just tired. However, the next day, we noticed his leg start to swell. His leg was huge (over twice the size of his other ones), very hard, and a little red. It was also hot to the touch. He was extremely lethargic, and I knew he was running a fever. Jax was in a lot of pain, screaming when he had to move, and could not use his leg.

    We took him to a vet, who took x-rays of his leg. We thought he had maybe broken his leg, or had a bad sprain. After looking at his x-rays, she showed me he had no breaks, but we could see the swelling around his leg. She warned us about a disease, but said we’d hope for the best and treat it as a bad sprain. Jax was prescribed Clavamox, Rimadyl, and Tramadol.

    We did what we were advised for a couple of days, but Jax wasn’t getting any better. One morning we woke up and he had a lot of fluid hanging from his chest and throat area. We could see and feel all the fluid in him. His leg was still very swollen. We took him back to them same vet, who told us this was the disease she warned us about. She said Jax has Congenital Lymphedema, and that it was rare and there was no treatment. She told us we needed to make a decision by the weekend to put him down. We were devasted. We just got him. We love him. So, we couldn’t take that as our final answer.

    I contacted a very wonderful vet who had treated another one of my rescues for a broken leg. I faxed him the notes from the vet we saw who diagnosed him (who is not our normal vet, we only took him there because it was a Saturday evening and every where else was closed). He advised that Jax may just need some intensive care with powerful antibiotics. He recommended an emergency vet who could watch him 24/7. We took Jax there.

    The vet at the emergency vet disagreed we had to put him down, thank goodness. She prescribed him Enrofloxacin, Minocycline, Clavamox, Prednisone, and Tramadol. We were advised to discontinue use of the Rimadyl.

    After the very first dose, Jax’s leg started going down and within days he was back to normal. We finished all medications as prescribed. He has been off of them for about a week. The day before yesterday, we noticed Jax being hot again, very lethargic, and just not himself. We knew it was coming back. His leg did not swell this time though. I think maybe a little of the infection was left because that shoulder still felt a little warm, and maybe the infection had spread throughout his whole system again like we were told it did the first time (his system was sepsis).

    We took him back to the emergency vet yesterday since they were the ones who helped him before. They refilled his medication, but told us that if this round doesn’t work, and it comes back after he is finished with the medications, we are probably going to have to amputate his leg. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather have a dog with three legs than no dog at all, but we are hoping for another solution. Also, the first vet told us that amputation was not an option. So I’m wondering, if we amputate his leg, can the lymphedema spread?

    We have been told this is a very rare disorder, with no cure or treatment. Jax has only been on his mediation again for a day now, and he is already back to normal (though he still limps a little, he has since his leg first became swollen).

    Has anyone had any experience with Congenital Lymphedema? We are desparate. All of the vets pretty much our only hope is to contact veterinary medical schools that will have more expertise in the matter. I’ve done this as well, to no avail. No one is conducting clinical trials on this right now, that I have found at least (and I’m doing A LOT of research).

    We were told when we took him back to the vet the other day that Prednisone was the main medication he needed. Can Congenital Lyphedema be controlled with just Prednisone? Why can’t we keep him on the meds that work so well forever? I’m aware that he can become immune to the antibiotics, and I know being on a steroid for an extended period of time can cause side effects (which we are concerned about because he’s so young), but could we keep him on the lowest dose of Prednisone possible every other day for the rest of his life? We just want our baby in our lives. He’s so special. He’s already been through so much in his short life. He was seized as evidence in a high speed car case and came within a day of being killed in a shelter before being rescued by us. We just want to see him grow up and live a long, healthy life.

    If anyone can help, I would truly appreciate it. Thank you!

  95. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    HI Leslie. I am so sorry to hear of your sad story about your beloved puppy Jax. Cases like him are why(after my ivy league education at Penn and Cornell) that I also incorporated holistic healing and homeopathy into my practice. Although I have not personally heard of congenital lymphadema, I presume like most chronic diseases in our pets that it is immune-mediated or autoimmune, and our only conventional allopathic treatment options are steroids or other immune suppressive drugs. When reading your history, as soon as I saw prednisone I knew he would respond. The problem with prednisone and other immune suppressive drugs is that typically one has to keep giving stronger and stronger drugs which have increasingly possible side effects. Thus I recommend working with a holistic veterinarian on diet, supplements and preferably constitutional homeopathy. You should AVOID all vaccinations, and topical and/oral pesticides which can trigger worsening autoimmune disease. This is NOT an antibiotic disease, but as with most other chronic diseases in veterinary medicine, immune mediated., for reasons I wont get into here. To learn more about the exciting option of classical constitutional homeopathic prescribing, see www. beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations. Good luck and let me know if I can help further with this tough case.

  96. I have a 2 yr old Black Lab/Pyrenees mix dog who has been on Gabapentin for Epilepsy and was prescribed Prednisone for a skin disease. I notice that he has seizures while taking Prednisone. With the Gabapentin by itself he’s ok and has no seizures. What can I do? He takes Gabapentin 300mg 3 times a day and 20mg of prednisone every other day.

  97. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 22, 2014 at 12:19 am

    I would ask for different alternative for skin disease such as atopica or even an antihistamine if appropriate.

  98. I will be sure to do that.

  99. can a cat weighing around 8-9 #s take FLOVENT 220mcg for asthma?

  100. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 19, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Dose sounds a bit high. Check with 1800petmeds pharmacist Gary.

  101. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 19, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    I dont see a problem, but check with 1800petmeds pharamcist

  102. last week my 6-1/2 yr. Grate Dane Abby was starting to gag and cough a bit, I felt around her neck and found 2 large glands just under her jaw, about the size of a walnut. we made a visit to the vet and a blood test witch came back normal, the vet then took a biopsy of the glands and lab work came back with cancer, all of Abby’s glands are swell and more then likely cancer is moving into other organs. the vet said 2 choices cancer treatment or prednisone my help extend her life with a litter longer.
    I wanted to ask about how much prednisone a 109 lb dog should take daily and how long should she take steroids, the rest of her life ? my main thoughts are to get the glands swelling down so she can have an ez”re time with breathing. she is eating a bit less then normal, we get exercise and her will and spirit is about 75% I have started her on healthy homemade fresh meals. thanks Shawn.

  103. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Hi Shawn. When used in case like this, cortisone is usually needed for rest of her life. Typical dose for cancer is one half to 1 mg per pound daily. But in her case I would probably start with 25 mg prednisone twice daily. I would continue to do home diets. I would also work with a holistic vet on some other supportive supplements for her. To learn more about holistic medicine go to http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  104. Good morning! My 6 year old Boston Terrier has been on a decreasing amount of prednisone for about two weeks. Our vet believes that he has a brain tumor. For awhile, he showed great improvement but, yesterday, he started going in circles again and became lethargic. What other drugs would you recommend for him?
    Thank you

  105. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 27, 2014 at 12:21 am

    HI Joyce. Speak to vet about upping dose of prednisone again. Also consider antioxidant supplements like proanthozone and cell advance or oncosupport from 1800petmeds. I also LOVE the group of supplements called TRansfer Factor. To learn more and to order go to http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym

  106. Hi – My 12 month old pup who weighs 9 kilograms has just commenced 10mg prednisone for allergies. She has vomited a couple of times today and is pretty quiet. I’m just wondering if this is the prednisone (only started 2 days ago) and if the dose would be considered too high in a dog of that weight. Also is there any advice on how I should manage her nausea?

  107. I’ve never experienced naseau as a side effect of Prednisone and two of my dogs are on it (one for allergies and one for congenital lymphedema). The one on it for allergies is a rat terrier. He is about 13lbs. I’m not sure what 9kg is in pounds, but I think your dog is on too many MG’s if he’s a small dog. My rat terrier was only prescribed 4mg and he stated off only taking a 1/2 a pill (which is 2mg) and noe he’s done to 1/4 a pill (1mg). Even my other dog that’s on the predisone (he’s a pit bull puppy and weighed about 35lbs when he first got prescribed the medication) was only prescribed 5mg and his condition (congenital lymphedema) is very serious and can be life threatening. You need to contact a vet, preferably a second opinion, but I would decrease his dosage for sure. You have to do thus gradually and in increments with prednisone. I’m not a vet so I’m not giving medical advice, but I do have experience with dogs with medical problems and I believe that 10mg of prednisone is prescribed for dogs with heartworms and very serious conditions not allergies. He also needs to go to the vet if he’s throwing up a lot and you think it’s an adverse reaction to the medication.

  108. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 9, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    Excellent points. A veterinarian should always be consulted in case like this

  109. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 9, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    This dose is sort of on high side. The vomiting could be from prednisone so best to see vet for evaluation and dosage adjustment. Also pepcid AC at dose of one half mg per pound once to twice daily.

  110. Jennifer ReitmeisterMarch 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Hi, my 17 year old dachshund has had a long 5 week bout with chonic pancreatitis (no vomitting) which was diagnosed via ultra sound and blood work. The worst symptom was horrible diarrhea of the large colon. Metronidazole made it worse, and tylan powder didn’t seem to help. This entire time he went from a dog with a piggy appetite to no appetite at all. I started seeing an internist and as a last resort, he put him on a short term (hopefully) dose of prednisone. In three days the diarrhea has stopped and he is starting to eat a little. My concern is that the pred will make the pancreatitis worse. The internist felt that if it was going to do that immediately, it would have by now (fourth day). I just wondered what your thoughts were about prednisone and pancreatitis? I am not sure I have a choice about the pred as nothing else worked. My vet said it we will taper off as quickly as we can. Does this seem safe to you? I would very much appreciate hearing your comments. Thank you so very much.

  111. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Unfortunately when we as traditional vets cant solve diarrhea/pancreatitis cases with tylan, metronidazole, etc we then go to prednisone as we really dont have anything else in our tool chest. I think short term use is ok, but I would consult with a holistic vet on more long term support for pancreatitis in terms of diet, supplements, and possibly homeopathy. To learn more go to my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  112. Hi, we have a 6 or 7 year old Lab/Sharpei mix (Hooch) who weighs about 70 lbs, and has been diagnosed with flea allergies, even though he has no fleas. We recently moved to a new home with Bahia grass, and he loves to lay in it. His original vet put him on Benadryl first, then Zyrtec when the Benadryl stopped working. He had an ACL tear repaired last year, and has been on Meloxicam since then for the arthritis in both knees. The vet we’re seeing now wants Hooch off the Meloxicam for 7 days before she will prescribe any Prednisone for him. He’s scratching and chewing himself up something awful, and we still have 3 more days before we can get him any Pred. Since OTC allergy meds have stopped working, do you know of anything we can do for Hooch to relieve his itching? I’ve started cooking him meals, to rule out a grain allergy, and have been putting a 400IU dose of Vitamin E in his meals to help.
    Thanks in advance.

  113. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 27, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I personally dont wait one week between stopping metacam and starting pred. In my opinion 3 or 4 days is fine. In meantime you can try other antihistamines like chlorphenirimine at dose of 8 mg twice daily, as well as yucca intensive and proanthozone from 1800petmeds as supplements also which may help.

  114. Three years ago my now-15 YO schnauzer/staffie mix was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. Our vet put her on 2 MG of Medrol every other day (he said for the inflammation), and we put her on a prescription lowfat kibble. In the last few months, I’ve come to find that there isn’t a single piece of documented evidence that steroids help at all with pancreatitis.

    Over the last three years her amylase and lipase levels have continued to get worse (despite the Medrol) and topped out last November at 2344 and 3231, respectively. At that point, my vet recommended putting her on Atopica, as he said they were considering it as a possible treatment for chronic pancreatitis…he went to Texas A&M vet school, BTW. I said no way, that we weren’t using my old dog as a guinea pig.

    Two days after this I started giving her Mercola’s digestive enzymes for dogs with her kibble and a month ago, her amylase and lipase levels had plummeted to 644 and 1023. Amylase is now in normal range, lipase is still high, but much better. My vet (of course) is skeptical the enzymes had anything to do with it, and I asked him if we could wean Daisy off the Medrol…especially since her liver enzymes continue to get worse (latest ALP level was 845). Over the years he has said that her liver enzyme levels would always be high because of the steroids, but they’ve slowly been increasing. Well, knowing what I know now, I want to get her off the steroids. I fear she never needed to be on them in the first place, and that they’ve done her liver more harm than good.

    About a month ago, I started Daisy on milk thistle twice a day, hoping to perhaps help support any liver problems. My vet agreed to reduce her Medrol to 2 MG every 3 days and then we’ll re-run her labs in a couple more weeks and see what everything looks like

    I guess I’m wondering what point there is to her being on a low-dose of Medrol for pancreatitis? Like I said, I haven’t seen a bit of evidence anywhere (and I’m an internet research nut), and I’ve

    Also, we got her off the prescription kibble because I felt it was too low in protein and made her GI system work too hard. We now have her on a still-low fat kibble, but one with higher protein.

    Other than the pancreatitis (from which she’s been completely symptom free for 3 years), she’s on thyroid meds and benazepril for protein in her urine. She’s in fantastic shape…can still see, still hear, walks a mile a day and plays with her younger sister. Two bouts of idiopathic canine vestibular syndrome last summer, and she’s recovered fully from that…except she lost most of her back leg muscle strength so no more jumping.

    Any feedback or insight would be appreciated…thanks!

  115. Oh, and I do understand she’s 15 1/2 and that our time with her is limited. I just don’t want to be hastening the end of her life by having her on unnecessary (and possibly harmful) drugs.

  116. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 31, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Stacy. I do appreciate your wonderful thought out letter, as well as your smart questions. Causes and treatment of pancreatitis from a conventional medical model has always remained controversial and not truly known. Steroids have fallen in and out of vogue over the years, and recently are in again, but as you say, no real data on efficacy. I think the enzymes are a great idea, as well as perhaps working with a holistic veterinarian on other nutritional and dietary support based on your animal’s own individual constitutional symptoms. Dietary therapy off of the kibble may be worthwhile as well. Many holistic veterinarians like myself offer phone consultations nationwide. To learn more go to http://www.doctordym.com You have done a great job in getting your pet to this point. Hopefully she can continue on for years to come!!!

  117. Hi Dr, Dym,

    Our dog has melanoma that has as spread to her lungs. We had changed her diet to home cooked meals and added a bunch of supplements and Chinese herbs per her holistic vet. She developed a distaste for her food and stopped eating (her stomach was also gurgling and she was gaseous) so we eliminated all the supplements and herbs to try and get her to eat again. She didn’t, so we turned to our vet who put her on a low dose (10mg) of pred (she was 80 lbs but is now 72 lbs) and metoclopramide to try and help stimulate her appetite. At first she ate a decent amount of food but now she is getting pickier and pickier and eating less and less. It is a battle to keep looking for new foods that she likes at first then looses interest in them. Our holistic vet said there is nothing in her ‘toolbox’ to help. So would it be alright to up her dosage of pred or is there something else that might be better? She has been on the pred and me to for about 2 weeks. She is only 8.5 years old and is still in good spirits and seems to be happy, so we hate to put her to sleep. Any suggestions please? Thank you for all you do!

  118. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 15, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    There is great appetite stimulant now being used in vet medicine called Mirtazipine at dose of 7.5 to 15 mg once daily which may help appetite. Also consider holistic supplement like Maitake DMG which you can get on line as well as transfer factor. to learn more about latter, go to http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym to learn more.

  119. Hello! I have a 13 year old 18 pound dachshund that recently has had breathing issues and a high resp. rate. She has had x-rays, an ultra sound of her lungs and heart, and can’t find anything definite wrong with her except that she has inflammation and her lungs are not \the prettiest\ from what I was told. No tumors, no high blood pressure, no blood clots, etc. The vet put her on prednisone(the pills) and i’m trying to wean her down to the lowest dose possible but it seems like her comfort dose is 2.5 mg in the am and 2.5 mg in the pm so that’s 5 mg a day! Is that too much long term do you think? Any feed back/advice is greatly appreciated. Prissy’s mom

  120. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    HI Erika. Every animal is an individual so dose of pred will vary. Try and get her on lowest dose possible. Also consider working with a holistic vet like myself who will incorporate other supplements and/or modalities which may help in this situation. For example supplements like turmeric, as well as grape seed extract, vitamin C and many others can help with allergic airway inflammation. Good luck and let me know if I can help further.

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  122. Hi, our nearly-7-yr-old miniature poodle is a long-term user of prednisone in the form of Temaril-P. He’s been taking this for 3-4 years for severe allergies. (He also has several other medical issues explained below.)
    He is allergic to dust mites and 3 types of molds, and we’ve tried everything – prescription diets, immunotherapy shots prepared by a veterinary allergy specialist, Atopica, fatty acid supplements, etc. The only thing that works is Temaril-P and the lowest effective dose is one tablet twice daily.
    He also has torn CCL’s in both hind knees – one has been surgically repaired and the other not. Recently he re-injured the one that had been repaired. He’s been taking Tramadol 50 mg twice daily for the pain, and after the re-injury, the vet added Novox too, at 25 mg twice daily.
    The problem is he can’t take Temaril-P with Novox, so the vet switched the Temaril-P to Apoquel. At first we tried 5.4 mg of Apoquel twice daily, and it worked great for the allergies, but after a few days he started vomiting about once per day. The vet cut the Apoquel back to once daily, and after a few days the vomiting stopped but the itching came back in full force. A week ago the vet upped the Apoquel to 8.1 mg/day (1 pill in the morning and a half-pill in the evening). No vomiting yet, but still itching like crazy.
    I know long term Temaril-P use is bad for many reasons, and doesn’t help heal his knees. But it is still the only thing that seems to make his allergies comfortable. Surgery is unlikely, since the first one didn’t hold and because besides the two torn CCL’s he also has bladder stones that ideally should be removed. We can’t afford 3 more surgeries nor do we want to put him through the pain and recovery of 3 surgeries, but we want to keep him as comfortable as possible.
    Any suggestions?
    (I should mention that he also takes Zonisamide 100 mg twice daily for seizures which are completely under control with the medicine.)

  123. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 11, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Sounds like a conventional medicine mess. Sounds like low dose temaril p is your best option for most things, including joint issues, skin issues, etc. I would go with that over the novox. I would make sure to use plenty of nutritional supplements to support healing like my favorite transfer factor, which you can learn more about at http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym Also consider supplements like proanthozone and yucca intensive from 1800petmeds. I would also consider working with a homeopathic veterinarian for individualized long term holistic support as well. To learn more see http://www.drpitcairn.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many offer phone consultations. Dog gone pain is natural pain medicine you can also learn more about on line

  124. Dr. Dym’
    We have a five year old female Gordon Setter who became very ill last October. We were preparing to show her in a show in New Mexico and then travel to Colorado to visit family. Two days before leaving for the meet/journey, we took her to our vet for a checkup and a Bordetella vaccine, which she had a year before. The vaccine was not the injection or the nasal, but an oral. The very next morning, we noticed that she was limping. We took her immediately to the vet, he was somewhat suspicious of f the vaccine, thought about administering a steroid injection and subsequently decided to place her on Rimady. He also ran a blood panel, nothing seem to show up. We scratched her from the show, but continued with our plans to Colorado. During the week in Co. we noted she was still limping and having some difficulty in getting in the car, jumping, etc., but the Rimadyl seemed to be handling her pain. After a week we returned to Az., and took her into the vet that Monday when the limping became more prominent and was affecting other limbs. The doctor put her on Prednisone. We weaned her off the Rimadyl for 36 hours before beginning the Prednisone. After the first dose of Prednisone, she appeared to be improved for, at most 12 hrs.. By the next morning, she was in extreme pain, joints were swollen, we had to carry her outside and to the vet’s office. She was running a temperature (105 F.), extremely lethargic, inappetant and could barely walk. He took x-rays that indicated mild right stifle effusion and severe right periarticular sot tissue selling. There was also generalized lymphadenopathy. He also performed a fine needle aspiration and cytology of the popliteal l.n. which were consistent with a reactive lymph node. CBC/chem and Cocci titers were performed on 10/24/13 and were unremarkable. Her last heat cycle ended in early October shortly before the vaccination . At this point, he had us go to the emergency vet hospital for treatment, as she had become that critical. The specialist at the hospital asked us if we had been back east at all (so did our regular vet) which we had not, but we did tell her that we had been to Colorado and Texas in June and July. We never saw any evidence of ticks and it had been several months since our trips to Co. and Tx. Neither vet thought it probably would not be Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever. Our girl spent two days/nights in intensive care, with I.V.’s administering fluids and medication. A CT scan confirmed physical exam findings of no masses or bony changes and no apparent structural cause of the limb swellings. Their diagnosis was a suspect systemic disease causing inflammation and leaky blood vessels. They stated the causes of inflammation include immune-mediated diseases ( ie: immune-mediated polyarthritis, infectious diseases (ie: disseminated salmonellosis, tick-borne diseases), or delayed anaphylaxis, such as from a drug or vaccine (ie: Type III hypersensitivity). She was sent home with a fentanyl patch and tramadol for pain, Doxycycline and Augmentin and Pentoxifylline. They also recommended we have joint taps with cytology and cultures and submitting a lymph node aspirate, which we did with our regular vet. We also approved for a titer on tick-born disease, which all came back unremarkable. We had to force feed her for two-three months, along with all the recommended medication. She needed s sling for a least a month to walk and relieve herself. Because we were so desperate in that the doctor’s could not give us a definitive diagnosis for her mysterious illness, we consulted with her breeders (Wisconsin) and with other breeders here about her case. We also purchased a detoxifier, immunostim’r and yucca intensive and a Multi vitamin from Azmira Holistic Animal Care products, but ceased these when a homeopathic/reg. vet suggested we abstain from these because of the alcohol in them and wait until she is greatly improved and off of all her meds. The holistic vet suggested we give her vitamin B-12 and thuja occidentalis as well. Currently, she is much improved and is on 10mg. of prednisone every other day. She also gets the vitamins. Our regular vet has warned us that when she finishes this last dose of the 10mg. for the month of May, her symptoms could return, in which case it would be back on prednisone. Since being on the steroid, she is continually thirsty, hungry, drools, has lost a lot of her coat and has put on over ten pounds. She still has some difficulty jumping, running and does not have a lot of energy. We panic every time she seems to limp a bit. Our regular vet suggests to spay her when the meds are finished. Before she became ill, she was earning her points toward a championship. Now, first and foremost, we are concerned about the long term effects of the Prednisone and will she ever recover enough to be shown again. Do you think the tick-born disease titer was negative because it was done after the treatment and what is your opinion as to whether the cause was the vaccine or the tick disease? What would you suggest about future vaccinations, heartworm and other parasitic disease medications, spaying and any other suggestions for her long term health. We have never had a dog so young have such a puzzling and heart-wrenching illness. Any insights and suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time and all that you do for animals.

  125. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 16, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Hi Marelyn: Sorry to hear about your tragic story. To summarize, as a homeopathic veterinarian, who also gets calls/referrals from around the country, I can honestly say it was the bordatella vaccination which triggered this immune mediated mystery illness. Vaccinations are involved with more suffering and disease in animals than I can share here. I would be happy to advise you more individually going hear forward. I would love a copy of this letter, if you could send it to my private email, as I would like to share this with colleagues and other animal guardians. My email is michael@doctordym.com Also to learn more about my own individual homeopathic practice, and how my practice works, etc(as I advise many clients on issues like this, go to http://www.doctordym.com

  126. Hi Dr. Dym,
    Our 5 year old Westie was diagnosed with IBD last July at UC Davis. (blood, Endo, Ultrasound tests completed) She was initially on 10 mg then tapered to 5 mg daily of Prednisone for the past year and we have been feeding her Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Potato Whitefish diet only. The problem that we are having is that she becomes very depressed on the 5 mg and higher and never wags her tail and doesn’t want to play, she just sleeps and hides. When we taper her down below the 5 mg her IBD symptoms start returning. My question is would Budesonide be a better medication for her with less side effects? Are there any other alternative medications including Natural/Herbal medications that might help? Also, shouldn’t a dog with IBD have their diets periodically changed?
    Thank you,

  127. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 22, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Hi Jan. All great questions. As a more holistic oriented veterinarian, I certainly do believe that diets should be varied in dogs, even with IBD, as feeding same food over and over usually eventually leads of food allergies or hypersensitivities in animals due to leaky gut of inflammatory bowel disease. I would first try and get her healthier. through nutritional supplementation or even constitutional classical homeopathy as an alternative. Certainly Budesonide is another option, but it is still a steroid, and sometimes may not work as well. I would learn more about constitutional classical homeopathy as an option. To learn more go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com and check out booklet. Also see info on my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations, as do I nationwide. I would explore all of these, as otherwise a life time of pred, etc is ahead.

  128. Hi Dr.
    This past week my 10yr old female lab had surgery for a lump that was diagnosed as a mast cell, stage 2, low grade tumor. My vet said that giving her Benadryl and Pepcid may control the growth and stop the tumor from traveling to other organs. She has several other smaller lumps and I was wondering what if anything would be best to make her comfortable and give her quality of life for the rest of her years. I am on a low income budge but I have read about the new drug Palladia, would that be best and how expensive is this possible wonder drug? Any advice would be very welcome. Thank you.

  129. Hello, our little guy (14 1/2 yr old ,11 lb shih tzu) Frankie was diagnosed with chf back in oct of last year. Coughing,and collapsing a lot. Vet put him on lasix and encard and he has been doing ” fine” No more coughing or collapsing . He has had a history of spinal problems all his life weak back legs to almost paralyzed at times. He has been able to get thru these bouts with steroid shots and pills on and off. Well now it seems he’s having some weakness and trembling of back legs and walking very slow like it’s his back again. Can he still get the steroid and not harm him because of the chf? I’ve been reading that steroids are not good for dogs in chf, but I don’t think we have a choice? Thanks for any info, really want to help Frankie stay comfortable . Mario

  130. Well, I had to bring Frankie to the vet because his back was getting worse. Vet decided , the best for his pain was a shot of dexamethazone followed next 3 days pills .5mg , 2x daily then 1 for 5 days, then 1/2 every other day. He also stopped the lasix at this time and continued the enapiril . One day later, he’s running around like a puppy. I’m just concerned the chf will get worse without the lasix , but vet says let’s watch and see. So, what do you think? Thanks Mario

  131. Sorry, forgot to say that Frankie also seems to be having soon bowl problems – loose stool. I cook all his food , low fat beef or chicken with brown rice to minimize his salt intake ,any ideas? Also read dexamethazone retains salt, oh boy! Thanks again!

  132. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    The short term dexamethasone should not be a problem. I would go with what your vet is suggesting for CHF management. I would also consult with a holistic vet on supplement support, etc for back and heart.

  133. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I Would refer you to my friend and nutritionist Loreen Playford for more specific recipes/advice on diet. See her website http://www.k9petchef.com

  134. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    HI Mario. Also consider supplements like glycoflex II from 1800petmeds, as well as antioxidants proanthozone which can help with inflammation. I also LOVE the supplement Dev Cor Mobility which you can find on line

  135. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Palladia is excellent drug, but yes is very expensive. You could also try the supplement transfer factor, as well as oncosupport from 1800petmeds. To learn more about transfer factor and to order, go to http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym

  136. We have a 4 year old 7 pound Maltese who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in January. He was on 5mg Prednisone a day with instructions to cut the dose in 1/2 after 30 days and then stop the medication. In February we cut the dose in 1/2 and he was doing fine until we stopped. At that point he started vomiting, refused to eat and began shaking a lot . We took him to our vet who said we must have misunderstood his instructions and we would have to start all over again with the 5mg per day for 30 days and then cut that in half in 30 and in half again in 30 etc until he was off. After 30 days we cut the dose in 1/2 and within 3 days he was shaking violently and throwing up. We put him back on the full dose and he was fine except the shaking continued but not as bad. We tried to cut it in 1/2 again about two weeks later and he was fine for 8 days and then couldn’t keep food down, became lethargic and shaking badly again. Called the vet and he said to do 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 at night for 2 weeks (back to full dose) and then do 1/2 in the morning and 1/4 at night and so on. The problem now is that he has not gotten any better after 3 days of being back on full dose. We are retired and on a fixed income and I cannot afford to continue taking him to the vet every month so they can guess what to do next. Anyone have a situation like this that was fixed?

  137. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Really need more accurate diagnosis than just “autoimmune disease” here as there are some immune mediated diseases that need life long and/or other immune suppressive therapy with drugs like aziothioprine and/or atopica at same time as pred. I would ask your vet for referral to vet internist in your area for accurate diagnosis so that long term plan, possibly incorporating these drugs is indicated

  138. Thanks doc but we had to put Frankie to sleep today. Devastated Unbelievable grief. That little guy depended on me for everything. Crying like a baby

  139. Hi Dr. Dym–
    My nearly 13-year-old GSD mix suddenly presented with ataxia and loss of sensation in her back end in November, and her orthopedist initially suspected a spinal stroke or DM and prescribed 40 mg of pred daily, to be tapered down over the course of three weeks. When things didn’t improve quickly, we visited a neurologist, had an MRI of her brain and spine done, drew CSF, ran extensive blood and PARR tests and ran the DNA test for DM (she tested as a carrier but did not test at risk), but none of these tests gave us any definitive answers. The neurologist thought it might be leukemia in the brain and suggested chemo; a brain cancer specialist who reviewed her films strongly disagreed and felt it was more likely degenerative disk disease. We tapered the pred down to 10 mg daily (she weighs 90 pounds), and for lack of a better option, have kept her on it ever since, as no one seems able to give us a definitive answer or other treatment suggestions. She is still mobile, though has more trouble than she did prior to all of this (can’t do steps, has some trouble getting up from a sitting position, and has occasional fecal incontinence), and when I tried taking her off the pred, her mobility worsened, so I’ve kept her on the 10 mg daily. We do electroacupuncture, I supplement her meals with home cooked human-grade beef, chicken, broccoli and blueberries, and she is on a host of anti-inflammatory supplements (Alenza, Glyo-Flex III, turmeric/curcumin, ginger, NAC, salmon oil, SAMe, IP6/Inositol, milk thistle, green tea extract). People have suggested I try adding DGP, but am uncertain if this conflicts with prednisone since it has Fever Few extract as one of the ingredients. Can you tell me if this would be problematic? Also, should I be concerned about the fact that she’s now been on prednisone for 6+ months? Are there other, safer alternatives I should be looking at? I honestly am not sure whether I’m treating cancer, degenerative disk disease, arthritis or even DM, so I’m looking to go with anti-inflammatory options that keep her mobile for as long as possible. Thanks so much for any suggestions you can offer!

  140. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 13, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I dont think DGP would be a problem with low dose pred but check with DGP company. Sounds like you are doing alot for your dog. Consider Stephen Blake’s gemmotherapies like mountain pine, common birch, wild woodvine and black currant Learn more about these on line

  141. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 13, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Sorry for your loss.

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  143. I recently found blood in my 11yr old bulldog’s urine. I’ve scheduled a vet appointment for Friday, but in the meantime, do I continue to give her prednisone? She’s been on it most of her life. It’s the only thing that keeps her comfortable.

  144. I have a 14yr old cat who has IBD, feline herpes, skin allergies, FLUDT(he had the PU surgery), and was told he also has some sort of inflammatory respiratory condition that was minor(this was diagnosed when he had his PU surgery and we were told that keeping his weight down would help) All are under control with diet supplements and prednisone except the IBD which still flares occasionally. Flares are minor and usually resolve in a day or so with a little extra pred.

    He is also taking a probiotic(primal defense) and moducare(plant sterols and sterolins) He gets his probiotic in the morning and moducare in the evening and prednisone every other evening.

    He is on all wet food. I give him very low carb low fat foods like shredded chicken and supplement with pumpkin which seems to help the IBD. We switched several years ago from dry food and a prescription diet for his IBD because this was making his FLUTD flare(blood in the urine) and also because it was causing weight gain(he was up to 16lbs) He has gradually lost weight over about 3 years and is currently about 10 lbs which looks to be about an ideal weight for his size.

    I will mention that we did have him on metronidazole for quite some time but I suspected this was not helping and may have actually given him some diarrhea so we did a trial of stopping it a couple months ago and I noticed no difference and slools seems firmer so we discontinued it.

    I am thinking about trying milk thistle to see if that helps with the IBD flares. What dose would be appropriate for a 10 lb cat? should I give in the morning, evening, split the dose or give it every other day? I have also heard things about SAMe. Do you think either of these would help stabilize my cat? If yes, would you suggest I start both or one at a time. And I would need to know dosing for SAMe too.

    Also about the dosage of pred. We have tried to stop it and symptoms always return so after several years I am thinking that may not be possible. I have gotten him down to 1.25mg every other evening and he will do ok for awhile on that and then something stressful happens and he has a flare up. I am wondering if I should just keep him on a little higher dose or pred and maybe he would not be having the flare ups. What are your thoughts on dosage for every other day pred? I tend to be fearful of keeping him on the pred, but maybe I am doing more harm than good by continuing to reduce it? Honestly he has been so sick so many times that I must be doing something right since he has made it to 14.

    Summer seems like a rough time for him for some reason so I am hoping to find something to keep him feeling better more of the time.

    Thank you


  145. I wanted to add that his symptoms are throwing up and then not wanting to eat or just picking at his food. Hairballs are sometimes what comes up with liquid then he just seems to not feel good for awhile. When he feels good he has a ravenous appetite. We feed him 3 times a day as the frequent feeds seem to help.

  146. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    When allergens are highest in stomach, I recommend not too many courses of cortisone shots, so may want to try low/maintenance dose of prednisione Also see my friend and canine nutrionist Loreen Playford, who can help with home made diets http://www.loreenplayford. Good luck with his care and let me know if I can help further.

  147. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Sounds like he may be having flareups of IBD or pancreatitis. Try asking vet about prescription drugs cerenia and mirtazipine which can help with nausea/vomiting, appetite, etc

  148. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Excellent questions. Lowest effective dose of pred to control signs always best. 1.25 mg every other day not bad. I would just increase during flareups as higher doses of pred more likely to cause diabetes, infections, etc. As for Milk thistle I find 50 to 100 mg daily fine. SAMe also good. Product called denamarin from 1800petmeds has both. Also start her on DMG liquid from 1800petmeds. Consider whole food supplements like feline enteric support from standard process which you can find on line Good luck in difficult case.

  149. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Mirtazipine very 3 days and/or cerenia can help with appetite stimulation and/or occasional nausea

  150. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 22, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    I would continue meds until you have your vet check

  151. Have you tried daily supplements of Methylcobalamin.. Methyl B12? I would suggest 1000 mcg daily (make sure there are no “nasty” ingredients such as Xylitol). The Methyl form of B12 is needed to cross the blood-brain barrier and sometimes humans.. and dogs and cats.. are unable to convert the Cyano form into the form needed by the brain and spinal cord. I have seen complete hind end paralysis and incontinence reversed in dogs using this supplement.

  152. Just an update. Corgi is still with us after over two years on the Prednisone, 10mg twice daily. She will be 10 in December. She’s still alert and we have supplemented the Prednisone with Thyrozine, at the recommendation of our vet, and also give her a NuVet Plus vitamin pill daily which has had a dramatic effect in keeping her active. She has lost a lot of muscle mass most notably on her legs and head. He rhead is pretty much skin on bone and she bleeds quickly if banging heads with out other Corgi. All in all I thinks she’s happy and I believe the Predisone has kept her comfortable and functioning for the past two years. Her belly is bloated but Corgi’s are belly draggers anyway. We hope she makes it to het 10th birthday and cherish every day she’s still with us. Thanks.

  153. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    HI Paul. Thanks for sharing. Glad to hear Corgi is still doing well

  154. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  155. My cat has lymphoma of the kidneys but has been in remission. She has been on 5 mg of Prednisolone daily. Today I accidentally gave her 0.5 mg of Budesonide. She is showing no distress. Is it safe for me to give her her Prednisolone dose tonight or should I wait till tomorrow? Thank you.

  156. I have an 11 lb chi/rat terrier who is 1 1/2 yrs old with a spinal injury. I adopted her at 4 mos from a rescue org who had pulled her from a kill shelter in GA. 5 mos ago, she injured herself playing with one of her (my) cats later on in the evenin. She screamed in pain and couldn’t walk. I gave her half an enteric aspirin that night and again the next morning, and took her to the ER clinic, they said spinal injury after xrays, but not new, an exacerbation of a pre-existing issue. They gave her tramadol, and recommended surgery. She recovered pretty quickly and was mobile a few days later. A month later she re-injured herself by running, sliding into a door, and stiffened right up and was paralyzed in her rear legs the next day, brought her to an Orthopedist who suggested a Neurological Surgeon, the surgeon said treat with meds, gave her a shot of Dexamethasone and put her on prednisone and Gabapentin and valium. After a few doses of the Gabapentin, she seemed disoriented so I replaced it with Traumeel and Neuralgia (by Heel) and also replaced the valium with Neurexan, she regained mobility in a few days but it took longer to resolve. She was on a tapering dose of pred for a few weeks and I noticed her rear knees seemed wobbly, so I stopped the pred and brought her to my Chiropractor. After a few adjustments she was much better and was more stable for a couple of weeks.. This past week she fell off the front seat of my car as I made a U turn even with a harness and seatbelt (she had just stood up as I turned) and re-injured herself. I gave her 3 doses of Gabapentin over the next two days and again, she seemed disoriented, so I switched to tramadol. I called and The Neuro Vet said to put her back on the pred for a few days to see if she gets better with that. I also have given her a couple of (1 ml) syringes of Serrapeptase to address the inflammation. It seems to help a great deal. (sorry for the length) and gave more Traumeel and Neuralgia. I am torn between asking for NSAIDs and using the pred again. I have another appt tom with the Chiro which she responds well to. My concern is her youth and using the prednisone again vs an NSAID. They both have long term side effects and she’s so young. Based on your experience, what would you suggest?

  157. sorry, left out did not have the surgery, for many reasons. Want to avoid if at all possible.

  158. Our 12 yr. old Siberian Husky, Cayenne, has been diagnosed with Idiopathic thrombocytopenia – bleeding, bruising and now determined to be an autoimmune disorder by trying to reduce prednisone when her platelets crashed again. We’ll be trying azathioprine to attempt again to get her off the pred in a couple of weeks “IF all goes well,” but I understand that can bring new problem of white blood cell deficiency. I lost two of my dogs unexpectedly last year – they were my heart and soul, also seniors – and I need to do everything I can for her for my sanity. How can I best support her through this forced Cushing’s, and is there any hope or are we just grasping at straws? She has all the typical symptoms: panting, has increased thirst and hunger, and edginess [she already had a very rough start in life (found abandoned, chained to a radiator with no food or water – heard howling by a neighbor who reported the situation to the SPCA, whom we had to fight to get her) and has always been a problem child with resource guarding, constantly challenging the natural alpha in our pack, etc.]. Melatonin, folate and vitamin E have been recommended – should/can I use Rescue Remedy to calm her, and hawthorn, echinacea, CoQ10 to boost her immune system – our vet says no for chlorella, the concern being that her system is already hyper-stimulated, but that the other supplements I researched “are all probably OK.” Oh, we had already been feeding a homemade diet made of lots of safe veggies (kale, spinach, carrots, etc.) and allowable fruit, chicken breast, lentils and chick peas with bone meal; this was in response to sporadically becoming disinterested in “high-end” kibble. Thank you for your availability to all of us, and for your obvious care and concern.

  159. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 27, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    HI Marika. I would ask your vet about drug like atopica or cyclosporine instead of aziothioprine or along with that, as I have had good results with that. As for supplements, I think all of them including melatonin are fine. You may also want to consider working with a holistic vet as well individually over the phone or in person if one in your area. I also love the supplement called Transfer factor. To learn more about that supplement, go to the website http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym

  160. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Based on your detailed history, I would go with the pred in this situation, given the amount of neuro episodes she has had. I dont think NSAIDs strong enough. Consider finding holistic vet in your area skilled in acupuncture/chinese herbs and/or ask your chiropractor for referral. OR you can look at referral list on http://www.AHVMA.org

  161. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 27, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I would wait until next day to give pred

  162. Thank you for your response, have started her on the pred and already see a big improvement after just two doses. I have been unable to get to the Holistic Vet for Accupuncture due to distance, work sched, cost per visit (85 + visit fee) so am relying on Chiro. I truly appreciate your help with my decision. (and am a big fan of Anitra’s for many years, remember your input in that book!) Thank you so much!

  163. Is there any long term harm in giving both at the same time one time?

  164. Hi Dr. Dym,

    I have a 3 year old Cavachon. He only weighs 24 pounds. He has severe allergies. He is on a diet of sweet potatoes and salmon only. He also has not been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome but I believe he has that or something along those lines. He has been on Metrinidazole and Cerenia without much success. When we put him on prednisone he did much better. We were able to get him down to 1/2 of a 25mg tablet every 3 days and he seemed to be doing fine. We took him off the prednisone about a month ago and I am seeing his problems coming back. He might need to be on the prednisone long term as a result. With that small of a dosage, do you think the side effects will be minimal?

  165. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    HI Amy. Some dogs do need low dose prednisone every few days to maintain remission of immune mediated bowel disease like inflammatory bowel disease. If I am reading you correctly 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet would be quite a high dose. Perhaps you mean 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet? That is a much lower and more appropriate long term dose. Also consider working with holistic vet on dietary an nutritional therapies, as well as possible homeopathy which is an option as well. To learn more about homeopathy, go to my website and the links http://www.doctordym.com

  166. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 29, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    You are very welcome. Hope things continue to improve.

  167. Hi
    We have an 11 y/o maine coon cat who over the last few months has recently started scratching and scratching. Weve done everything from put him onto a hypo allergenic grain free diet to deflea him, blood test him (came back inconclusive) etc etc. He was on prednisone for about 3 months which worked well. The first week he was on one 5mg tablet per day. Then 1/2 5mg tablet per day then eventually we managed to get the scratching under control with 1/2 5mg tablet every other day. However he would still scratch slightly on 1/2 every other day it wasnt excessive. The scratching would only ever stop completely if he was on one full 5mg tablet per day – which is not good long term.
    We have now moved him onto Atopica and he is still scratching and scratching – even drawing blood. I’m at a loss on what to do? Please any suggestions would be helpful. Do you think 1/2 5mg tablet every other day is ok long term or would you recommend to stick with the Atopica??

  168. Thank you so much Dr. Dym. Yes that was a typo he is not on that high of a dosage. It is 1/2 of 5mg once every three days. Thank you for the info about your website I will definitely check it out. Thanks Amy

  169. Hello
    I have a 8 years female sheltie who lost her right front leg at few months old. She been doing great. Few years i bought her a doggy wheelchair to help her to keep up with my other dogs when going to walks. Last year my vet said her front leg was getting very bad inflamation but recently shes been tripping and falling lots .. Shes an happy dog but i can tell she is in pain ..
    We don’t want to sent her to doggy heaven unless thats is the best for her . But what can we do to help her without extending her pain and suffering..

  170. Yeah, what are the dangers of giving both?

  171. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Put her on great supplements like super joint enhancer and proanthozone from 1800petmeds. Also consider yucca intensive by azmira from 1800petmeds, as well as something called Dog gone pain which you can find on line

  172. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    You are very welcome Amy

  173. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Low dose pred every other day is usually fine in most cats long term although periodic blood work can help to monitor liver,kidneys and pancreas. Also consider working with homeopathic vet for different approach here, as well as even trying home made diet like those in book The NAtural Cat By Anitra Frazier. Learn more about homeopathy on my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations

  174. Great, thank you

  175. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    you are welcome

  176. Hi,

    My 2 year old staffie has some kind of allergy but we do not know what it is. If she is not on the tablets she scratches her eyes and under legs constantly. She is bald behind her ears and constantly loses hair on her chest and belly. She has been on prednisolone 10mg every 2 days. Yesterday she had to have her annual boosters. The vet said it wasn’t worth giving her the injections as the chances are they would not work. This is the first time that we have been told this and she has been on the tablets since she was a few months old. I thought I would rather her have the booster and have that chance of it working. Is this right what the vet has said, or should we still get her vaccinated?

    Many thanks

  177. I have a GSD that is 13 and just had back surgery. It’s been 3 months and she is still not walking very good. I started her back on prednisone 10 once a day and she is getting up and walking a little. I’m wondering if I can add MSM to help instead of more prednisone?

  178. I have a 9 year old terrier mix with chronic bronchitis/ COPD. She frequently gets bacterial infections in her lungs. She is currently on QVAR (1 50mcg puff, three times daily). We alternate every 7 days between Azithromyicin and Amoxicillin to keep her infections at bay. She has also been on between 10 and 20 mg dose of prednisone daily for almost a year and a half. Recently, she has begun to have some bladder control issues (she will urinate while she’s sitting in the floor, almost like she doesn’t even realize she’s going to the bathroom). Is this a long term side effect of prednisone use, should I be worried that she’s developed a kidney or bladder issue from the long term use? Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.

  179. My 12 year old, 72 lb retriever has just been prescribed 20mg of Prednisone daily. The vet thinks she has a cervical disc problem due to her lack of bowel control (intermittent) and difficult in walking (ataxia) . I don’t like to use steroids so am wondering if anti-inflammatory meds would be safer. She is also on phenobarb 64 mg daily due to occasional seizures and 2 joint supplement pills daily. I have also tried Tramadol for her pain, but after a few days of use it didn’t seem to relieve her pain. The vet feels, rather than increase the Tramadol she wants to use the prednisone instead. I am wondering if an anti-inflammatory medications like Tramadol or Rimadyl would be safer than Prednisone. Thanks in advance for your help!

  180. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Sometimes increasing dose of tramadol can help with pain. Probably prednisone is better choice other than non steroidal anti inflammatory, if additional meds needed. I agree with your vet

  181. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Could be side effect of prednisone or perhaps resistant urinary tract infection. SEe vet for recheck, as well as possibly ask about having urine culture done to see if bacteria involved.

  182. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I dont think MSM alone will be suffice. I would work with a holistic vet on this one. You could consider acupuncture and/or chiropractic . You also could consider working with a veterinary homeopath who uses homeopathy, nutritional therapies and diet. To learn more about homeopathy, see my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations if none in your area.

  183. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    In my opinion, vaccinating a dog like this for DHPP with severe allergic skin disease can cause worsening of allergies in long run, and given immunity to most core viruses lasts for years to life of pet, I would skip nonessential vaccines at this age.

  184. My 1.75 year old 103 lb dog was diagnosed with IBD via endoscopy with biopsy about 4 months ago. He started at 20 mg prednisone per day and was tapered down to 5 mg prednisone every other day. He has been on 5 mg every other day for about 4 weeks and except a few very minor symptoms for a few days after a short stressful trip a week ago (when also he stole 1/2 piece of pizza) he is IBD symptom free and doing great. When I asked about alternative drugs or tapering more, the vet specialist dismissed me, stating that this is a \chronic\ disease and \some animals must be on prednisone for the rest of their lives\. In the beginning she talked about \remission\, which I thought meant we would have some drug free symptom free time periods. Now I feel like she’s dismissing us.

    I understand it is chronic. Maybe this isn’t your field of expertise, but how does she know he needs prednisone forever if we stopped tapering at 5 mg every other day? Was it because of those symptoms after our trip? Also, will this dose cause side effects? He is really still a puppy and I am worried that this drug will destroy his body. So will IBD, I suppose. He is also on FortiFlora, slippery elm and Pepcid 20 mg BID. Anyway, Thanks.

  185. I have a Rottweiller, 3 years of age. Was healthy and fit up to 2 weeks ago. Started to slow down and sleep, up to last week, I checked him for ticks and he was infested with them, brought him into the Vet and they did bloodwork, he came back positive for Anaplasma, he was given the shot Imidocarb, and put on Doxi and Predni, after 3 days he started to throw up food, he is eating and drinking, my Vet took him off both meds and put him on Ulcer meds, I put him back on the Doxi yesterday and today back on the Predni, so far he’s keeping them both down, but extremely sluggish and sleeping a lot, I’m constantly checking his breathing to see if he’s still here with me. When we did the first blood work his Red Platelets were at 5, where Normal should be between 175-500, I took him the next day and did another blood work and his platelets rose to 55, Tomorrow we go in for another blood test.

    This dog 3 months ago was big and healthy, happy and running and jumping. Now the opposite.

    Am I losing my dog?

    My questions:
    1. Will he get healthy again? Or will he always be slow and sluggish due to the Predni? We will see after tomorrow’s blood test I guess…

    2. What signs will I see if he is getting healthy, seems that the drugs Doxi and Predni are really really effecting him in everyway.

    3. Should I ask my Vet to check for any other “behind the scenes” abnormalties or viruses he may have? If so What?

    Send ANY suggestions or advise for me and my Otto.

  186. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 8, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Hard to say. Sounds like there is something else possibly going on here. I would ask your vet for referral to vet internist specialist in your area. Sometimes additional meds are needed to decrease autoimmune reaction such as aziothioprine or atopica, as well as supplements like melatonin to increase platelet numbers. As he responds, you should see his energy going up. Consider having complete thyroid profile as well to see if thyroid is low in this breed.

  187. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 8, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Not sure how she knows he will need pred forever. I have treated many IBD dogs with homeopathy, nutritional supplements and dietary changes. With that being said, 5 mg pred every other day in dog this size is VERY low dose and shouldn’t’ cause problems. To learn more about homeopathy, go to http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations

  188. Thank you for your time Dr. Dym. I’ll check out your website and maybe make an appointment with a holistic vet. Thanks.

  189. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    HI Shannon. I would be happy to help as well as I offer phone consultations to clients from around the country

  190. My 16lb rat terrier chihuhua mix has asthma and nasty cough. She we have had her on 5mg of prednisone daily for about a yesr. Whenever we try to taper back to 2.5mg and or every other day the cough comes back within a day or two. She has now been coughing constantly even though we have upped her meds to 5mg or 7.5mg of prednisone daily. We have also had her on theophylin by itself andin.concert with the prednisone and that did nothing. She is a rescue. We think she is about 9. We had to have 16 of her teeth extracted, she had mange whenwe got her about 2 years ago, was underweight. Now she has a bad cataract in her right eye so i think she is most likely blind in it. The prednisone has made her gain weight….she was 10 lbs when we got her and makes her super hyperactive when she isnt sleeping. Not sure what to do with her because i am afraid the prolonged prednisone will shorten her life but we also cant live with the constant coughing. Any insight would be appareciated.

  191. Just returned from the vet, we did another blood test and his platelet levels went up, great news. He also wanted me to cut back on the Predi to 25mg every 48hrs due to his panting and heavy breathing, he’s still slow and has no energy, He’s on the Doxi still at 250mg every 12 hours.

    I asked my vet about doing a thyroid check and he advised not necessary at this time. His lungs are clear, temperature is normal, stool is great, eating like a pig, drinking a lot of water from the Predni.

    But how can I get his energy and pep back, I was looking into Echinacea or other natural remidies. I’m sure there’s something else happening, but what????

  192. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 10, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    Try gemmotherapies Tamarisk and Common Birch and Common Juniper. Learn more about these on my colleague’s website http://www.thepetwhisperer.com I disagree with your vet on thyroid, as my colleague and veterinary hematologist and expert Jean Dodds, DVM has explained how thyroid supplementation helps most dogs with low platelet numbers due to affect on bone marrow, even those without low blood thyroid levels. Hormone melatonin also seems to help the platelet numbers. I would also try antioxidants like proanthozone from 1800petmeds and transfer factor http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym

  193. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Make sure your vet has ruled out heart disease. Other options include the great prescription drug for coughs called hydrocodone, which can help many dogs with chronic airway or heart disease coughs. I have also found the natural gemmotherapies helpful known as European Alder and European Hornbeam to be very helpful for tracheal and asthmatic coughs. Learn more about these on my friend and colleague’s website Stephen Blake, DVM at http://www.thepetwhisperer.com

  194. Our 2 year old female rottie is on a dose of 25mg prednisone a day. She has been having severe swelling and loss of appetite prior to the predisone decision. She lost almost 20 pounds before starting pred. Since being on pred for the last 6 months she has gained back a bit of weight, but in no regard is her appetite or thirst come back fully. She is also still getting her swelling for about 3 days straight every two weeks. her head, front and back legs, and all joints get about twice the size. Even the knuckles on her toes. poor girl. My question is even though she is on this strong of a dose, things are not fully letting up and she is urinating all over my house all the time with no control and very mopey and not herself is there something else we can be doing for her? They have done every test they say they can do. Multiple lymph node biopsies, tons of blood and urine work. Ultra sounds, X-rays, skin samples allergy tests. We are now at a stand still of just loading her full of these steroids when they are not even helping everything and making her irritable and sad, I have two little children and she is always so amazing with them I would hate to see her not enjoy them anymore. Let alone anything else heaven forbid happening. Is there a different medication that might help? Something I can ask my vet to do further? A specific diet? Supplements? thanks.

  195. Leena ThattayathuJuly 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    My Maltese 1.6 years old, 3.2 kilos was diagnosed for White Shakers Syndrome 3 weeks back. She was put on 10mg perdnisone once a day and valium to control the shakes. The vet took her off the valium after a week. After three weeks and a few days she has improved a lot but the shakes are still there. Is it alright to reduce her dosage to 5mg prednisone while she is still shaking or do we wait for the shakes to be gone completely? Our vet told to reduce the dosage when we are comfortable with it and warned us of long term harm. I am worried that her shakes will be back in full force and then we have to go up to 10 mg again. How long is “long term” for her size and dosage? Would antihistamines or cyclosporine be helpful for White Shaker Syndrome? Thanks lots

  196. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Antihistamines now help here. Not sure about cyclosporine as have never used it for this, but might be worth a shot. As for dosage reduction rate, length of therapy, that will vary depending on patient. You should be under close care and watch of your local veterinarian in terms of dose adjustments, etc I would also look at approaching this issue homeopathically. To learn more about homeopathy see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as http://www.drpitcairn.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations as do I. My website http://www.doctordym.com also has info on this form of treatment.

  197. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    HI Megan Consider working with a homeopathic or holistic vet like myself on case like this for alternative approaches/nutritional supplements, etc. You could ask your vet about drug called atopica, which is steroid alternative or adjunct in autoimmune disorders. Also learn more about homeopathy at http://www.doctordym.com

  198. My parents dog Frosty, a 10 yr old female sheltie was diagnosed with protein losing enteropathy associated with IBD due to food allergies almost a year ago. She did very well on a combination of prednisone, azothiaprine, and a novel protein diet (kangaroo) for 8 months. After that time she declined and her vet and I determined that she developed an allergy to the kangaroo. Her internist recommended changing to a new novel protein and put her back on high doses of Pred. She has been on 20 mg of Pred a day for the last month, as well as her azothiaprine dose every other day. We recently dropped her Pred to 15 mg per day since her albumin levels have been within normal limits. Unfortunately, she has lost almost all her muscle, she’s a skeleton with a big pot belly. And has also developed a nasty skin condition, heavy scaly crusts over very thin skin, in some areas her skin seems in danger of tearing. I read that Pred can cause thinning of the skin so her vet agreed that we should start to decrease the Pred. She is still such a happy sweet girl. She has a voracious appetite (partly due to the Pred I’m sure) and such a will to live. Any suggestions on how I can improve her nutrition without triggering her disease? She is currently on a rabbit diet and I am going to switch her to the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein diet next month. I read that switching the diet every 3 months before the immune system develops an intolerance is beneficial. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

  199. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 18, 2014 at 4:27 am

    HI Michelle. I would consider consulting with a holistic/homeopathic vet on this one, as it sounds like these more processed commercial diets and strong immunosuppressive drugs may not be answer. To learn more about homeopathic vet medicine, go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com and download booklet on homeopathy. Also see information on my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations nationwide. I would also start her on transfer factor plus human version. To learn how to order transfer factor plus, go to http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym

  200. My 10 year old flat coated retriever has been diagnosed with “old dog lungs”; his exercise tolerance is greatly reduced and his breathing is labored. He’s been taking Theophylline ER for a month & Deramaxx for about 2 1/2 weeks and has gotten some relief. The vet had me stop the Deramaxx for several days in order to start low dose prednisone: 10 mg 2x day for 7 days, 10 mg once a day for 14 days, and 10 mg every other day for 7 days. I’m nervous about giving prednisone – my last experience was with a dog with cancer. She got 20 mg 2x day for a few weeks, and it was just dreadful: excessive drinking & hunger, muscle weakness, peeing inside the house. So I’m hesitant to try it now. How likely is the lower dose to cause similar problems? Also, should bloodwork be done before starting, since Deramaxx can cause liver & kidney damage?

  201. We adopted a 6 year old Dachshund male. He is a beautiful boy and sweet. He has a bad back and high anxiety. He has been on Predispose and Prozac for a while. His anxiety is being left alone and he cries when you come back home.He is house broken but still has accidents when I leave. He is there with my other 2 dogs and has a doggie door to get to the yard. How can I help him to not be so anxious. We have had him only 6 months.

  202. I have an 11 yr old female English Springer Spaniel who suffers from chronic skin allergies. She has been on Prednisone therapy for over 2 years on and off (tapering always when she goes off). I’m going to start a raw food diet – “Primal” brand has been recommended to see if this is the cause of her allergies. I had an allergen panel done for environmental causes and she’s high for eucalyptus, mold, certain weeds, etc., and except for mold, she is exposed to many of the flora listed in our area, SF Bay Area. The DVM said food allergy testing is pointless since most dogs don’t have food allergies – is this your opinion as well? In the mean time until I start the raw food diet this week I just started her again on another round of Prednisone today and I might have dosed her incorrectly. I have always given her 20 mg (she weighs 46 lbs) per day for 5 days, then tapering by half next 5 days, and half again next 5 days and that continues as maintenance. I GAVE HER 30 MG ON DAY ONE because I read a vet blog that gave the formula as 1 mg per pound of dog. But now I can’t find any other website that agrees, all i can find is 1 mg per kg of dog, which is much less. Luckily I decided to go in the middle and do 30 mg, not 46. Since she was inflamed with skin sores so badly with broken skin and blood seeping. I know our vet has recommended 20 mg to start but when I checked vet website and saw the larger dosing I thought since she was non-stop itching and breaking skin with her teeth for itch relief I should go for the 30 mg. Is this too much for fist 5 days and Should I give her 20 mg now for next 4 days since that’s more the proper dose for her weight? Thank you!

  203. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 22, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    HI Yvette Dose of prednisone varies with each patient. Some respond to low doses, while some need higher doses to control itching. Lowest effective tapering dose always best, but need to be under care of good vet. Perhaps ask for referral to vet dermatologist in your area. New drug called apoquel has worked wonders in many patients. Also atopica is also an option. Holistic options include finding a vet trained in NAET in your area to work on allergy desensitization. I think the switch to raw is great. Also consider avoiding vaccinations which can worsen allergies in many pets.

  204. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    You could try the natural supplement L-theonine at dose of 1 to 200 mg twice daily, which may help. Should work with trainer on behavior modification as well to help. I prefer more natural approaches to this including homeopathy. To learn more go to http://www.drpitcairn.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  205. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Blood work should always be done in geriatric pet this age. As for pred, every dog different with sensitivity. Some are VERY sensitive to even low doses, while others have little side effects at higher doses. Prednisone is usually more effective for COPD lungs than deramaxx, if your vet’s diagnosis is accurate.

  206. 8yr old poodle mix prescribe prednisone 10mg x2 day for 10 days began with a rash on belly area then bleeding out of rectum .. Prescribe anti acid and a liquid for a coating of gi track .. Her platelet level was low aswell help!

  207. Should I take Andy off of the Prozac while trying the t L-theonine?

  208. Hey, I have a 7 yr old boxer. She was diagnosed with Vestibular disease. She has been on two rounds of antibiotics and prednisone for about 2 months. Whenever we start to wean her off the prednisone, her symptoms start back. ie: stumbling, some circling, unsteady. I’m worried that prolonged use of prednisone will do more harm than good. Is there any other type of steroid/anti-inflammatory medication we could use or anything holistic that might help improve her condition?

  209. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Simple vestbular disease does not cause chronic replapsing symptoms like this. There must be another disease here i.e some sort of encephalitis or even a tumor that is causing the symptoms, especially in this breed. I would recommend a consultation with a veterinary neurologist who can offer an MRI or other testing for an accurate diagnosis and long term treatment plan.

  210. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I would continue the prescription prozac, while trying the L theonine. If there is improvement, see local vet on possibly tapering down on prozac.

  211. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Would need to know more details on case like this, as low platelet counts are sometimes treated with prednisone and other immunosuppressive drugs, if condition is immune mediated, but usually much longer than 10 days. Also ask vet about doing complete thyroid profile as well to see if low thyroid involved.

  212. We lost her last week. She had been having blood in her stool for about three weeks and she suddenly stopped eating and and wanting to do anything. She had been drinking copious amounts of water prior. It was all she could do to make it to the vet and he agreed it was time. Her gums were white and vet said that’s because of her internal bleeding and that she was getting anemic. Her liver was the size of a softball. We almost had her ten years but almost three years on the prednisone before it finally got her. Double edged sword really, we knew it would eventually get her but we did give her and extended life and she was happy until about the end. Thanks for the help!

  213. Minnie is a dog who eats her science diet food aswell as table fed she’s always had itchy skin and sometimes licks her paws .. She became sick very rapidly and unexpected small rash on belly and ears then a few hrs after began the bloody stool there was no feces in her stool just blood she was rushed into the doggy clinic were she recieved an xray which showed a lot of gas and a slightly enlarged liver bloody stool continued for 2 full days it has subsisted but now she was put on prednisone for 10 days to see if her WBC count would increase ?! What could’ve caused the spontaneous bleed ? And will this treatment work ? Could the WBC count be low do to the bleed they were also considering hemorrhaging gastroenteritis. Worried dog parent !
    Thanks for any help or clues to what is going on with my Minnie

  214. We have a pug which will be 13 in October. Arthritis in hips. He has been on prednisone every other day for 6 months, 1/2 pill. One Dasuquin With MSM in the AM, plus 1 Tramadol. 1/2 Tramadol at noon and another at bed time. Should he be taking a vitamin too?

  215. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I would try glycoflex III from 1800petmeds, as well as proanthozone antioxidant…If these dont help, then consider Dev Cor Mobility from VEtri Science.

  216. I have a 10 year old Shar Pei that has suffered from skin and ear infections her entire life. She would often lose patches of fur, get horrible yeast infections and her ankles would swell with mucin. The skin and ear infections would most always come at the same time. She has been taking Prednisone for 1 year now every other day starting at 10mg and working down to 2.5 mg with great success. The last 6 months she has gained 10 lbs and although her coat and ears are wonderful, her appetite is ravenous. I’ve tried to exercise her more but she tires easily and the weight is not coming off. Her vet has decided that we should wean her off the Prednisone and most likely the symptoms will come back. What alternative could be prescribed other than Prednisone? She has been on Atopica before but it gave her diarrahea and the cost of the drug was substantial. I’d also like to know if once she’s off the Prednisone how long will it take for her appetite to decrease and the weight begin to come off. I’m very concerned with her weight as I see her struggling. She currently weighs 55 lbs.

  217. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJuly 30, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Every pet different with rate of decrease of side effects in terms of decreased appetite and weight on tapering pred. If atopica not an option, you can ask vet about alternative immunosuppessive drugs such as leukeran or chlorambucil. Also ask about new drug apoquel which may help as well with chronic skin/ear allergy itching

  218. Good evening. I have a four year old poodle mix that strained his back in some way over the weekend, we believe on Saturday night. Monday morning we noticed he couldn’t use his back legs at all and were prescribed by the vet to give him prednisone twice a day for 7 days and then ease him off of it for the following three weeks. She believed he has a slipped disk that was pushing on the nerve and said it should get better within a few days but needed rest for a month. He has now been on it for three days and we have seen no improvement with the use of his back legs. I’m worried that the problem is much worse and we have seen no change. He has also started to get diarrhea for the past 24 hours and the last one had a reddish tint to it. Please help, we are panicked!

  219. My dog is 5 years old, she has had 3 steroid shots and Benn placed on 10 mg steroids 2-3 times over the past Can this amount of steroids hurt her? Nervous, she has recently Dr eloped a cough interminitly, took her to vet and they said she had swollen tonsils, tonsillitis was diagnosis. She was not drinking well, but eating fine. It has been 3 days on antibiotic s, but still will not drink properly. She will drink 8-16 oz 2 times a day, could she have damaged kidneys from pres use?

  220. Two days ago our 7 year old boxer-lab was diagnosed with “myasthenia gravis”. He has always had problems with coughing/gagging after he eats/drinks. When visible muscle deterioration started appearing…that’s when the vet suspected this neuro disorder. Our biggest battle now is that he not develop pneumonia or become asphyxiated by his own saliva. We know the prognosis is grim. As long as he’s not suffering, we want to do all we can to protect his quality of life. My question is: what are the long term effects of him being on Predisone?

    Thank you for you time. I am anxious to hear from you.

  221. My 5 year old Bosten Terrier was recently diagnosed with a Glioma in his brain. He has been taking low dose of prednisone and we were told to reduce to one a day. He is now back to wandering and circling again. Is there harm in going back to two a day as he was only given weeks to months to live. He just acts so miserable now that he has been reduced to one a day.

  222. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I would not think there is a problem in going up on the pred dose but check with your local vet.

  223. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Side effects of pred include increased thirst/urination and panting, as well as occasional change in behavior. Dogs are more prone to secondary infections and rarely diabetes with long term use. Thinning of bones also may occur as well as pot bellied and weight gain/obesity. Consider consulting with a homeopathic vet. To learn more go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as http://www.drpitcairn.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations.

  224. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Damaged kidneys are diagnosed by blood and/or urine testing. I would not assume that just from 3 steroid shots. As for current issue, if no better on the antibiotic, I recommend having recheck at vet.

  225. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I would strongly recommend asking vet for referral to center that can do MRI to see if spinal surgery may be better choice.

  226. Hello there
    My 4yr old Minnie Dachshund twisted/ pulled a muscle or has a soft tissue injury in her back from being an adventurous rabbit chaser on our farm. LOL
    She has been sore since Saturday after activities outside.we are fully aware of IVDD dogs as we have had one that’s had a fully blown disc, not partially blown.
    Surgery, crate rest 6 weeks and she was back on those feet-amazing!
    Anyway this little girl is in her pen and having 2 weeks crate rest with 2.5mg per day of Prednisolone. She weighs 6kg (13.2lb) This dog is happy to walk, trot and be in your day but she will not run and sits more than usual. She will take the stairs sideways, No wobbly legs no signs of IVDD. I have spoken to my vet and he said crate rest for a week and 2.5mg per day but just wondered if I should give her more for the start of her crate rest period or see how she goes? She been in crate for two days.I am for 2 weeks in crate to get it mended. Shall I continue on 2.5mg each day of the 2 weeks?
    Look forward to your thoughts.
    PS Great site……

  227. Hi Dr, thank you for this great site.

    My 7 y.o Manchester terrier has a large brain tumour in the motor area of his brain (had MRI, neuro can’t tell which type of tumor as he says it’s really unusual) and has been six months on prednisone now. His only symptoms have been increasing wobbliness and leaning heavily to one side. One month ago the blood tests showed that his liver enzymes are badly elevated and the neuro vet recommended we not increase the dose any further. However, two weeks ago he became so unsteady that he could hardly walk or find food in his bowl to eat, so I have increased the prednisone against advice because while I understand the med is killing his liver, he doesn’t seem to suffer any discomfort from the liver problem (yet) but instead he was miserable when he could hardly walk. He has been much much better since increasing the dose (although I am dreading his next blood test results). He has a bloated belly, very hungry and thirsty but no blood in stool etc and this was all happening before the dose increase. He is on 20mg per day when before it was 15mg.

    Despite all this he is super alert, happy and doesn’t appear in any pain. Have I done the right thing? I see it as buying him some more time, even if his liver fails, as we would have had to put him down if he couldn’t walk. Is there anything I can do to reduce the effect of the pred on his liver (other than denosyl and liver diet which he is already on)?

    Thanks in advance

  228. My dog was just perscribed this drug and was mentioned that he will need to be on it every year for the sure time. is this considered long term, if so should I be looking into other options?

  229. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I would ask vet about other options including antihistamines like zyrtec or hydroxyzine(atarax), New drug called apoquel also may be an option which you can look up

  230. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 18, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Caroline. Sounds like you are doing a great job with your dog in keeping him palliatively comfortable with the prednisone. At this point I personally dont see a problem with the higher dose. I also would consider supporting his body holistically with more of a fresh home made diet for liver issues. See the recipes on http://www.K9petchef.com and my friend Chef loreen who has great suggestions. I also use whole food supplements to support the liver as well as gemmotherapies. Make sure you dont use other liver stressful pesticides, etc as well as avoid all vaccinations in case like this. I would consider working with a holistic vet. To learn more go to my website http://www.doctordym.com Many holistic and/or homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  231. Thank you so much for your reply, will do as you suggest.

  232. My senior GWP has just been diagnosed with idiopathic geriatric vestibular disease. She doesn’t want to eat, drink, falls down when she walks. She is 11 years old and has arthritis. I have had her on weekly acupuncture treatments in the past and am considering starting them again but seem to remember reading that acupuncture does not work when a dog is on Prednisone. Could you please tell me if this is correct? Many thanks from me and my beautiful Gertie.

  233. My senior GWP has just been diagnosed with idiopathic geriatric vestibular disease. She doesn’t want to eat, drink, falls down when she walks. She is 11 years old and has arthritis. I have had her on weekly acupuncture treatments in the past and am considering starting them again but seem to remember reading that acupuncture does not work when a dog is on Prednisone. Could you please tell me if this is correct? Many thanks from me and my beautiful Gertie.

  234. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 28, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Susan. While prednisone is not ideal to be on at time of acupuncture, that system of medicine can indeed STILL be effective and I would encourage you to explore that option again. Also working with holistic or homeopathic vet on other aspects of geriatric health, diet, etc may be worthwhile to help with healing. To learn more see my website http://www.doctordym.com Many holistic vets offer phone consultations as well.

  235. Hi my 4 year old Staffordshire bull terroir has got skin condition which is being treated with 3 prednisone a day my vet gas advised that this will shorten her life as she has been on this dose for around 2 years now and will continue until she does pass away! Do you know April how much it will shorten her life please

  236. I have a pit/lab mix that is about a yr and a half old. She has terrible allergies in the summer that make her chew her feet and takes 5mg Prednisone daily probably 4-5 months out of the year. I am curious as to what effect this will have on her over all health.

  237. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 31, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    As long as prednisone used wisely at as low a dose as possible preferably every other day. I have not seen problems with pred in most cases when used in tapering dose and for short periods up to a few months

  238. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 31, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I find that if prednisone is used in as low a dose as possible preferably every other day that many pets live normal lives You can also ask your vet about other options such as atopica

  239. Hello! I have a 14 1/2 year old chihuahua mix breed. She’s been on prednisone 5 mg once a day every other day for treatment of arthritis. Prior to taking prednisone she was slowing down and would struggle to walk. The prednisone helps tremendously, without it she wouldn’t be able to walk around. She does get some occasional side effects, panting, excessive thirst. Her vet says at her age it’s all about the quality of life, I agree but suggested to vet if it would be better if she takes 2.5 mg daily instead of 5 mg every other day and she said no. I just figured maybe a lower dosage will have less side effects, what is your opinion? Thank you!

  240. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I think 5 mg every other day or 2.5 mg daily is fine as a choice, without one being better than the other.

  241. Dr. Dym thank you very much for your reply. I have one more question, can Tramadol be taken together with the prednisone?

  242. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    There is no issues with tramadol and prednisone together.

  243. Hi..I am from India and I am in a very tense situation. I have one Labrador dog (male) and his name is POGO which is around 7 yrs old, for the past few months (7 months) he produces honking sounds and in the end he yawks but nothing really comes out of his mouth….what should I do…plzzzz help me….some says it’s kennel cough some says it’s chronic disease…is there any medicine to treat..
    I love my pogo…..plz suggest me…..waiting for your early reply….thankyou

  244. My dog has the same issue, it ended up being chronic airway disease (chronic bronchitis), but my vet has her well managed on a bronchodilator prescription as well as steroids.

  245. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 8, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing Angela. yes bronchodilators and often low dose steroids are best way of controlling COPD in dogs.

  246. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 8, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Kennel cough runs its course in 10-14 days, so highly doubtful this is kennel cough. could b other airway issue like collapsing trachea, COPD, and/or heart disease, parasites, etc. Best to have vet check and heartworm blood test and stool check for parasites before I can advise.

  247. I have an 8 y/o beagle – 37 pounds. He has been on prednisone for about 9months to treat an adenocarcinoma is him snout. Started on 20mg daily, about 3 months ago we reduced his pred to 10mg daily to try and reduce the eating/drinking/urination side effects, helped for a little bit then back to being hard to deal with, about 3 weeks ago reduced the pred to 5mg daily, again side effects are a little better but we’re still struggling with urination. We’re thinking about dropping to 5mg every other day. Does that seem reasonable? All reductions have been taken under the vet’s supervision and most recent blood work (done when he was taken 10mg daily) showed that he was developing steroid induced addisons. He hasn’t shown any problems with the reductions we’ve done so far but I don’t want to push him into a crisis. What should I be watching for? He has also started having some trouble with stairs – not bad but hobbling a little bit and out of breath at the end. Our sitter recommended trying cosequin to see if that helps. Is it dangerous to take that with pred? He also takes omprezole (in the morning with the pred) and tramadol (1/2 a tablet before bed). We’re generally very happy with his vet but curious what someone else would say. Vet sometimes discounts the impact the side effects can have on both him and us since the pred is generally working and he has done very well with what is generally a fast moving cancer.

  248. Hi,

    I have reduced my dog to 2.5mg Pred every 2 days to keep a returned mast cell tumour at bay (she was diagnosed with this 4 years ago, the vet removed as much as poss) the tumour stayed away for 2 years but she was on preds the whole time. We decided to take her of the preds and put her on Previcox for her joints, her quality of life improved immensely, she became more mobile and not as doped up due to only being able to take tramadol with the preds. Now on whilst on Previcox, the mast cell started to rear it’s ugly head again so she continues to take Previcox but we give her 2.5mg of Prednisolone every 2 days or if the tumour swells, I back this up with Milk Thistle tablets (Brilliant things) once a day and HALF of a 75mg rantidine for acid (mixing Preds and Prev) we have been doing this for last 6 months and she’s doing great, incidently she was 10 when all this started with the mast cell, she’s 14yrs and 2 months now, still going for her daily walk and wagging her tail. Not sure if this might help someone with similar problem but thought I’d share.

  249. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Thankfully the low dose of prednisone is tolerated by your pet at same time as previcox, as most of time as vets we dont use these type of drugs at same time.

  250. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Lots of questions. As long as pred tapered slowly like you are doing, typically no crises are seen. As for issues with stairs, the cosequin is fine with pred, but also try antioxidants like proanthozone, as well as yucca intensive from 1800petmeds. Also use supplement like super joint enhancer as well.

  251. Hello, my dog 7 year old boxer/pit mix developed severe allergies about 3 years ago. 1.5 years of allergies was terrible scratching of snout, biting feet, scratching ears until bleeding, and smelly ears with gross stuff inside. We changed diet to Nutrisca’s grain-free salmon and chickpea dry feed with about 2000mgs fish oil00mgs omega-3 pills and 1000mgs vitamin-E pills daily. It was becoming a nuisance to deal with \heat\ cycle. We decided to get her spayed. Blood work revealed low blood platelet count. Started prednisone to increase platelet count. It worked and also relieved the severe allergies (all symptoms). During weaning process she would breakout with skin infections. Solved with simplifex(I think)antibiotic most of the time. We have suffered severe hair loss during long use of prednisone. Dog developed a lump on snout, vet prescribed same antibiotic. Lump went away but now there is a significant sized skin infection on her back. Vet was explaining a new drug that is available but on back order until next year. Dog weighs about 65-70lbs. Prednisone dose is 20mgs daily. Now dog has bladder control issues. (Prednisone symptom). Question #1 is are there other versions of prednisone that can be used? Question #2 can lowering prednisone dosage reverse bladder control issue? I don’t want her sitting in urine all day while at work. Unfortunately I don’t have a fenced in yard either. Question #3 will another round of antibiotics cause problems with the prednisone?

  252. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    You could try oral dose of methylprednisone tablets, which you could check with your vet. Budisonide is a different form of a steroid which has less side effects and may be an alternative. You could also ask vet about drug called atopica or cyclosporine. Consulting with a holistic veterinarian trained in a type of therapy called NAET therapy also may help. You can google this on line Good luck

  253. Hi..My 13 year old cat has recently been diagnosed with early stages of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
    She has then been diagnosed with allergen induced asthma.
    The vet told me at this time there should be no medication given to her about her heart (as it is early stages)..yet has given her 2.5 dose of prednisone in intervals of every 7 days and to taper off every other day….
    Repeat the process when she relapses again with the asthma attacks.
    Is there anything else that I can give to her besides the Pred as I am concerned about the HCM.
    *note* The sneezing never stops (she sprays thin liquid from her nose as she sneezes..not oozing thickness)
    She still seems off to me..even with the Prednisone.
    The sneezing offsets the hacking asthma attack.
    Also..shouldn’t I have her on some sort of heart medication as she has the murmur with early stages of HCM?
    I would appreciate any advice..thanks!

  254. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    HI Tracey. Excellent questions. Every heart specialist is different when they decide to start heart meds on an HCM cat. They usually base this on measurements taken after an echocardiogram. As for asthma alternatives you could try chlorphenirimine at dose of 2 mg twice daily and DMG liquid from 1800petmeds, however may be worth while trying a homeopathic or holistic approach here, which tends to be more proactive in case like this. To learn more about homeopathy see booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations as do I nationwide.

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  256. Hello Dr Dym,
    Our 7 year old 42 pound mix has just been diagnosed with a calcified disk or two. On 9/5 he was placed on 10mg Prednisone 1 tab Q 12 hours, Methocarbamol 500mg 1 tab BID, then Tramadol 50mg tab 2-3 times daily as needed for pain was added on 9/10
    I’m an RN and I just noticed his RR has increased to 60/min is this due to side effects of these meds?
    I know Prednisone can increase RR

  257. My puppy Finley (black lab retriever basset mix) was diagnosed with meningitis in late January this year after a couple of months of not really knowing what was wrong. Finally, on September 8 he finished his tapering of Prednisone, stopped at 10mg every other day. He weighed in at 68 lbs., and is 15 mos. Old. Ever since last Wednesday, he seems to be lethargic, really has no appetite for his food (but wants his treats and my food), and did have projectile diarrhea, but only on that Wednesday. He has also started shedding. ..a lot, which is unusual for him. We took him back to the vet and did some blood work which came back clean, but still he isnt showing signs of his normal puppy self. Is there usually an adjustment period for dogs when they come off of Prednisone, due to the immunosuppressive nature of it? Or is it possible his meningitis is back? Please help me and my baby boy!!

  258. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 19, 2014 at 11:35 am

    HI Terra. Lots of possibilities here. You may want to ask vet to do an ACTH stim test to make sure Finley’s adrenal glands are adequately functioning to produce their own cortisol(the body’s own version of prednisone). Sometimes dogs on chronic prednisone can develop adrenal issues. If this is ok, then likely another condition going on here that a workup may be indicated. Does not sound like meningitis. Given the young age of the symptoms, as a holistic vet, I think his “meningitis” may have been secondary to the vaccinations he was getting during those puppyhood ages. It may be worthwhile consulting with a holistic oriented vet to work on diet, supplements, etc and potentially using homeopathy to try and slowly restore his immune system and health. To learn more about homeopathy, go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com and download booklet. Also see my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets like myself do offer phone consultations nationwide.

  259. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 19, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hi Judy. Prednisone can cause increased respiration and/or panting, but pain can also cause that as well. You could ask vet about drug like Gabapentin which we are using more and more of for pain control in dogs with back issues/pain. I would replace the methocarbimol with that drug

  260. I have a cat that we rescued off the streets nine years ago, she’s approximately 11 years old now. Three years ago she stared wheezing, upon getting her examined, she was put on cortisone injection monthly and she’s done well with that. The other day, I noticed her using the litterbox to pee pretty freq. Since I have another cat that had been diagnosed and treated for a URI, I took a urine sample in and was told to bring in the cat. Her blood sugar was 430 and the vet suggested we either put her down or put her on insulin 2x per day with a weekly blood test. I understand it’s only a matter of time for her having to be on both cortisone and insulin. The thing is, she’s been fine since the visit. No freq peeing, eating, drinking and playing. Yes, she has “sick” eyes but I was told she’d start going downhill. Any idea if this is remission or what? Thank you.

  261. I have a 5 year old yorkie/poo rescue. We were in Lebanon Oregon in our RV this summer and I made an appointment to have her teeth cleaned – they called and said they couldn’t clean her teeth because blood test cameback and she had a red blood cell count of 12 and normal is 30 – 45 – we took her to specialist in Springfield Oregon – another vet had said he felt a mass in her spleen – so Springfield did ultra sound and said they found swollen spleen, swollen liver and some hardening in her intestines – thought it was cancer – they gave her blood transfusion and called us the next morning with good news – she didn’t have cancer – she had auto immune disease and something in her body was attacking her red blood cells – they sent her home at 22 redblood count after transfusion and azathioprine 6.4mg capsule every other day – prednisone 5 m cut in l/2 – l/2 in am l/2 in pm – after a week her count was back down to 14 so she added cyclosporine .5ml a day – after 2 weeks we are home now and our vet took blood work and I was so sure she would be gaining red blood cells and she is still at 13 – they have put her back on 5 mg a day of prednisone – no one has said anything about why this isn’t helping – or what happens when we go through all this medicine? Any thoughts/ideas – she is a wonderful little girl we love so much but I know that long term pred use isn’t good either. Jackie Mullen

  262. Thank you so much!

  263. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 22, 2014 at 12:34 am

    I would ask for consult with vet internist or specialist in your area. Also some of these pets need multiple transfusions to give them boost until meds work. Dose of Pred is 1 mg per pound per day and NO tapering for at least 6 weeks and/or blood levels have stabilized. Vet specialist can also do bone marrow aspirate to make sure no problem there.

  264. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 22, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Sometimes diabetes can be temporary in cats, as long as no further long acting cortisone injections are used.. Make sure you feed her a low carb, low grain diet like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds. Also can ask vet about steroid that tends not to cause diabetes like oral budesomide.

  265. Thanks for the reply. She hadn’t had an injection for three weeks when she was tested at 430. Also, I’d done some research and asked the vet about the oral cortizone when I took her in. She almost died from an asthma attack a few months ago so he feels she wouldn’t do well with the low dose oral cort. I’ll speak to him Tuesday when he’s back in the office, get her tested again.

  266. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 22, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Most veterinary specialists and internists have no problem and actually recommend oral cortisone to the long lasting injections. Safer for pet overall

  267. We have an 8 yr old German Shepherd/Chow mix who had ACL surgery earlier this year on a hind leg. During extended recovery she slipped on the wood floor and injured herself somewhere that now causes her front legs to be mostly numb, which makes walking a challenge. We tried her on Pred. for a while along with Tramadol but when we tried weaning her off it she went into “fuzzy lump on the carpet” mode and wouldn’t move at all. I was syringe watering her and pushing food pieces into her mouth to nourish her.
    After several vet visits it was determined that we could either get a very expensive MRI to determine exactly where the issue was and then treat it with Pred., or just accept that she has a lesion(s) somewhere in her brain or spine and treat her the same way. Obviously we went the second route.
    Experimenting with dosages brought us to methocarbamol, tramadol and 15 mg of Prednisone twice daily and she – on good days – stumbles around stubbornly, waggs her tail and smiles at us. Bad days are little better than Fuzzy lump status. We have accepted that this is her reality until she decides to leave us.
    What we’re seeing now, however, is that her skull and neck bones are very prominent – her skull appears shrunken with large indents above her eyes. Other areas are slimming down too, probably from the fact that she doesn’t eat as much as she used to but her face shows it dramatically. Could this be a result of the drugs she is on?

  268. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Most likely due to a combination of her chronic disease, as well as the cortisone drug.

  269. Hi, our West Highland Terrier, Eddie, is almost 5yrs old and has had skin problems and ear infections for 2 years. Our vets has just completed allergy testing and said Eddie is allergic to to the natural bacteria that lives on a dogs skin and mentioned something cease called Malassezia. I’m confused and worried. Meeting with vet again on Wednesday so will ask more questions then. Eddie is coming to the end of a course of steroids and antibiotics and vet has ordered a serum they are going to use to inject Eddie with but said there are no guarantees it will work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. One thing the vet said which greatly upset me was….. We have to consider his quality of life!?!?! Eddie has always been and still is a happy healthy lively dog, he has gained weight with the steroids and has an unquenchable thirst and is passing water more recently which I understand to be side effects of the steroids but is his diagnosis life threatening? We bathe him 3 x weekly in Malaseb shampoo to help with his skin which is presently clear. I appreciate any advice. Eddie is our first dog and we do not have any experience or a history in these thinks. Thanks x

  270. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianSeptember 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    HI Lindy. Sorry you are going through this. Inhalent/contact allergies and/or atopy is VERY common in this breed and certainly no need to question his quality of life. There are many options besides these allergy shots, including a drug called atopica, as well as trying other antihistamines, including zyrtec, chlorphenirimine, etc. There is also a NEW wonder drug called apoquel for allergies which will soon be available again, as it is on backorder. Read about it on line. Also MANY holistic options including NAET therapy, which you can also read about, and classical homeopathy, which is something i have been trained in. To learn more about that see http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Good luck….. If ever in doubt, get second opinion.

  271. I had St. Bernards who were showing seizure issues. Best vet advice i have ever received….have them test their thyroid!! Mine had hypothyroid (very common in large breeds) a tiny thyroid pill daily stopped all seizures for the duration of their lives with no side effects!!

  272. My dog has been taking predisone for 6months due to bad allergys he has been getting the allergy shots for 6 months now not improving yet. Now he is taking 5mg a day of prednisolone for about a month so far. I am so worried of the long term affects from all these drugs. He’s 81/2 allergies started when he was 8

  273. I forgot to mention I have tried all the other drugs out there including the new one on the market. It didn’t work. Also should my vet be doing blood work on him to make sure he’s ok.

  274. Galo my Lalrador mix, has a big allergic problem, his skin gets very dry, He looses his hair in spots, he also has a limping problem on His back legs which was diagnosis as arthritis on the hips. He has been given Cotoconosele, Prednisone and many other meds but he does not get any better, specially in regards to His allegic problem. What do you suggest, perhaps an anthistaminic.?

  275. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 9, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Allergies are most of time not curable but controllable. 7-10 day antihistamine trials may be worthwhile trying such as with benadryl at 1 mg per pound or zyrtec at one half mg per pound once daily. Also can try supplements such as yucca intensive and proanthozone at the same time from 1800petmeds. Sometimes allergy testing at a veterinary dermatologist worth it for long term answer. Add fatty acid like be well to meals.

  276. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 9, 2014 at 3:53 am

    To answer both of your questions, yes your vet should do blood work to make sure all organ function good, including complete thyroid blood profile. You could try hydrolyzed protein diet such as Anallergen or HP diets from Royal Canine from your vet to see if food issue. You could also try more holistic approach such as NAET therapy, which you can google on line. You could also try consulting with veterinary homeopath for long term solution. To learn more about homeopathy go to http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com MAny homeopathic vets offer phone consultations, but this approach also takes time, patience and commitment.

  277. Hi, my question is this, I have a just turned 10yr old golden retriever. This past February he was dx with diabetes. It seemed to come on all of a sudden. His diabetes is under control with insulin. He gets 28 units of Novolin N every 12 hours. He has a few fatty tumors, here and there. He had surgery before on fatty tumors that were in the way. No problem there. His back legs now, all of a sudden seem to be getting weak. He has difficulty getting up, but once he’s up, he seems to hold his own. He also has arthritis, his bones seem to click and crack all the time now, I feel so bad for him. He is over weight, I am trying very hard to get him to lose some weight. He is not very mobile now, so walking is out of the question. The minute he’s tired, he sits down and won’t move! He currently takes glucosamine/chondroitin 500/400 once a day, novox 100mg once a day and tramadol 50mg-2 twice a day. Can he take prednisone for his back legs? Maybe not long term but maybe a round here and there, just to make him feel a bit better? I’m not sure since he has diabetes, if he can take the prednisone or not I know when I’m prescribed it, I feel better, no aches or pains. Even for a bit afterwards. Otherwise, he is very alert, still Plays with my other Golden, not as much as he used to, but he can still put the other 100lb golden on his back! I called my vet and left him a msg on this, he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. From what I understand he’s on vacation.

  278. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 10, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Prednisone is NOT recommended in diabetic dogs, as well as you cant use this drug and novox at same time. A drug I would consider is called Gabapentin, which is not expensive but can help with nerve pain, especially with diabetes. Also can consider additional supplements like proanthozone and Yucca intensive from 1800petmeds.

  279. My cat, Skeeter, is 13 years old and a rescue since he was 2 months old. He has had what they say is “food allergies” since then. He’s been on prescription food all his life, but seems to have constant breakouts still. I used to give chlortrimeton years ago and he has approx. 2 prednisone shots yearly which help alot. He had one “urinary emergency” several years ago and I’m afraid to let him have more prednisone or antihistamines — but can’t stand to see him constantly broken out and scratching. Have gone to non-scented clay litter a well since he “chews” on feet all the time. Any advice on whether I could go back to giving him an antihistamine again?

  280. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Giving antihistamine may not be bad idea, as chlorphenirimine can help many cats, but NOT cure them at dose of 2 mg twice daily. Also can ask vet about alternative immune suppressive drug like atopica/cyclosporine, which many dermatologists are using more in cats. If he was my cat, I would consider a more holistic and/or homeopathic constitutional workup for best long term results, however it will take time, patience and commitment for holistic approach. To learn more, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations, as do I nationwide.

  281. Our Cavalier King Charles has Syringomyelia and is prescribed omeprazole 10mg/day (as well gabapentin 3x100mg/day). Another vet suggested prednisone to replace omeprazole. Equal effect reducing spinal swelling / pressure at a much lower cost per dose.

    This is along term (lifetime) medication and I am concerned about adverse effects.

    Can you offer any guidance or advice please?

    Mac and Mary

  282. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I would consult with a veterinary neurologist on this one for best long term plan. While low dose prednisone usually tolerated fine, there can be long term side effects, so I would check with a veterinary neurologist as to whether this medicine is worth substituting for.

  283. Thank you Dr Dym.
    There are no neurologists local to us and we are looking into a trip to either UPEI or Toronto for an MRI and consult.

  284. We have a male Pekingese 11 years old, he has chronic skin allergies and as long as he stays on prednisone he does good but after he’s off a week or so he chews himself raw, when we take him to vet for this they always put him on simplicef and low dose 2.5 mg daily of prednisone.We have to keep his hair as short as possible. What can I expect as for as long term damage from prednisone and we feed him pedigree dog food. What supplements do you recommend to help with allergies?

  285. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Many dogs can live normal life spans even on low dose prednisone. I would just taper him to lowest effective dose that controls the signs, preferably every other day if possible. I would consider supplements like nordic naturals pet omega 3 fatty acid, as well as proanthozone from 1800petmeds. Yucca intensive also may help.

  286. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    You are welcome. Let us know how things work out

  287. Hello,
    We have an 11 year-old beagle. A large lump on his throat was found over a year ago (cancerous) and has been removed twice. The most recent time was May 2014, and vet said he could not get it all as it was very close to main artery and told us it would return (sat near trachea). Last year, during the 1st removal, he checked to see if it had spread anywhere else- it had spread to his lungs. We’ve had many x-rays over there year to follow the speed of the growths in his lungs, which remained pretty stable. So as of last October, his prognosis was grim. But, with each check up, there were no symptoms- no coughing, no lethargy, no loss of appetite, blood was fine. Now, a year later, he has developed a cough and shallow breathing a week ago. Vet put him on prednisone twice a day for four days and then down to one pill a day for 10 days to see how he does. He never lost his appetite, wags tail, takes walks, seems otherwise good and steroid completely stopped the coughing. Is there any time expectancy we can estimate, since he was diagnosed a year ago and just now showing signs? Is there anything (supplements, herbs) that we can give him to keep him strong? Thanks very much.

  288. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Hi Ken. Sorry to hear about your beagle with cancer. Hard to give you a life expectancy, since it sounds like he has already lived alot longer than expected. You could try supplements to meals such as oncosupport from 1800petmeds, and glucamune from the same company. Also consider transfer factor, which you can learn more about and order at http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym I would also consider feeding a home made diet http://www.k9petchef.com

  289. Hello,
    We have a 6 year old american bulldog/german short haired pointer mix (90 lbs) who began having seizures in March of this year. A week after the seizures began, he had a cluster of 21 seizures in a matter of 4 days. He has been treated with phenobarbital and potassium bromide since, and had been doing well. He recently started deteriorating very quickly, constant pacing, circling, walking into things, and going to the bathroom in the house. We suspect it is a tumor in his fore brain, and had therefore decided to put him down before his quality of life dwindled to much. Beginning yesterday, the vet started him on prednisone to hopeful allow him to enjoy his last few days with us a bit more. After only 1 day, (2 doses yesterday, 1 this morning), he seems like he is on his way back to himself. He was even outside running a bit this morning, which he hasn’t done in weeks. We had planned on using the predinsone only short term until our appointment to say goodbye next week. Now we are wondering if there may be a possibility that we can continue the treatment for a period of time to see how he progresses. I was already hesitant about making the decision, and know I’m concerned that we may be giving in too quickly if this could provide him with some more time that is of substantial quality. Is prednisone something we could consider as a longer term treatment for our boy? Our kids and us are devastated to lose him (especially since he is only 6), and would love more time if it is in his best interest!

  290. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 23, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    I would not assume brain tumor without an MRI. There are other inflammatory diseases of the brain that can sometimes respond to corticosteroids like prednisone. If MRI not possible, then I would continue with prednisone at the higher dose for at least a few weeks.

  291. Dr. Dym:

    Our dog similarly has chronic skin allergies. We control it with daily prednisone pills. Our veterinarian advised us of the risks, but since prednisone is the only thing that seems to help our dog, she agreed that it was the best option for giving him a reasonable quality of life. She also agreed that periodic bloodwork wasn’t necessary because the test results (even if they showed organ damage) wouldn’t change our decision to continue with the prednisone. The way we see it, a potentially shorter lifespan is a better alternative to having our dog continually chewing and scratching himself until he bleeds.

    Unfortunately, our veterinarian relocated and we now have a new veterinarian that is insisting on periodic bloodwork if we keep our dog on prednisone. Given that the results of the bloodwork won’t change our decision, isn’t it unethical for the new vet to require us to spend money on the bloodwork? The new veterinarian is just out of school, so we suspect he is just following some generic practice guideline rather than applying a bit of common sense.

    Thank you in advance for your opinion.

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  293. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 26, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Any dog on chronic prednisone therapy should have periodic blood work at least once or twice yearly, in addition to urine analysis to monitor for chronic side effects including infections and/or organ issues. I would also ask your vet about alternative drugs like the new drug apoquel which has worked wonders for dogs with allergies.

  294. Dr. Dym
    Our 15 month old GSD mix was just diagnosed with masticatory myositis via blood test sent to special lab. The treatment is high dose of prednisone tapering down as symptoms decrease, 4-6 months average. There is a possibility that once the pred is stopped the myositis will return which would mean pred for longer time or for life. Fortunately we caught it very early so there is very little if any permanent muscle atrophy. Are there any ‘supplements’ I can give her with the pred to help protect her kidneys and/or other organs. My vet has not seen many cases of this and I want to make sure I am looking at all avenues of treatment, etc. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  295. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    I would consider consulting with a holistic veterinarian such as myself as there are also other long term options besides prednisone such as constitutional homeopathy. A holistic vet can also prescribe individualized supplements based on his constitution. To learn more about homeopathy, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  296. Good evening,

    My 10yo pitbull has had lameness issues in his right front paw/leg for as long as I can remember. It was always assumed to be a sensitive due to old injury (he was in bad shape when rescued), or that he pulled something being an active dog. However, last spring it became a constant issue. Arthritis was diagnosed as the culprit. I went through several supplements but nothing helped.

    Skip to 2 weeks ago. My dog began losing control of the right rear and falling over. One night he fell on his face and couldn’t get up. The next day I was told it was nerve related. He’s on prednisone now. The prednisone seemed to help significantly sacouple of days of having it 2x per day (10mg total). Once we began doing 1x per day to wean him from the meds he started regressing.

    The vet recommends a neurologist and mri. Unfortunately I simply don’t have the $2500 I’ve been quoted. What would you try? Should I do long term prednisone? Luckily he’s not in pain, but has been injured due to this issue (fell down a flight of stairs).I saw you mention yucca. I tried that with no results. The vet had no idea what it is. She mentioned a tumor bur I feel like this wouldn’t have been off and on for 7 years if that was the cause.

    Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!

  297. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I would use the lowest effective dose that controls the clinical signs, if you cant afford an MRI and neurologist consult. You can also try a natural herbal system of medicine known as gemmotherapies, which my veterinary friend and colleague Stephen Blake, VMD writes about on the internet, etc. The ones I would try are Common Birch; Mountain Pine; Common Juniper, and Black currant. Also consider the great supplement Dev Cor Mobility by Vetri Science.

  298. Our 6 1/6 yo Brittany had what seemed to be a seizure or something neurological in nature several mos ago. Dr. wanted to do several thousand dollars in testing – only thing they came up with was possible meningitis. She has been on various doses of prednisone. Right now 10 mg once a day – all at once she seems to be a little more uneasy on her feet. It’s like she is her old fast self but her back legs/strength – whatever prohibits her. Should we be concerned about her recent regression? Personality and behaviorally she seems fine.

  299. Our 6 1/6 yo Brittany had what seemed to be a seizure or something neurological in nature several mos ago. Dr. wanted to do several thousand dollars in testing – only thing they came up with was possible meningitis. She has been on various doses of prednisone. Right now 10 mg once a day – all at once she seems to be a little more uneasy on her feet. It’s like she is her old fast self but her back legs/strength – whatever prohibits her. Should we be concerned about her recent regression? Personality and behaviorally she seems fine. Eating and drinking well, too.

  300. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Sounds like a consult with a veterinary specialist in neurology may be best here. However you could also consider consulting with a holistic oriented veterinarian skilled in acupuncture or chinese medicine. I have also used homeopathy on cases like this, which may help gradually over a long period of time. To learn more see my website http://www.doctordym.com MAny homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations as well

  301. My three year old Alaskan Malamute ( Dexter ) was diagnosed with IMHA in late July. We thought we were going to lose him. His rbc was at 14 we gave him a transfusion in the hope it would by him time for the prednisone to start working. After the transfusion his count was 17, it has climbed steadily and today is at 35. My concern is he has been on prednisone 80 mg per day for 3 1/2 months we are starting to ween him now. The last week he has been on 70 mg and starting tomorrow he will be at 60 mg. Will he rebuild the muscle mass he lost during treatment?Also will he lose the pot belly appearance?

  302. Hi, I have a long haired tortie cat who is 3. She’s my 1st pet! This time last year she was really ill, vomitting brown liquid and losing weight. We tried lots of treatments but nothing worked. Our vet discussed putting her to sleep as she was so ill. After untrasounds, blood tests etc my vet diagnosed her with IBD however also said it could also be cancer but as my cat was so ill at the time we couldn’t get a biopsy. She’s been on prednisone 5mg since then and we’ve managed 2 wean her to one tablet a week. Latley she is breathing faster and louder than usual and very occasionally (once a month) she’ll have a mucus and blood in her stools. She seems quieter than normal and although she’s running around and eating I’m concerned she’s having a flare-up and don’t want her to get so sick again. Also concered she’s been on prednisone for too long? 5mg once a week. What do u think I should do? Many thanks x

  303. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 26, 2014 at 12:45 am

    I would see if you could get her in to see a veterinary internal medicine specialist who may be able to help manage the situation. other immune suppressive drugs can be helpful like atopica or cyclosporine. Recommend vet recheck and evaluation

  304. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 26, 2014 at 12:52 am

    While it does take time i.e often months, many dogs who are weaned off prednisone will eventually regain muscle mass and/or the pot belly. In future you can ask vet about alternative drugs like atopica(cyclosporine), as well as aziothioprine.

  305. My 8 yr. old shihtzu was diagnosed w/ Polyarthritis (an autoimmune disorder) 2 years ago. He was put on prednisone the first time and every time he relapses, he’s back on Preds again. So basically he’s been on prednisone for quire a long time now with a few breaks when he’s on remission. This past summer, another relapse occurred and he was put back on Preds but after a while it didn’t help anymore and so his vet put him on Atopica while weaning him off preds in the meantime. I started giving him whole food supplements as well (turmeric, licorice root, etc) and amped up his probiotics, fish oil (Nordic naturals) and an immune balancer Sterol w/c he’s been on for years now. Whole food supplements I give him will hopefully reverse the damage preds has done to his body and whatever side effects Atopica will bring. However, he seems to be relapsing again with all 4 legs relatively starting to stiffen up after weaning him from Preds. It looks like everytime we dose down the medication, he’s starting to relapse. Will my dog ever be weaned from this dreaded medication. His body seems to be se dependent on this. Please advice! So desperate right now! Thank you.

  306. Hi my 10yo cross bread was scratching underneath around his privates. I gave frontline hoping this would clear any bugs. However when I walked him the other day he seemed to get tired very quickly and I noticed his poo was dark brown almost black. He has had boods done and his platelets, red bloods and heamo are done as well as his protein results. I’m now paranoid he has had ticks which have created an internal prob although the vet thinks he may have a tumour (tummy sensitive). I was asked if he had been out of the uk which he hadn’t and I’ve now been given boxy care 250mg once daily and prednidale 250g x 2 to be given twice a day. If he has internal parasites will this clear them off?? He is really not himself and has gone off his regular food and seems almost depressed. Please help?

  307. Hi my 10yo cross bread was scratching underneath around his privates. I gave frontline hoping this would clear any bugs. However when I walked him the other day he seemed to get tired very quickly and I noticed his poo was dark brown almost black. He has had bloods done and his platelets, red bloods and heamo are down as well as his protein results. I’m now paranoid he has had ticks which have created an internal prob although the vet thinks he may have a tumour (tummy sensitive). I was asked if he had been out of the uk which he hadn’t and I’ve now been given oxycare 250mg once daily and prednidale 250g x 2 to be given twice a day. If he has internal parasites will this clear them off?? He is really not himself and has gone off his regular food and seems almost depressed. Please help?

  308. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Not familiar with Oxycare so cant comment on its effectiveness for internal parasites. I usually prefer the broad spectrum wormer panacure from 1800petmeds for 5 days use to treat any hidden worms. I would ask vet about potentially using the antibiotic doxycycline, which is helpful in tick born and other infectious diseases. Also consider working with a homeopathic vet on a more holistic approach here. To learn more see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  309. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I would consider working with a veterinary homeopath and/or holistic veterinarian on a more individualized approach to his supplement and/or holistic health, even though it does sound like you have done great job with your supplements initially. To learn more about constitutional homeopathy, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  310. Our puggle is 4, diagnosed with an outside mold allergy and been on/off steroids for a couple years now. We have him on allercept drops 2 drops bid plus we give him 40mg benadryl daily. If we do 5mg prednisone every other day he scratches badly on the off day. He has gained weight, pants frequently, and goes outside a lot…I Don’t want to keep him on steroids, especially since he shows some symptoms of cushings syndrome, but feel no choice because when he’s off of it he is obviously miserable, what are your recommendations? Thank you!

  311. Our puggle is 4, diagnosed with an outside mold allergy and been on/off steroids for a couple years now. We have him on allercept drops 2 drops bid plus we give him 40mg benadryl daily. If we do 5mg prednisone every other day he scratches badly on the off day. He has gained weight, pants frequently, and goes outside a lot…I Don’t want to keep him on steroids, especially since he shows some symptoms of cushings syndrome, but feel no choice because when he’s off of it he is obviously miserable, what are your recommendations? Thank you! Marci

  312. Greetings,
    My two and a half year old dog has significant allergies. We had him allergy tested and had a tincture made that was designed to expose him to his allergens and over time reduce their impact. We have had to put him on a low dose (5mg) prednisone every couple of months to relieve his discomfort. I read about Yucca Intensive and started him on it a week ago at an increased dose as recommended for initial symptom relief. How long should we expect it to take to see if we get any positive results from the yucca? Does it get worse before it gets better? Right now my dog’s allergies are pretty bad and I am wondering how long I should wait until we look at a a low dose of prednisone on a regular basis.
    Thanks for any insights you an provide.

  313. My dog is 12 1/2 and has IBD. We tried prednisone but she gets very bad diarrhea with blood and mucus. We are at a loss because it seems we just get her stomach upsets dealt with and her bowels act up.

  314. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I would ask your vet about other drugs for the IBD, such as cyclosporine or atopica, as well as aziothioprine to name a few. You could also try a different approach all together, such as classical constitutional homeopathy with a properly trained veterinarian. To learn more about that, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets offer phone consultations. I would also recommend a good probiotic, as well as digestive enzyme supplement.

  315. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 10:02 am

    The yucca will usually have some effect within a few weeks if it is going to help. I would also ask your vet about prescription temaril p, which has a VERY low dose of prednisone in it, along with an antihistamine. Also can consider zyrtec at dose of one half mg per pound once to twice daily, and good fatty acid like nordic naturals pet omega 3 from 1800petmeds.

  316. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

    I would try zyrtec at dose of one half mg per pound once to twice daily. Add one teaspoon of coconut oil to meals, as well as good quality omega 3 fatty acid like BE well from 1800petmeds.

  317. Hi my 8 year old black lab was diagnosed with lymphoma. They put him on predisone a pill a day. I’m also giving him herbal remedies that I heard will help him. I have him drinking this tea called essiac. when he was diagnosed they said he only had 30 to 50 days and it’s going on 70 days now. With him taking the predisone I’m getting worried that it might not be good for him to take a whole pill a day. He is constantly wanting to eat, his sleep pattern is all messed up. So far that’s the only bad effects I have seen. My dad wants him to go from a pill a day to every other day. He thinks the pill is bad for him and might make him sicker then he is now. All of his lymph nodes are swollen and he breaths funny now. Sounds like a little piggy! My dad read about these dogs that got off predisone and just took essiac tea and ate high protein foods and they were doing well. I’m afraid if I take him off predisone that he might get sicker and won’t be with us much longer. What is the best thing to do for a dog that has lymphoma?

  318. Hi Amy. My dog was just diagnosed with stage 5 lymphoma and is on 2 pills a day (since Xmas). He is starting to show a little improvement, but they have not given him long to live. Still, he is young and I’m willing to try anything — what are you giving your dog besides the essiac tea? And has he been on 1 pill a day the whole time or did you start with 2?

  319. Hi Mary,

    I read about this one lady that stopped feeding her dog carbs and started feeding him only protien. There is this dog food called Victor that you can find at a feed store. I’m going to buy that cause it is very high in protien. She feeds him chicken and hamburger meat. my dad has my dog on all these different herbs that seem to be helping. He has been on one pill a day since he found out he had lymphoma. Here is my email address. I can email you all the stuff we are doing so you can help your pup! 🙂 smiles8463@yahoo.com

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  321. Hi my 8 year old black lab, Moose, was diagnosed with lymphoma. They put him on predisone a pill a day. I’m also giving him herbal remedies that I heard will help him. I have him drinking this tea called essiac. when he was diagnosed they said he only had 30 to 50 days and it’s going on 70 days now. With him taking the predisone I’m getting worried that it might not be good for him to take a whole pill a day. He is constantly wanting to eat, his sleep pattern is all messed up. So far that’s the only bad effects I have seen. My dad wants him to go from a pill a day to every other day. He thinks the pill is bad for him and might make him sicker then he is now. All of his lymph nodes are swollen and he breaths funny now. Sounds like a little piggy! My dad read about these dogs that got off predisone and just took essiac tea and ate high protein foods and they were doing well. I’m afraid if I take him off predisone that he might get sicker and won’t be with us much longer. What is the best thing to do for a dog that has lymphoma? I’ve noticed lately that he is not wanting to eat his snacks and want to go on his walks like he has been. Is the predisone killing my dog faster? Do I need to stop giving it to him?

  322. My cat has been on 5 mg daily of prednisone for about eight weeks. What do you consider to be long-term use? My situation is a bit complicated but I’ll try to sum it up – she was a healthy, energetic 2-year-old maine coone mix rescue cat but after having her ear flushed she came home from the vet with vestibular disorder and total bilateral deafness. After a terrible week of suffering, I took her to a vet neurologist who did an MRI and found ruptured ear drums and one tympanic bula completely clogged. She was put on an antibiotic and prednisone. After about a month she seemed to respond to sound a little (only loud sounds and she still couldn’t localize them – also, her ears have not moved in response to sound since the cleaning ten weeks ago.). When the vet recommended fading the pred, we went from 5mg daily to 5mg every other day, but after a week of this she didn’t seem well (tired) and she also seemed to revert back to total deafness, so the vet has recommended going not only back up to daily but to increase and see if it helps the hearing return (perhaps it’s inflammation blocking the earring). I want to do everything I can to try to help her return to her previous state prior to this terrible incident. She is recovered from the vestibular syndrome but I feel the prednisone is making her lethargic and she seems to have trouble swallowing (she just makes gestures with her mouth like she has a lump in her throat). She does drink more, but nothing excessive. I’m nervous to increase the dose and really want to start fading to get it out of her system but on the other hand it’s the final attempt at recovering her hearing. Suggestions? Is is dangerous to continue for another month?

  323. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2015 at 6:55 am

    As far as traditional veterinary medicine is concerned, it sounds like prednisone is your only option, but certainly worth asking the neurologist. I dont think another month of prednisone at the dose suggested is dangerous. Always have to monitor for diabetes, etc. However you could also consider a totally holistic and alternative way, which although not quick fix, may be worth a shot, as I have seen homeopathy do some amazing things in my experience and opinion. To learn more about homeopathy, see the information on my website. To find a practitioner skilled in your area, go to http://www.drpitcairn.com http://www.doctordym.com

  324. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Try transfer factor plus http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym I would also consult with a holistic veterinarian in helping with an integrative approach http://www.AHVMA.org

  325. I have a 3 year old mini-Schnauzer with skin allergies. She is allergic to all things green it would seem and we live in a region where it is warm and spring-like 9 out of 12 months of the year. Our vet ruled out food allergies early on and we have always had her on the same lamb based, non-grain, diet. She itches incessantly, licks her paws to rawness, and has bumps on her skin that eventually become infected if we don’t have her on Pred regularly. Initially, the vet tried several different antihistimines with very little improvement, or when there was a slight improvement, it was temporary. So, she consulted with an allergist who advised a longer period of low doses of Pred. So, we did Pred every other day for 3 months. She did beautifully (except for a slight weight gain) and we weaned her slowly. She was fine for about 3 weeks and then the symptoms reappeared. So, we began her on Zyrtec hoping to nip the symptoms in the bud. The Zyrtec makes her sick and she is up all night vomiting. So, we consulted the vet again who has advised that we re-start the Pred routine (every other day low doses). I know this will alleviate her itching and discomfort. But, I want to make sure that this treatment is safe ultimately. Thanks, in advance, for sharing your thoughts on this matter. And, also, do you have any suggestions on combating the weight gain resulting from the long term courses of Pred?

  326. My 7 yr. old boxer has lymphoma and was diagnosed in October. We don’t have the money for chemo but our vet said he may not have quality of life so he is on prednisone and I’ve noticed his belly getting big and never has before. I see this is a side effect of prednisone is there ANYTHING I can do to relieve it so he’s not suffering?

  327. Hi There,
    I have an Alaskan Malamute that is on prednisone. He was put on it three months ago. Blood work came back normal except protein was a little high. He stopped eating and lost 20 pounds. When I tried to wean him off of prednisone, he would not get up and was very lethargic. We put him on 10mg a day. Do you think it is better to give him 20mg every other day? He seems better, but has his bad days.

    He is 103 lbs. I worry about his life expectancy being on prednisone. He has had loss of hair and loss of muscle. He will only eat his food if I make chicken for him, and mix it in with his food. The vet was not sure if he has an immune disease, as he has lost hair on his nose or if it is cancer. The only side effect he showed for cancer was loss of appetite. Note this is the second vet we went to as the first one could not diagnosis as well. Breaks my heart, I just want to know if 10mg everyday is a lot for a 103lb dog.

    Thank you – Janine

  328. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 12:51 am

    10 mg daily is NOT much for a big dog like this. I wouldn’t have a problem going up to 20 mg daily either.

  329. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Not much else you can do traditionally speaking. I would try transfer factor plus http://www.powerbod.com/2/michaeldym

  330. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 1:28 am

    I would feed low carb, low grain diet which can help minimize weight gain, as well as help with allergic inflammation. As far as other options, ask your vet about new drug apoquel, which can help many allergic dogs, as well as steroid alternative like atopica(cyclosporine) which has also helped many dogs as well.

  331. My 9.5 yo Rhodesian Ridgeback was diagnosed (by an orthopedic surgeon) with immune mediated polyarthritis presenting only in the two middle toes of his left front paw. He has been on prednisone for nearly 6 mos., starting 20 mg. b.i.d., gradually decreasing to once a day, then every other day. Symptoms reappeared (lameness when standing), so we increased pred and added azathioprine, eventually alternating days. When we got to that point, symptoms reappeared. Then pred every other day and azathioprine every day…still symptomatic. Then we tried Pred (still 20 mg.)every other day with Leflunomide, 100 mg. daily ($$$!). Asymptomatic in about 4 days. BUT, while there has been an increase in his appetite, drinking and peeing since starting on pred, it was manageable until last week. He has had several pee accidents, needs to go out at least every couple of hours, and wakes us up to go out at least twice a night (not to mention becoming a counter surfer at 9 Years old). Can the side effects of pred be cumulative? He was nothing like this on it at a much higher dose. The ortho vet said that we can try to wean him off pred at our last appt. a few weeks ago, and with this behavior developing we are going to have to. If his symptoms reappear, are there other alternatives to pred to try without the polydipsia and polyuria as side effects? My poor boy is miserable and so are we. Thank you.

  332. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 23, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I would ask your vet about the drug atopica or cyclosporine as a possible alternative to pred. There may be other health issue from chronic pred such as diabetes, Cushings, urinary tract infection, etc SHould have recheck exam and blood work

  333. Colloidal Silver
    My Girl had the worst itching problems all over her body, the vet laughed out loud when I said she was thread bear, no meds worked at all and she was getting depressed from the constant scratching, I finally found Colloidal Silver as the one and only saviour, you can buy from your local health shop (about $22 for 500ml) and just work out a dose by weight of dog, this is for internal (in dog food) as well as external (swabbed her with neat colloidal) she went fast asleep on her back for a deep sleep as she was totally exhausted.Look up the uses for colloidal as you will see that band aids with silver are now being used for faster wound recovery.

  334. Hi..i have a 6 yr old basset hound…one day she developed swollen glands neck..tummy groin area..took her to vet…wanted to do biopsy..said no….she is on antibiotics and prednisone…..do we continue antibiotics and steroids? She is breathing heavy too !

  335. Out 137 lb. Cane Corso Mastiff has a nerve issue which was causing severe pain in her right hip (x-rays show very nice, clean hip, no arthritis) After investing $5,000 in two separate TPLO surgeries, we elected not to do an MRI as no more surgeries will be in her future. She is 4 years young. She was put on 300 mg. of Gabapentin 3x per day and 75 mg of Tramadol 3x per day and 30 mg of Prednisone 1x per day. She was able to become pain free. We have now had her off the Tramadol for almost a week and plan to speak with the neurologist Tues. to get her on an alternating day schedule with the Prednisone – Hoping she stays pain free (we had considered euthanasia 3 weeks ago due to her pain level and not getting up). My question is: When a dog goes to the alternating day schedule on Prednisone, does the thirst and appetite become a little better – more normal? Thank you.

  336. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    The thirst and appetite should improve when you back off of the pred to every other day

  337. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Continue all medications unless instructed by your local vet.

  338. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing experiences on silver

  339. My dog had a very high white blood cell count and low platelets. We her platelets back into normal range and are getting her white blood cells down as well with antibiotics and prednisone. We have been stepping her down off the prednisone and I want to get her off for good, but the doctor wants her to stay on it for life using 1 pill every couple of days. Why would she want that and would my dog be ok anyways if I got her completely of anyways?

  340. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 9, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Some dogs with autoimmune platelet problems do need to be on the pred for life at a low dose. I would also aded melatonin to your treatment regimen, which even many internists are now doing, as this has been shown to increase platelets in some dogs when used long term

  341. My dog has been on prednisone for the past year…his red blood cells and platelates have been down so low to the point to where he has had two blood transfusions. I have asked the vet and they can’t seem to figure out why. What are the long term side effects of this? Will being on prednisone actually do more damage to my dog? he’s only 3.

  342. Hello Dr. I have a 6 yr old female Border collie/Mcnab weighing 34 lbs. Sherry was diagnosed with Addisons disease 4 years ago; on 6 week injections 1mg Percortin, and 5mg daily prednisone. She’s had two critical crises, once before Dx & once after spay surgery a year ago when she had fever and infection before neuter clinic even sent her home. In last year, developed itchy skin, with severe flea allergy and possible food allergy. She’s now on grain free Avoderm dry food, oral Sentinel & topical Frontline (opossum get in yard & reinfest. My other dogs don’t have allergy & rarely see a flea. All take Sentinel) Sherry flea allergy doesn’t kick up unless I’m late on frontline & she will chew raw spots in just a day the two times I’ve been late, but always moderately itchy.
    She has constant stomach upset, eats grass frequently and mild vomiting at least once a week for almost 6 months now (changed food 3 times with no improvement). normal appetite and bowel movement. I would think the digestion issue would wax & wane depending on how long after Perc. injection has been if that was the problem. But I could be wrong. I believe could be stomach irritation from Pred. Vet says that shouldn’t be it. He just wants to give Percortin injections more often even though blood levels haven’t been checked. Is there another med like prednisone and that is not much more expensive which will still treat Addisons but easier on stomach? Also wondering if the disease or the meds she is on could be causing problems with kidneys? I can’t find any direct info on that. She is not lethargic but more that she just doesn’t seem to feel well. I can’t describe it exactly. She has odd breath odor and was also wondering if she should be checked for diabetes? even though she is perfect weight and I haven’t noticed other diabetic symptoms that I know of ….but more familiar with human symptoms than dog. Homeopathic suggestions? I’ve tried to research on my own without success. Thank you very much for your time.

  343. Hello Dr. I have a 6 yr old female Border collie/Mcnab weighing 34 lbs. Sherry was diagnosed with Addisons disease 4 years ago; on 6 week injections 1mg Percortin, and 5mg daily prednisone. She’s had two critical crises, once before Dx & once after spay surgery a year ago when she had fever and infection before neuter clinic even sent her home. In last year, developed itchy skin, with severe flea allergy and possible food allergy. She’s now on grain free Avoderm dry food, oral Sentinel & topical Frontline (opossum get in yard & reinfest. My other dogs don’t have allergy & rarely see a flea. All take Sentinel) Sherry flea allergy doesn’t kick up unless I’m late on frontline & she will chew raw spots in just a day the two times I’ve been late, but always moderately itchy.
    She has constant stomach upset, eats grass frequently and mild vomiting at least once a week for almost 6 months now (changed food 3 times with no improvement). normal appetite and bowel movement. I would think the digestion issue would wax & wane depending on how long after Perc. injection has been if that was the problem. But I could be wrong. I believe could be stomach irritation from Pred. Vet says that shouldn’t be it. He just wants to give Percortin injections more often even though blood levels haven’t been checked. Is there another med like prednisone and that is not much more expensive which will still treat Addisons but easier on stomach? Also wondering if the disease or the meds she is on could be causing problems with kidneys? I can’t find any direct info on that. She is not lethargic but more that she just doesn’t seem to feel well. I can’t describe it exactly. She has odd breath odor and was also wondering if she should be checked for diabetes? even though she is perfect weight and I haven’t noticed other diabetic symptoms that I know of ….but more familiar with human symptoms than dog. Homeopathic suggestions? I’ve tried to research on my own without success. Thank you very much for your time!!

  344. Hello..I have a 3 year old pug with a narrowed trachea. My vet said it’s not collapsed however as a result of a disease. He has her on 5mg of prednisone once daily. And then has taken her down to 2.5mg once daily. Her \honking\ sound..nor as her labored breathing never went away or really seemed better in the 5mg per day. She weighs 30 pounds if I’m not mistaken. Does this seem like to low of a dose..and also would you recommend any other medications for a narrowed trachea as far as getting her additional comfort in breathing? I know this is a known issue with short snout dogs. I’ve also considered surgery. Do you happen to know the latest of successful surgery options that correct a narrowed trachea? Thank you!

  345. Hello- we had a question answered by you on Oct. 21, 2014 regarding our beagle, Max. We did get the transfer factors and I do think they helped him, although I wish I had known of them sooner. We lost our poor Max on Feb. 27th, 2015 (just last Friday). In Dec. 2014, his beg legs were giving out. Took him in for an x-ray and vet said spine was narrow in spots but big concern was that his lungs only had 25% (in only one lung) open – the other 75% was full of his cancer tumors. We took him home, and his legs went back to normal after resting a couple of days- back up steps again and everything- this dog was amazing. But, we knew the time was coming soon based on his lungs, and the trachea cancer that had returned in his throat. In Jan., his belly became very bloated. I initially thought this was due to the prednisone, but wasn’t sure. Last week, he began panting constantly, and although he would wag his tail, bark and had a great appetite, he got ‘different’. He lost weight. He went off to a rug far from us and would sit there, faced opposite of us and kind of stare into space. The big change we noticed was he did not want to lay down. He actually fell asleep sitting up and once he’d plop down, he’d prop up right away again. When we’d had a bad night last week of him not sleeping at all- just panting and sitting up, we knew we needed to let him go because he seemed miserable. The problem we’re having is our vet gave us 25mg of Acepromozine before we brought him- it’s a 45 minute drive, and he was always nervous. Once he got there, he was drowsy, and they laid him on the table, and his heart stopped- by itself, no drugs- he just died. Did we overdose him on Acepromozine and stop his heart? Did he know that if he laid down this was going to happen and that’s why he fought it while at our house? Was the prednisone the cause of his abdomen being so bloated, or was it something else? Our vet assured us we did the right thing, but we’re just not sure and have been too upset to call again and wanted an objective opinion. Thank you for your time.

  346. If you recall, I posted a while back about my cat Samantha who experienced bi-lateral deafness after an ear flush. She had an MRI and it revealed two ruptured ear drums and a clogged tympanic bulla. She was put on antibiotic (for about one month) and prednisone (four months now) and actually began to hear again. Her ears don’t move toward sound as cat’s ears typically do and she has trouble localizing, but sound is getting in and it’s enough to improve her quality of life. However, when I tried to fade the pred, she started to lose hearing again, so she went back on. Now I am once again fading because it’s been almost four months and she needs to get off this medication and I am again noticing her hearing diminish, and she shakes her head a few times a day, which she stopped doing on the prednisone. So it seems that there is inflammation preventing her from hearing and the prednisone reduced the inflammation allowing sound to get through, and fading the meds is causing the inflammation to return (hence the head shake and diminished hearing) – that’s my theory anyway. Any suggestions as to a next step that is safer than going back on prednisone which I am not willing to do? What specific natural anti-inflammatory could help with inner ear issues? I want her off the meds but I see her getting worse as we lower the dosage. Thanks for your help.

  347. Last week my 28-lb. cocker was prescribed 5 mg. Prednisone to take once daily for 5 days. No mention was made of taking her off this medicine gradually. However, I have been reading about this medication and read where it should be tapered before discontinuing it. Vet’s office closed today. I have already given 3 tablets, Should I taper the dosage of the last two tablets? Thanks,

  348. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    An only 5 day course of this medication usually does not need to be gradually tapered off.

  349. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    You could see a veterinary homeopath for an alternative approach for these ear issues http://www.drpitcairn.com for an appropriately trained homeopathic vet in your area. As for other options you could ask your vet about alternative immune suppressive medications such as atopica or cyclosporine to use with and/or instead of prednisone.

  350. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Please know that you did a wonderful Job in keeping Max going for so long. I DONT think the acepromazine was involved in his passing, as it sounds like it was his time. Glad to hear that the transfer factor helped a bit. Sounds like you gave him a wonderful life.

  351. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    HI Brian. Sorry to be so late in getting back to you. 2.5 mg pred is not too high a dose, but I would need to know her exact weight to tell you for sure. As for other supportive measures, I would ask vet about cough suppressants like hydrocodone, as well as bronchodilators like theophylline. I have also found natural gemmotherapies helpful in these dogs, which you can read about on line such as European Alder, European Hornbeam, and black currant. I DONT find surgery helpful in these cases.

  352. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    HI Trina. Sorry to be so late in getting back to you. Very complex case that I think best addressed by consultation with internal medicine specialist. Diabetes is easily ruled out with blood sugar and/or urine analysis. I am not convinced pred the cause here, as could have other immune mediated digestive tract disease that needs other immune suppressive meds like atopica, etc so she should have full GI workup at specialist. Homeopathic options are possible as well. To find a vet adequately trained in your area, go to the website http://www.drpitcairn.com

  353. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    I would ask your vet for referral to internal medicine specialist in your area for proper workup and diagnosis to see if other options to pred exist and/or even if this drug needed.

  354. Did you ever ID the allergen? My pup had severe skin allergies for 2yrs before we found a vet able to treat it. We got a blood food allergy test through Spectrum Labs (about $200). We found out out he was allergic to many things found in most foods. If you think a food allergy may be the cause but don’t want to spend the money, try a “limited ingredient diet”. Canidae canned chicken and rice is good for us. We spent the first two years of allergies treating symptoms, not the cause. He’s so much better now!! His skin looks awesome!

  355. our 13 1/2 year old huskie/shepherd + mix is on 10 mgs prednisone for probable inflammatory bowel disease. She is eating every meal eagerly for the first time in over a year, which is great! We observe she has completely stopped shedding, and this is unprecedented: she has always shed at least a little, and dramatically with seasons changing. I am wondering whether the pred is responsible for no shedding, and if it is healthy ?


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  357. Our 4 year old boxer was put on a 50mg dose daily of perdition eat the time he was down to 35 lbs and now he’s back up to 65 I’m reading all these normal dosages are around 5mg. Is the 50mg wrong and if so could it hurt him he has been on it daily for 3 or more months

  358. My five year old cat is on liquid Prednisone, as of yesterday, Nov. 12,2015. When my cat & I returned from the Vet, I fed her some cat food. In the meantime, I forgot to put her Prednisone in the refrigerator. Yes, I was told to put it in the refrigerator. Is it safe to give her the next dose or should I let the Vet know? Thanks in advance.

  359. I have a 4.5 yorkie that was ALWAYS itching. I had her on a 2.5 every other day and then a 2.5 does every day of Prednisone. She was still constantly itching every part of herself, not one specific area. I put her on a 5.0 daily dose of Prednisone and the itching has stopped. I am however concerned of the long term effects. She isn’t overly excited or lethargic, she doesn’t seem to eat or drink too much, she hasn’t gained any weight. Any recommendations?

  360. hi there,
    my baby boerboel Milo has been diagnosed with wobbler syndrome we cannot afford the major surgery to his vertebrae to correct this problem, the vet suggested that we give dosages of prednisone and this helped him a lot however the meds are now finished, can we continuously keep him on these meds? he is 60kgs and 1.8 months old, we really don’t have the heart to put him down at such a young age and he loves to run and play and seems fine when he’s on meds, thing is will it cause more damage that way? please help I need some advice

  361. Pingback: Tucker's experience with arthritis and prednisone - Beagle Forum : Our Beagle World Forums

  362. It sounds like Max had a wonderful life with people that love him, I don’t think you could have done a thing different.
    We can never know whether we did the right thing or not when we lose a pet, all we can do is try our best. Not even veterinarians know what the best thing is in all cases, after all they’re human just like us. No one’s perfect.

  363. Hi I have a 15 year old malemale cat named Baby that has been on prednisone most of his life usually five milligrams to start and 2. 5 milligrams daily after that. It wasn’t on a continuous basis but more often than not. I have a second cat that has cancer and I now have to give prednisone on a daily basis in addition to by- weekly prednisone shots.
    From what I have been told any problems are long term and since the alternative is to have my babies put down I’ll stick with the prednisone. Good luck and Google is a wonderful way to look some of this up.

  364. Hello, my chewwey was diagnosed with bronchiastasis, he was put on 5 mg of prednisone everyday. We have since cut his dosage down to 2.5 mg, except for when it is ecspecially cold out, he will get the full 5 mg. He is also on 2000mg of fish oil, and 10mg of claritin every day. He has started to show signs of cushings…is there an alternative to the prednisone. He goes back to see his vet again on the 13th of February. Any suggestions would be helpful, so that I may ask her.

  365. Hi, my dear friend Butter’s is a 13 yr old Pit Bull Terrier. He has Lymphoma and is on Prednisone. During the day he sleeps and seems ok, once it is night time, he wants to drink and go out to pee. He also has diarrhea.
    Can I give him anything at night to help relax him and help him to sleep? Maybe low dose of Benadryl ?
    What can I give him to help with the Diarrhea?

  366. See your vet about specific anti diarrheal drugs like metronidazole or other intestinal antibiotics that they can possibly prescribe. You can try the natural calming essence Composure and/or Be serene from1800petmeds, or you can ask your vet about other pain meds that have calming effect like Gabapentin or tramadol if appropriate

  367. If your canine child has allergies, before you pay the Vet BIG bucks to prescribe steroids, think Benadryl.
    Short term side effects of steroids are not cool, but long term effects can be terrible.
    Increased thirst…increased urination.
    Increased hunger…increased weight gain.
    Skin yeast infections.
    BIG risk of diabetes.
    How do I know these things? My canine son Ripper had really itchy skin and scratched himself 24/7.
    The Vet prescribed Prednisone pills, and the itching stopped. The increased thirst and increased urination began.
    Ripper NEVER, NEVER, EVER whizzed in the house, and even after getting up twice during the night, he peed on the floor.
    He began slowly but surely packing on the pounds. His itching was under control so I continued the steroids for 2 years.
    His bladder control got better, but the weight gain was bad. I started my investigation of the situation online.
    Without any conversation with my steroid pushing Vet, I read online about the proper way to reduce steroids and stop them.
    I began giving Ripper 25mg of Benadryl twice a day, and his itching problem stopped and did not return.
    Sadly, Ripper got diabetes and we did the pee collection twice per day as well as insulin shots once per day.
    We fought the good fight with diabetes for 7 years, but in the end cancer took my son from me.
    To reiterate… steroids MAY not be the long term answer for your canine child’s allergy problem.

  368. Excellent points Burt. Long term prednisone may be no longer necessary as there are newer, hopefully safer drugs like apoquel which can help with long term itching, etc When antihistamines like benadryl or zyrtec work, this also is helpful as well. I recommend supplementing all pets with allergies with omega 3 fatty acids such as nordic naturals pet omega 3

  369. Hello Dr Dym!
    Searching for info in prednisone and lymphoma and came across your blog. We are old patients of yours! Hope you are well! Unfortunately our Portuguese Water Dog was diagnosed with T cell lymphoma and we decided to use prednisone to make him comfortable. Trying to see how long he could last from diagnosis. It’s been 2 months now.
    He’s only six years old.

  370. Hi Beth. I remember you and your mom and the health food store well. Actually the average survival time for lymphoma dogs with prednisone alone is typically 2 to 3 months. As I am sure you and your mom are a;lready doing, remember the role that diet and nutritional supplements and possibly homeopathy can play in also trying to help these patients. Good luck with it.

  371. My 28lb cocker spaniel was diagnosed Monday with a strained disc. She’s been put on 20mg prednisone a day (1 1/2 pills). She’s been panting, excessive urination and shivering. The vet today said the shivering was from pain and perscribed 50 mg of tramadol twice daily. I forgot to ask if they can be given togethe. Also, does the dose seem high?

  372. No problem in giving the tramadol and pred together. Dose sounds ok, however your vet may need to adjust dose lower if side effects. Also ask vet if other pain meds like gabapentin or methocarbimol can help as well as I use these often in back problems

  373. My 13 year old terrier mix was diagnosed with Lymphoma in November and has been on Prednisone since that time. He has gain a lot of weight even though I have cut back on the amount of food. Is there anything I can do to help?

  374. I would follow the instructions of your local veterinarian. Weight gain is a common side effect of chronic prednisone therapy, but this drug may be necessary for the comfort of your animal. I assume you did not elect chemotherapy in your dog. 4 to 5 months survival on only prednisone therapy is actually quite good, in terms of survival time post lymphoma diagnosis when only using prednisone therapy

  375. Our dog Hooch is a 12 year-old Old English Bulldog 80 lbs. His sister, Maxine, just died who was 9 years old from what we think was encephalitis caused by anaplasmosis and lyme disease. The last week that Max was alive, Hooch started collapsing to the floor and peeing. We thought at first that he was having seizures like Max. We took him to the vet who assumed (because he had not seen a “seizure”) that he was seizing. He did not test positive for lyme, but his lymph nodes in his back legs are swollen, so Hooch is on Doxycycline (400 mg) twice a day — not taking any chances as we lost Max. Hooch continued to collapse — and I realized that he was not seizing — he was collapsing in pain. Took him to the vet and several xrays later, he has swelling in his back around his spinal cord and it looks like three vertabrae are compressed (less space between them than the others). Doctor said all blood tests are normal. So, Hooch was placed on prednisone 20 mg per day. After a few days we told the vet that he does not want to eat (we force feed him), he is urinating way more than normal, and drinking way more than normal. Urinating all over the house. The vet told us to cut the dose in half, but after only a few days, he began to collapse again. He has been on the prednisone (20 mg per day) for three weeks now, and I notice he is breathing heavily when he lays down. His abdomen seems to be raising more than usual and it looks like he is struggling. He does not want to lay on his stomach anymore, he lays non his side and seems uncomfortable. His eyes are bloodshot too. I don’t want him on the prednisone as I fear cushings disease. He is not himself — he walks around as if he is in pain and makes this weird dry heave choking sound. The Doxycycline, I am told, has anti-inflamatory properties too. He will be on that for another 4 weeks to insure against the Lyme that took Max. What else can we do for him? Must we continue to keep him on the prednisone? Is there something else that can help the swelling and give him pain relief? How long is too long on the prednisone? He is a large dog — if he loses muscle mass he will lose the ability to hold himself up. I just don’t know what to do. I am terrified that I am going to lose him too.

  376. Hi Dana. Sorry to hear about this situation. I would ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary neurologist in your area, if the only options your vet has are pred and doxycycline. If it were my dog, I would also consider trying to find a holistic or homeopathic veterinarian in your area, who might be able to help from a different perspective, as traditional drugs used in veterinary neurology are a short list. To learn more and/or to try and find a holistic vet in your area, see http://www.drpitcairn.com and http://www.theAVH.org

  377. Hi, My 12 yr old Boston Terrier began having seizures last August. He was put on Phenobarbitol but also Prednisone for a serious spinal issue. I think we left him on the Prednisone too long, from Aug to Dec. Finally dropped dosage slowly and he came off it, But the damage to his skin was awful! It has greatly improved since coming off the drug but I am having a hard time clearing up the hard plaque like areas of skin under both armpits, back legs, and over his eyebrows. There are also several waxy feeling patches on his belly and chest. Can you recommend a topical treatment that will help soften the hard patches acn help clear the other areas? He is a miracle after what he has been through! He was peeing constantly, panting, drinking water endlessly, and could barely climb up the porch steps! Now he is running, eating and drinking normally, and holding his bladder all night again! His back issue has greatly improved as well. I’ve tried tea tree oil, but so far it’s not helped. But for the horrible skin problem he is doing great! Thanks for any help!

  378. HI Jacki. I would have a consultation with a veterinary dermatologist in your area if possible, which would offer best expert diagnosis of chronic skin issue and/or treatment. You could try topical coconut oil applied to areas a few times daily, as well as give it orally at dose of 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight added to each meal daily. Also put him on an omega 3 fatty acid such as nordic naturals pet omega 3 from `1800petmeds. Topical aloe vera and/or vitamin E also may help as well daily.

  379. 7 year old lab diagnosed with liver disease in March. It took from January to March for the vet to diagnose her but when she was diagnosed her liver enzymes were off the chart and her liver was disfigured. (per sonogram) She was initially put on an antibiotic, antacid, SAM-e, 30 mg of prednisone and 300 mg of ursodiol. She wasn’t eating. 4 months later she is eating and wants to eat all the time. She’s gone from loosing weight to gaining weight. Her respiration rate is up. She is on 20 mg of Prednisone one day and 10 the next. She no longer takes an antibiotic but continues on everything else. When she was 3 she had ACL surgery on one leg and then at 4 1/12, the other leg. This past week she has been hesitant to go upstairs and go in the car (both of which she loves). What are the side effects of keeping her on daily prednisone? Whenever we try to cut it back she doesn’t do well and the vet says to go back to the 30 mg one day 20 the next. She is OK but not well. Are we making her suffer? Is there hope of reversing or getting her liver disease to a manageable point? Is the prednisone effecting her joints? So many concerns.

  380. Excellent questions and many possibilities here. Best for you to ask your vet for referral to vet specialist in your area or internal medicine specialist who may be able to offer liver aspirate or biopsy to best determine long term care and treatment. Liver values should be monitored periodically. Prednisone can have many wonderful effects as well as many possible side effects. You may want to consult with holistic vet as well. To learn more see http://www.doctordym.com as well as see book Dr
    Pitcairn’s Guide To Natural HEalth for dogs and Cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd, which has great suggestions on home diets, liver support, etc.

  381. My 8 year old Old English Sheep dog was recently diagnosed with an auto-immune disease with low white blood cell counts. At some point her count was as low as 40 000 although everything else with her and her lab tests were normal. Our vet told us the normal avg. is around 200 000. He has put her on Prednisone starting at 80mg/a day and now down to 40mg/ a day. Her last test showed her count was up 160 000. Since she has been on Prednisone she has been drinking and urinating 4 times more (which was expected) but we have also noticed she has much less energy than before and she eats 4 times more too. She has gained about 4 lbs in 2 weeks which is concerning to us. I just want to know wether the dosage isn’t too high for her based on other prescribed dosage. Should we be concerned of the side effects and current dosage and discuss this with our vet?

  382. HI Ellie. Thanks for your question. There are definitely other options for autoimmune blood and other disorders. While prednisone is the main drug, most commonly the first choice of most veterinarians; if there are unpleasant side effects, then there are other meds such as atopica(cyclosporine), as well as many others that can be explored by your veterinarian. You could also ask your vet for a referral to vet internist in your area if needed for expert opinion on this condition and breed. Given the common incidence of autoimmune disorders and thyroid disease in this breed(sometimes at the same time), it may be worthwhile to have a COMPLETE thyroid profile done on her to make sure hypothyroidism does not exist. I would also talk to your vet about starting your dog on Melatonin at a dose of 6 mg twice daily, as this over the counter supplement from the health food store, also can help with platelet production and bone marrow release of platelets. Even the most traditional of veterinary specialists are now using melatonin in cases like this with autoimmune platelet disorders. Hope this helps

  383. Thank you very much for the recommendations. This is very helpful and will definitely discuss these alternative options with my vet.

  384. Our 16.5 yr old moyen poodle had been healthy and active until this past January when she had a bout of pancreatitis. From 22 lbs, she slowly went down to 16 lbs by May when she was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure and maybe something neurological. Vet said pretty much to count her good vs bad days and give her any food that she will take. We tried everything and she didn’t eat much until a month ago when she started eating voraciously 3 small meals/day of easy digestible canned food plus pumpkin and baby food. She’s also maintaining her weight at 14 lbs. Her walking was not great so she went on prednisone 5 mg. – do you think 2.5/day more appropriate based on her weight? Also is it better to take entire dosage once a day or split up to twice a day? Many thanks.

  385. Hi Georgie. Doses of prednisone will vary in pets, and either dose does not sound too high to me, but your local vet needs to adjust dose based on clinical symptoms, labwork and/or history, etc I would also suggest perhaps trying a proper home made diet, as that may help many of these conditions as well in pet this age. See the kidney diet recipes in the book Dr Pitcairn’s Guide to NAtural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard PItcairn, DVM, phd or my friend and nutritionist’s website Chef Loreen Playford http://www.k9petchef.com Loreen can also individualize a home recipe for you based on age, breed, clinical conditions, etc. Use my name as referral

  386. Good evening Dr Dym,
    I have a 3.5 yr old boxer, Governor, who was recently diagnosed with DISH and spondylosis based on 2 XRs and clinical symptoms. He was totally healthy and then in March had a back leg he wouldn’t let us touch. Only lasted a day or two after the vet started him on meloxicam daily and told us it was arthritis. He seemed to be fine for several months then in June had a flare up that wasn’t responding to the medication anymore. Went for a second opinion where he was diagnosed with DISH/spondylosis and was put in prednisone. He started 2x per day then 1x day and now every other day all over about 2 months. He responded so well to the prednisone. Happy and flexible like he was a year ago. He has been taking prednisone every other day for about 2 weeks but today started showing signs of being uncomfortable again (cries when he stands up but other wise is comfortable moving around). The vet who is also a surgeon has suggested an MRI and surgery for his spine depends on where the nerves are pinched at. The only problem with that is they estimate the whole surgery to cost around $8000, which we would be happy to pay if we hadn’t just spent another $8000 for our other dog, a Rhodesian ridgeback that had a bowel obstruction and perforation. We are kind of in a tight spot and I wanted to know if and for how long a can bump his steroid dose back up in order to buy us some time. We live in Central California and I would prefer to take Governer home to Texas A&M and try to get him into a vet there. Any advice would help. We are seeing out vet here on Monday.

  387. Sounds like he is under excellent care. You may want to ask your vet about additional prescription medications i.e tramadol, gabapentin, and/or amantadine as additional pain meds. good luck with it

  388. Hello Dr. Dym,
    Our soon to be 7 year old black lab recently began having seizures on July 4th, one of the worst days of our lives seeing him go through six seizures in one day. We immediately took him to the vet the following day were our vet diagnosed him with epilepsy. He then started him on 63mg of phenobarbital, he was on this for several weeks and remained seizure free. He was very lethargic and would walk into things we soon began to taper his pheno to half a pill and saw no improvement, we then tapered him to 1/4 a pill. He remained seizure free while tapering, we stopped his phenobarbital on a Saturday and took him back to the vet on Monday to have blood drawn, LFTs, CBC, CMP was all normal his phenobarbital level was below therapeutic range. We told our vet we notice our lab often favoring his right, turning to the right and only would turn right to get turned around. We questioned stroke, vet said his pupils looked fine, equal and reacted without any problems. He was started on 5mg of prednisone for 15 days and we had our happy health running barking tail wagging Brody back!! He had not wagged his tail or barked for close to a month and a half! His last dose of prednisone was Saturday morning, last night he had his first small seizure in less intensity since July 4th. He was started back on 5mg prednisone today and is to take it everyday for one week and then every other day for a week. Was wondering your opinion on the conclusion we have made diagnosis wise and if he could be on a long term small dose steroid long term if every other day works for him?
    Anything helps!

  389. hi Jenna. Sorry to hear of your labradors unfortunate seizure condition. I would ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary neurologist in your area, who can offer a more complete and thorough neurological workup and assessment, including possible brain MRI, and/or CSF fluid analysis. This may give idea as to the specific disease process, as if he got better on the prednisone, then he may have an inflammatory condition of the brain which needs to be specifically diagnosed for a more accurate and precise treatment plan and prognosis, as dogs can have brain tumors as well which can respond to prednisone initially as well. Hope this helps. You can also an alternative explore holistic veterinary medicine as well and/or constitutional classical homeopathy. To learn more see the booklet on the site http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website and links http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations. Good luck on difficult case.

  390. Hi Doctor,
    I just found your site when looking up prednisone treatment for pets. My 26 lb doxie mix became paralyzed in back legs, etc two weeks ago. It apparently came on gradually but I was thinking it was a urine or kidney problem, and when it suddenly appeared she was in excruciating pain, we got to a vet immediately and by then she was paralyzed. The x rays however were not definitive, so I don’t have an exact location/ diagnosis. I could not consider surgery for $10k, and so we are on conservative tx. Doing the tramadol, gabapentin, methocarbomal and prednisone. All of these are being reduced from either TID to BID, or BID to QD, and as of this third week, the prednisone which was 5 mg BID one week, then QD one week, is now to be QD every other day for two weeks. Would you say at that point it is safe to d/c if the pain is not present?

  391. HI Carol. All excellent questions. Sounds like your dog is on an excellent combination of pain and anti inflammatory pain meds. The decision on tapering doses and at what rates varies depending on response and exam findings. A case like this should be evaluated initially every 5 to 7 days, and doses very slowly tapered over several weeks. I would also ask your local vet about possibly referring you to holistic practitioner in your area skilled in chiropractic and/or acupuncture, as both can play excellent roles in strengthening spine and possibly preventing relapses at adjacent or the same disc spaces. There is no down side to trying these. Also put your dog on excellent joint supplements including proanthozone, super joint enhancer and omega 3 like nordic naturals pet omega 3 from 1800petmeds

  392. I have a 5 year old little dog. She was diagnosed with degenerative discs. She needs a 5,000 dollar surgery and as a college student about to graduate I don’t have to tell you I don’t have that kind of money. My dog functions normally on prednisone. She takes it once a day and has been doing that since August. She also takes methocarbonal and tramadol. We tried taking her off but she can’t move if she doesn’t have her steroid. 23 tried Rivera but that did absolutely nothing. Any recommendations?

  393. Sorry to hear of your dilemma Muyranda. You could also ask your vet about other scripts for disc/back pain issues such as Gabapentin, as well as amantadine or Amitryptylline, which may allow you to lower the steroid dose, etc. I would also ask your vet for referral to veterinary chiropractor and/or acupuncturist in your area, as I have seen traditional Chinese medicine sometimes work wonders in pets with chronic disc disease, and you really have nothing to lose, as other than expensive, no guarantee surgery, we truthfully have nothing else to offer in traditional veterinary medicine, other than cortisone and more cortisone and the drugs listed here

  394. hi, my dog started having hip issues back in June. We started him on glucosimine tables two 800mg a day. and meloxicam. To help with the pain. He’s a 95lbs black Lab. He’s 5yrs old. Vet didn’t see any signs or trauma or injury. And said it just may be due to muscle loss. The back legs got worse. They started giving out him till one day he couldn’t get up at all. We took him again and we switched to methencorbonal and tramadol. It helped for a bit but he was still having a lot of pain. One Sat morning he was really bad.Not lifting his head, eating.etc. Fortunately our vet is open on Sat. They saw him right away and asked if we wanted to rule out Lyme disease. We did that and it came back positive. So vet added doxycycline, and the tramadol for pain. We just started the prednisone last week. He is responding much better since we added the prednisone. He eats good. Poops and pees fine, (no blood). There was no fever nor has there been. He does respond to my massages. He has even moved his tail on his own today. So my ?? is does this seem like Lyme or something else. Do I need a 2nd opinion and if is his spine will he recover without surgery? He seems normal when we give him the pain meds and the steriod except that he can’t stand and drags the back legs. One leg is buckled. But when he lays on his side he can move both back legs? Also can I still keep giving him the supplements. He was on the glucosimine and fish oil but I wasn’t sure if I could give them at the same time. I keep forgetting to ask the vet?

  395. My 9 year old lab, Lovey, has issues in her spine…she can barely walk and the vet took x rays and put her on adequan and prednisone, which she was gradually weaned off of. She improved marvelously. Now she is only on adequan but it is not helping. Her quality of life is bad. Bless her heart, she will struggle to go outside to do her business, but it is heartbreaking to watch. Could she be put on long term prednisone, which seemed to wok so well? I would rather have her have a good qua!ity of life, even if it is shortened somewhat. Also what is the benefit of predlisone over prednisone? Thank you!

  396. HI Amy. I would indeed ask your vet to consult with and/or refer you to a local veterinary internist or specialist in your area who can review workup thus far, as well as if further quantitative blood testing for lyme disease and/or other illnesses is indicated. Sounds like a merrygoround use of meds with no exact diagnosis. In fact, many “Lyme positive” dogs just means they have been exposed to lyme at some point in past, but NOT necessarily due to current infection, especially if diagnosed on in house veterinary lyme screens. Your vet should also be monitoring urine protein levels through routine urine analysis, as well as urine test called urine protein/creatinine ration as that is truly the main long term risk of chronic lyme exposure, especially in labrador retrievers, who seem to be genetically prone to a rare form of chronic lyme known as lyme nephropathy I dont see a problem with his supplements at same time as the other meds, but check with your local vet to get his or her opinion on this

  397. Hi Michael We have a five year old Springer Spaniel who has been on Prednisone for the past four years. He was put on this as a scan on his brain showed either inflammation on the brain (encephalitis) or some sort of damage developed when he was a pup in the hind brain. He was prescribed 20mg per day initially which has now been dropped to 5mg in the morning. Over the years we’ve reduced this dosage and then increased when his symptoms have got worse. We’ve recently upped the dosage to 10mg (5mg AM and 5mg PM) to see if this will stop the symptoms. His symptoms are excessive drooling due to paralysis of the tongue, his tongue hasn’t developed fully so he has issues eating and drinking , an inability to make a left turn, curving to the right and issues with balance and co-ordination. He is otherwise a very fit and active boy. My questions are: What can we do to help alleviate the side effects of Predisone? Is there long term damage with such a low dosage? Is there any other type of drug you could suggest instead? Bearing in mind we did trial no Prednisone for a few weeks and he was knocked off his feet due to balance issues and inability to straighten up his spine. I’d appreciate any advice. Many thanks.

  398. Hi Jennifer. Sorry to hear of your 5 year old springer spaniel’s difficult journey thus far. Sounds like you love him very much and have certainly done all of the traditional diagnostics and therapies for this. Such a complex case would require a more individualized consultation with a holistic and/or homeopathic veterinarian like myself. To learn more about constitutional homeopathy, to see if that may be appropriate for your dog, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as the info on my site http://www.doctordym.com There are many possibilities and approaches to take here to hopefully help him on a more holistic level. For now, I would start him on liver protectants such as Denamarin, proanthozone, as well as fatty acids such as Nordic naturals pet omega 3, all which you can get from 1800petmeds. If you would like to consult further, please contact me on the contact information on my website for more individualized holistic approaches on this case.

  399. Our 3 yr old ragdoll cat, Max, weighs 15 lbs and take Prednisolone 2.5 mg. I have been able to wean him down to 1.25 mg or off for a few weeks at a time. Then he will have a flair of his inflammatory bowel disease, loose smelly stools and vomiting, and I have to put him on 2.5 BID for a few days, then back to 1.25. Is it better to just leave him on the 2.5, as he seems to just sail along beautifully? No signs of Cushings except for increased thirst. He has been on Pred for about 8 months. Also, what other meds for IBD would you recommend? The one’s my Vet suggested, seem to have a lot of side effects as well. I know there is a good chance he will develop Diabetes later on, but I will deal with that when and if it happens. Thanks

  400. HI Barb. What I would try and do is work with your local traditional veterinarian on weaning your cat Max on to the lowest dose of prednisone that controls his clinical signs. Some cats will do fine on low dose every other day therapy, while others need daily therapy of some sort. This is a chronic disease, which conventional, allopathic medicine does NOT cure, but controls, as well as the nature of chronic disease is to flare up periodically on its own and then die down, so I would not automatically make dose adjustments unless the GI symptoms flareup intensely and/or persist. As for other supportive measures, you can ask your vet to teach you how to give vitamin B12 shots under the skin once weekly at home, which can help with many cats’ chronic management of inflammatory bowel disease. Some vets will also keep cats on low dose or periodic intestinal antibiotic/anti inflammatory therapy, such as prescription metronidazole, or tylan powder. Other vets will occasionally use stronger drugs in IBD management such as chlorambucil or cyclosporine, but as you mentioned, there are increased side effects with these drugs long term. I would make sure diagnosis has been definitively made if your pet is on long term pred; i.e IBD requires intestinal biopsy either via scope or exploratory surgery for definitive diagnosis, especially if you are considering long term pred use. I would also have him on supportive probiotics such as fortilflora or naturevet enzymes from 1800petmeds. I would also consider working with a constitutional homeopath like myself or another in your area who can potentially offer other options here holistically from diet or therapy perspective, To learn more about homeopathy, see http://www.drpitcairn.com Also see info on my website http://www.doctordym.com. Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations

  401. My 10 yr old Morkie has a perianal tumor that the vet says is inoperable. He is on 2.5 mg of prednisone every day once a day. He does have side effects like panting, back leg weakness when he tries to jump and excessive thirst but other than that, he seems fine. I hate having him on this med but when I even try to take him off of it for one day, the tumor flares up and he has horrible pain because of the fistulas that form. I can’t stand seeing him in pain. My question is this. How long will he be able to take the prednisone before it completely stops working.

  402. Last week I took our 10 year old Beagle, to the vet, his neck was swollen. X rays were taken and I was told he had pneumonia and a possible ruptured esophagus. He was put on rimadyl chewables, plus given a injection of Rimadyl and a 80mg injecyion of Convenia. He had to go back and see the vet in 2 days. When I took him back a lot of the swelling in his neck had gone away and the vet could feel his lymph nods. She aspirated and soon told me he had lymphoma. At that point she took him off all antibiotics and put him on Prednisone 20mg once a day for 14 days and then 1/2 a pill long term.. He weights 41.6#. I am having a hard time believing the diagonisis since she told me the x ray showed pneumonia. I have read all the side effects on dogs taking prednisone. Is the dosage he is getting high? Is there something else he can take to help the swelling? I feel that by giving the prednisone that I am putting something in his system that really isn’t good for him long term. Any suggestion you can give would be greatly appreciated

  403. I forgot to mention that his belly now seem bloated and his breathing seem wezzzy.

  404. Hi Cyndi. If your vet did indeed aspirate the lymph node, and got back a diagnosis of lymphoma, then that was the original disease that was there when you first took the beagle in. Your vet was just trying to treat the more benign condition and hoping it was an infection and/or inflammation, rather than cancer. As for pneumonia, most likely the changes on the x rays are related to the cancer, however in regards to your concerns about prednisone, i do think that pred offers a better chance at improved quality of life, if your pet has been diagnosed with cancer. While this drug wont cure him alone, it can shrink nodes and help him feel better. I would use a BETTER antibiotic moving forward to cover any residual bacterial issues, such as Baytril or doxycycline, in my opinion and experience. Ask your vet about these. Also consider asking your vet about referral to a veterinary specialist or oncologist, who can offer you other options to better treat any cancer present for best potential long term results.

  405. My 10 yr old Morkie has a perianal tumor that the vet says is inoperable. He is on 2.5 mg of prednisone every day once a day. He does have side effects like panting, back leg weakness when he tries to jump and excessive thirst but other than that, he seems fine. I hate having him on this med but when I even try to take him off of it for one day, the tumor flares up and he has horrible pain because of the fistulas that form. I can’t stand seeing him in pain. My question is this. How long will he be able to take the prednisone before it completely stops working.

  406. Every pet is different in terms of duration of effect of prednisone, etc in situation like this. You can certainly ask your vet about additional supportive pain medications such as gabapentin or tramadol which your vet may consider

  407. I have a 9lb 6 year old Malti-Poo. He was playing fine on the 30th and being his normal playful self. That night he was shaking and the next day we took him to the emergency clinic. After 6 different vets, 3 diagnosis and 1 specialist, they believe he has Auto Immune Arthritis. They gave him 5mg of Prednisone that he is to take 2 times daily. They have also gave him a shot of Dexamethazone a few times, after he receives that shot he is good for about a day and half or two days. Then it wears off and he seems to be hurting again. Even though he is taking the Prednisone twice a day. After taking the Prednisone his breathing is very rapid. He takes deep breathes through his nose while trying to sleep which scares us. This goes on for close to 5 hours after he takes a pill. Why does the Dex seem to work so well but not the Prednisone? Also, they bumped us up to 7.5 two times a day for 1 day, his breathing was really bad then but the next day he seemed to do a little better. Also, is there anything we can give him to help with the breathing? His Urine test came back positive for protein as well. I was reading that Prednisone can cause the urine test to read high on protein?

  408. On rare occasions, some pets can be more sensitive to or respond to one form of cortisone whether dexamethasone or prednisone. Panting/heavy breathing can be side effect of steroid or related to ongoing discomfort. You can ask your vet about other immuno suppressive drugs to see if appropriate such as atopica or cyclosporine, amongst many others. I would not worry about protein in urine at this point as he has chronic inflammatory condition right now

  409. Deb!!! How long was your fur baby on 10mg/daily for IBS. My baby has been on it for about 2 months. We tried to cut him back, but he spiraled…and we had to bring him back up to 10mg a day. My baby is 13 years old too.

  410. Every animal is different with how long they can be on long term prednisone and at what doses. I always try and instruct clients to ask vet about alternative drugs i.e especially for IBD such as newer immunosuppressive drugs such as atopica/cyclosporine, etc

  411. So my Big Baby Jax is a Great Dane and has developed a form of IBD, he is the 4th Dane I have owned and I have never had this issue. It went on for about 5 months, a ton of different foods, antibiotics etc and a new vet. He is now and has been on 3 tablets of 20 Mil of prednisone twice a day, which is YES 120 Mil a day for two months. Granted he was normally 160-165 lbs normal weight and lost to 116 lbs and now back up to 128 lbs. His poop is now a solid once again after months of horrible diarrhea. He Is 5 years old now and I want quality of life at this point since they do not live long lives, I’m weighing the good and bad with the steroids. Every time we try to even cut him back by one pill less he diverts to having tummy issues pretty quickly. We have tried cutting him back twice now. Half at 3 once a day and this time 3 once a day and 2 at night, which is 5 total and it’s doing the same thing. This has depleted me financially but he is my child. Any suggestions would be more than appreciated.

  412. Also just FYI I have noticed a little extra panting as a side effect and he was loosing control of his bladder and peeing a lot but it has either gotten less and better (peeing) or I’m just use to knowing even if I’m asleep, if he moves to jump up and let him outside. He is an INDOOR dog. I actually think it’s both, maybe his body has adjusted to where the peeing is more controllable, Only side effects thus far I have noticed. Knock on wood.

  413. I would have a local veterinary internal medicine specialist review the workup done to date, as well as see if any further testing i.e ultrasound and/or endoscopy of digestive tract needs to be done. You could also ask them about a steroid like medicine known as Budesonide, which many internists try as pred alternative. You can also ask about additional immunosuppressive options for possibly chronic IBD such as atopica(cyclosporine), or Chlorambucil to name two others. The prescription antibiotic Tylan Powder also may help quell digestive symptoms when used long term.

  414. At least these effects dont sound too serious regarding the prednisone Budesonide may be another steroid option.

  415. My 14 year old dachshund is diabetic and is now having a problem with an inflamed nostril. He has been sneezing and snorting and having trouble breathing for a month now. He has been on antihistamines and antibiotics, but nothing has helped. He was also tested for cancer, but thankfully it came out negative. However, because nothing has helped him my vet wants him on 5mg of prednisone for 10 days and then start weaning him off, but I’m very concerned because of his diabetes. Will him being on prednisone for this time period hurt him? I don’t want him ending up with anymore diseases. He has been through so much in his 14 years.

  416. I would not reach for prednisone as a first line drug of choice on case like this, given the diabetes. I would ask vet about other alternatives such as the prescription nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug like piroxicam, which many vet specialists have used for nasal inflammation. Also even cerenia has been used off label for dogs with inflammation of nose/rhinitis. I would ask your vet to refer you to vet specialist in your area, as there may be other issues going on here such as nasal polyp, foreign body and/or even small tumor that vet specialist can detect using small endoscope up nose

  417. After an ultrasound and xrays, my 12 year old male cat was diagnosed with “possible” abdominal carcinomatosis based on radiographic appearance. I opted not to order biopsies because he was in alot of abdominal pain and I knew I wouldn’t start chemo and just wanted to bring him home to be comfortable. He was put on 5mg daily of prednisolone, 2.5 mg twice a day. That was 2 weeks ago and he is back to his normal self and feeling great. I haven’t noticed any side effects yet. On the prescription, it said the usual goal is to slowly taper the medication to the level that controls the disease minizmizing the side effects. I’m hesitant to lower the dose as he is doing so great and I’ve done research and it seems that 5mg a day is not a large dose for an 11 pound cat. Is it okay to leave him on this dosage long term or should I try to lower the dosage to 2.5 mg/day? I don’t want him to relapse. Thank you.

  418. Hi Barbara. I do agree with you. 5 mg prednisone does not seem like a high dose for cat of 11 pounds. Given that the disease is not in remission, but that he is being controlled and feeling better, I would tend to keep him on same dose, but only your local vet, who prescribed the medication and whose care he is under, can make that decision.

  419. Oliver is currently on 5 mg prednisone and is now being weaned off. We can tell that it has not helped him. We do have a recommended specialist that we will be taking him to. I looked up the alternative drugs you recommended and can see how piroxicam may help the nasal inflammation, but I don’t quite understand how cerenia can help since it clearly states that it is used for motion sickness. Also, since his vet took an X-ray of his nostril, wouldn’t that have shown a foreign body inside his nostril if he does have something up there irritating it?

  420. Hi Dina. There have been many vet specialists including a publication from the renowned Animal Medical Center in NY city that has published info on using cerenia off label for lots of issues, including inflammation of nostrils in dogs. X rays WONT show foreign bodies most of the time, as special scopes up the nose are often needed. If cancer is possibly diagnosed, you would ask your vet specialist about drug called Palladia, which I have had a few excellent palliative response in clinical practice in a few cases of nasal cancer. While this latter drug is used for mast cell cancer, many oncologists have found its use off label helpful for other cancers, and it does not have the huge amount of side effects that other chemo drugs have. Good luck

  421. 10 wk old puppy is on Drontal Plus for giardia. Today is her third of three pills. I gave her 1/2 Comboguard this am, 1/2 to be given this evening but I forgot about the last Drontal. Is this too much medication for one little 5 lb puppy? She seems fine though slept a ton today. Should I wait till tomorrow to give other half of Comboguard? Help!

  422. I have a 11-year-old Maltese who was diagnosed two months ago with mast cell tumor… He has one on his side once aspirated and diagnosed about three more popped up on his tummy but very small… Doctor wanted to remove it I decided against it… Did some research have been giving him 12.5 mg of Benadryland half Tagamet in morning and night… To help with histamine and acidity in stomach… Sometimes it looks like he’s in pain so I wondered doctor did give me 5 mg prednisone… I have not given him any yet… Will it hurt on days which are few at this timewhen I think he feels bad… To give him just one predisone? I also tried giving him turmeric every few days and Krill oil every few days…just wanting things to be more natural… Max is 11.5 pounds usually with a lot of energy just been a little slower lately but we still do 2 miles every few days but get out and walk every day. Is prednisone OK to give once in a whilehope to hear from someone soon thank you

  423. HI Jane. I would check with your local vet who prescribed the drontal plus, but I dont see a problem in waiting the one extra day, as does sound like lots of meds for a 5 pound puppy at the same time to me.

  424. HI Betty. I would follow your local vetewrinarian’s prescription recommendations regarding your maltese’s treatment of mast cell tumor,, regarding prednisone, etc In my opinion and experience, if you choose to use prednisone, it should not be given on an occasional basis for mast cell tumors, but on a consistent basis and dosing, at least initially. I encourage you exploring more holistic options of treatment as well, including homeopathy and nutritional therapies. To learn more about homeopathy, see the booklet on the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as the info on my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations.

  425. Hello Dr. Dym, My 17 year old rat terrier was just diagnosed with lymphoma (stage 4). He is on prednisone 5mg 2x daily for 30days and leukeran (2mg) every other for 30 days and is feeling much better. (at the end of the month we’ll assess how the treatment is working). My question is: Is it ok to give a canine formula probiotic at the same time as well as vitamin drops? I am feeding him 3 to 4 times a day as he just regained his appetite but had the wasting so he is very skinny. Should I put it in the meal that doesn’t contain medicine or is it ok at the same time. My boy’s heart is strong. He’s regained his connection to life since the meds so I’m hopeful that I will get some more quality time with him. Thank you for your time and attention!

  426. Sorry Beth to hear of your pet’s diagnosis. At least he is feeling better for now with the pred. I have no problem with the probiotic or vitamins. I would use it in the meal without the medicine. Also consider additional supplements for his immune system such as Transfer Factor for dogs or New Zealand Bovine Colostrum Hemp Rx CBD oil by Rx Vitamins also can help his comfort, etc

  427. hi
    IN September our 6 year old beagle came out of kennel in the morning very slugest, and he felt hot. We got him to emergency they did blood work on him and found out he had zero platlets. So they started him on treatment with 50mg of predisone and another drug I don’t remember the name. Then for 5 days I had to take him in for blood work , and very slowly he got some platlets, but not nearly up to nomal. After that my regular vet took over and every 2 weeks we took him for a blood test, where it finally just got up to normal after 2 months. Then I took him back and it just decreased back to critical levels. So they took him off the other drug and put him on 50 mg cyclosporin still while he was on 50mg of predisone. Again same thing happened we went every 2 weeks for blood work and it got better then it dropped, got better then dropped after 2 months. so then we noticed blood in his poop. So the vet said it might just be a side effect of the cyclosporine. so another months went by after doing blood work and it was up and down. So I switched vets.
    The other vet slowly took him off the cylosporin and kept him on the 50mg of predisone. After another month his platlets levels went up . So this was great, with the blood in his poop he was losing platlets. So in the last while I would still take him in every 2 weeks for blood work and they started lowing his predisone and we were down to 25mg every 2 days and his platlets levels were at 230,000. we thought this was great. So were down to 10 mg a day and took him for his blood work last Saturday and I got a call on Thursday saying his level dropped to 129,000. and got told to go back up to 25mg a day. It doesn ‘t all make sense to us. is it really harmful to him to be on the predisone this long, and what are the long term effects for him. what else could be causing this. He is a very happy dog, and doesn’t look sick at all . We love him very much , and will do just about anything for him. Thanks for listening.

  428. Hi Tom.. It does sound like you love your dog. I would be under care of a local veterinary internal medicine specialist in your area who can help manage case long term. A Platelet count of 129l,000 does not concern me, as clinical bleeding does not occur until platelets are below 30,000. Numbers also can fluctuate in a patient with this disease. Many pets can be maintained on low dose pred for years without problem. Other drugs that may be helpful if relapses are azothioprine, as well as chlorambucil I would also consider supplementing with melatonin at dose of 3 to 5 mg twice daily long term, which may help with platelet numbers and many specialists use.

  429. My 5 month old (11.4 lb) Coton de Tulear has been a mess since I picked him up from the breeder. Eye and ear infection from Day 1. He started his shots with the breeder which I continued. After his second set of puppy shots, he developed head tremors, diminished sight and hearing on the left and circling to the right. The MRI came back as encephalitis (cerebellum, brainstem, forebrain). Initially he was on Clindamycin and 2 mg prednisone. Then he was on Chloramphenicol and 2 mg prednisone. He has also had two sessions of acupuncture. Now he is just taking 1 mg prednisone and 1/8 tsp of turmeric. He was super hungry and a bit aggressive on the 2 mg of prednisone so we took him down to 1 mg. He isn’t improving, is somewhat stable but has days where he seems to be regressing…like today. He isn’t drinking much water but he is eating. I really don’t want to keep him on the prednisone. I don’t think the acupuncture is helping. Any ideas what I can try next? I just love this little guy and want him to be able to walk straight and not shake. Thanks!

  430. Hi Laura. Sorry about this situation. Please DONT vaccinate this dog again. I suspect modified live viral distemper infection POST vaccination in his brain causing these symptoms, and/or at least an autoimmune response to the vaccine virus leading to this. he should be exempt from ALL vaccinations. Classical, constitutional homeopathy is best here; NOT acupuncture. See my website for more information on this modality I do offer phone and Skype consultations nationwide. http://www.doctordym.com

  431. My 15 yr old Jack Russell Terrier is currently on 2.5 mg of Prednisolone every other day for liver disease. He was on 5 mg a day for a month and we have tapered down. His liver enzymes really haven’t improved much. I am worried that the Prednisolne is making his platelets even higher (974) since they were already high to start with, along with his cholesterol (now 744). I also am worried that he seems to be losing muscle (head & body) at an alarming rate since being on this drug for the last 3.3 months. He has also become mildly anemic (rbc 5.31). Do you see any harm in reducing and/or tapering completely off the Prednisolone? I don’t think it has helped him much, if at all. His current dosage is 2.5 mg every other day. His vet said to do what we want, as long as we taper down. We understand at his age, he probably doesn’t have long to live. Thank you.

  432. My 10 year old dog was diagnosed a month ago with Lymphoma / Leukemia and was put on 40 mg of prednisone a day. She was doing great for a while then about a week ago her belly looks like a barrel, she has watery black stool and is very weak. The vet doesn’t know what to do and I am worried. Should I lower the dosage?

  433. HI Susan. With the super high platelet count you describe, as well as the very high cholesterol, these may be a sign of CORTISOL EXCESS, which may be a RESUlT of long term prednisone. Some dogs develop signs of Cushings disease along with the blood changes like this when on long term prednisone. You may want to ask your vet for a referral to vet internist or specialist in your area who can do ultrasound and/or additional liver testing such as a bile acid study, as well as you could even consider testing for Cushings disease, which will sometimes raise liver values in pet this age. Other meds I would consider here are the prescription drug and antioxidant Ursodiol, as well as liver supplements like Denamarin and the antioxidant proanthozone from 1800petmeds. With Cholesterol that high, I would also put this dog on omega 3 fatty acid like Nordic naturals pet omega 3.

  434. HI Nicole. I would not lower the dose on your own without first consulting with her regular, local vet who knows her best. The black, possibly tarry stool could be an ulcer or GI bleeding from the prednisone or the cancer itself. I would start her on over the counter Pepcid AC or Famotidine at dose of 1/2 mg per pound twice daily, which can help as antiacid. She may be on this already. But I would certainly recommend a vet recheck ASAP to look for signs of bleeding from blood work repeat

  435. My 9 year old 70 lb labradoodle was diagnosed recently through physical exam and ultrasound, no endoscopy. Since then he has been on 20MG Famotidine, Metoclopramide 10MG, and Prednisone 5 MG. He was experiencing pain, swelling, and a very tender belly.
    As a backstory, We got him from a shelter at around 1 year old and he has always thrown up frequently. He will guzzle his water then vomit it up with large undigested chunks of food. We did at one point have X-rays and a fluoro exam done to find the cause but nothing was found.
    I believe he has been on the medications for approximately 6 months. He has gained weight, probably around 8 lbs or so, is panting and seems easily out of breath, and he is recently stumbling slightly on the stairs and being timid about jumping out of the back of my suv. I am starting to be concerned that possibly these things are the direct result of the Prednisone. I am worried that any benefits of the prednisone are outweighed by the results I am seeing.

  436. My dog has two inflamed discs in her mid back. Prednisone is the only thing that works. This last time I started her on 20mg and now we are tapered down to 5mg. She is 35lbs. What dose should I keep her on as maintenance. She’s so happy now. Jumps on the couch, dances for her food even rolls over to let me rub her belly. Rimadyl doesn’t work.

  437. My dog began stumbling and certain noises makes her startle and mini convulse. Blood word showed she was not absorbing protein. The vet put her on presiitone. She has been on it about two years, her energy is good apatite good (side effect), however she is not getting any better. Blood work every 30 days proves it. She is a regular sized Yorkshire terrier. She is now getting worse, had a convulsion at the groomers, has fallen down the stairs, poops and pees I her bed. Specialists can’t give me any answers. Where should I go from here?

  438. HI Jennifer. I have not had problem with pred causing severe side effects as long as used judiciously and under supervision and care of your local vet. Given problem not diagnosed by endoscopy, it may be worthwhile considering repeating ultrasound, as well as possibly endoscopy, if no answers on ultrasound for definitive diagnosis of primary digestive tract disease, as well as proper next medications needed in this case as well as to rule out cancer.

  439. Hi Laurie. Work with your local vet on lowest effective dose of prednisone that controls signs; ie hopefully around 5 or 2.5 mg every other day. Also ask your vet about other pain drugs to help lower amount of prednisone needed such as tramadol, gabapentin, and/or new drug used in vet medicine, amantadine . Also I would consult with holistic vet in your area who is familiar with acupuncture and/or chiropractic, which can also help

  440. Hi Doctor. My 12 years old dog has been diagnosis with a neurological problems that prevent him to walk without some help. He was prescribed with Prednisone, but in reality the medicine the pharmacy gave us was Prednisolone . We didn’t realize the mistake until we finish the pills. Then, when we ask for a refill they gave us Prednisone (the original prescription) . I ask the pharmacy and they told me that both medications are basically the same, and I can give it to him without any problem. Honestly, I am a little be afraid. What would you recommend me? Can I change the medication from one day to the other?

  441. My 14lb Chinese Crested was diagnosed with immune mediated arthritis 1 year ago. She is on prednisone. She started on 5mg/day for about 1 month, then lowered to 2.5 mg/day, then maintained a dose of 2.5mg every other day for about 1 year. Stopped prednisone to prep for surgery on her kneecaps, didn’t do surgery due to blood test results showing immune mediated disease. Now, back on prednisone, 2.5mg/day. Just lowered her to every other day and she is not doing well. She doesn’t eat, barely gets out of bed and is snoring/snorting when she breaths. Suggestions? I am calling the vet tomorrow.
    I fear putting her back on daily doses because of the side effects but I feel quality of life is a big consideration.

  442. HI Peter. There is no difference basically between prednisone and prednisolone and both are able to be used interchangably for the most part. Only benefit of prednisolone would be its preferred use in cats due to being a bit gentler on their livers in processing the medication. However, in dogs either formulation is fine.

  443. Hi Cyndi. You can ask your vet about alternative immuno suppressive drugs that may help here such as cyclosporine or brand name atopica which can be helpful in immune mediated joint issues. Also you could consider working with a holistic vet like myself on alternative protocols to cortisone, etc. To learn more see http://www.doctordym.com .

  444. My 13 y/o pug had a brain tumor that was treated with cyberknife therapy 2.5 years ago. She has been on maintenance prednisone of 5 mg every other day since the therapy. About a month ago it was increased to daily. She has now developed diabetes requiring two insulin shots a day. What can she be given in place of prednisone? She weights 13.5 pounds. Thank you,

  445. HI Angie. I would ask your veterinary neurologist or veterinary internal medicine specialist about whether the prednisone alternative Budesonide might be an option. Many specialists use this form of cortisone when diabetes is a concern. You can also ask them about hydrocortisone, which is a natural form of prednisone.

  446. My year and a half boxer started a fever of 103.8 on January 2nd, we took him to the vet and he put him on pancreatic medicine but the next day he was worse so we took him to another vet who put him on amoxicillin and a pain killer. They ran a bunch of blood work and exrays and after two weeks with continued fevers, loss of appetite, throwing up mucus, not eating, swelling of the ears and face I took him to the hospital where they ran a tick and flee test, fungal and bacteria test, took fluids from his joints and diagnosed him with IMPA. The tests results have all come back negative, he has lost over 20% of his body weight and he is now on a combination of prednisone another antibiotics, and two painkillers. After being on the prednisone for three days giving 20 milligrams he started acting better, eating walking more, no fever, playing a little but the vet reduced the prescription to half and he relapsed. The following day he had a runny nose loss of appetite and more lathargic. I put him back on the 20 milligrams 2x a day and now he is getting better again but has increased mucus and still a runny nose. My question is how do I know they are treating what he has and why are they reluctant to let the prednisone work what everything I read says you have to slowly taper him off and he can be on it for 6-8 weeks?

  447. In November, 2016 I started on COPD/Emphysema Herbal formula from NewLife Herbal Clinic, the treatment worked incredibly for my COPD. I used the NewLife COPD Herbal formula for a total time period of 4 months, it totally reversed my COPD. I had a total decline of symptoms including difficulty breathing, dry cough, low energy, fatigue and others. Visit NewLife Clinic web-site ww w. newlifeherbalclinic. com. I am very pleased with this treatment. I breath very well now and exercise regularly, sometimes i totally forget i ever had COPD, I am thankful to nature, the medics failed. Please share

  448. I have an 8 year old Tibetien Terrrier who has an auto immune disease. He infects his own hair follicles which cause bad sores on his skin. Thy are red and are like an open raw sore.
    I have tried grain free diet, raw, no poultry. He has been o. Predesone which helps him, but do not want to keep him on this.
    He is now on Atopica. It seems to help. I have tried holistic vets and that does not work.

    Do you have any suggestions on what could help. Vitamins, ect. I al at my wits end and feel sorry for my baby

  449. HI Jamie. Excellent questions. When an autoimmune disorder is diagnosed, typically pred is kept at initial dose for 4 to 6 weeks before tapering due to risk of relapses. You may want to ask your vet to refer you to another specialist in your area on internal medicine, who can put whole picture together and best plan moving forward. You can also ask about other immunosuppressive drugs such as chlorambucil or atopica(cyclosporine) which may be alternative and/or adjunct to pred to allow you to use lower doses. Also learn more about homeopathy and holistic medicine, especially in this breed. See http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations

  450. About 2 months ago, my 13-year-old male cockapoo, started having these symptoms. His rear was shacking, his stomach was heaving and he would not eat.

    He had blood work, x-ray and MRI, but the cause of his symptoms could not be identified. He was put on Prednisone, 5mg twice a day. The symptoms diapered and over the past 2 months, the dosage was reduced to 2.5mg once a day, without the symptoms returning.

    Twice, two weeks apart, I tried to reduce the dosage to 2.5mg every other day, but his symptoms returned. So now he is back to 2.5mg once a day.

    The neurologist that did the MRI, now suggest transitioning to Gabapentin. But after learning the possible side effects of Gabapentin, I’m very hesitant to switch to this medicine.

    How long can my dog stay on 2.5mg/day Prednisone and what type of periodic testing should he have, to evaluate the long-term effects?

    What do you think of transitioning to Gabapentin?

  451. Hi Beverly. Thank you for the excellent information on your experience with the herbal product and human COPD. Certainly affects alot of animals as well, and I will certainly look into the company and product to see if it may be applicable to animals, as certainly plenty of animals suffer from this.

  452. HI Wendy. I appreciate and am compassionate toward your frustration with chronic immune mediated skin issues, as DIFFICULT to treat both holistically and conventionally. Of course prednisone does help but with long term side effect issues. I am not fan of atopica or other immune suppressive drugs either. MAybe consider NAET therapy for animals which you can look up on line or possibly trying another holistic vet. See http://www.drpitcairn.com for list of homeopathic vets properly trained.

  453. Our 7 year old Scottish Terrier was diagnosed in November 2017 with Epitheliotropic Lymphoma which was a growth on his foot pad that just got bigger and bigger. We were told that even with chemo treatments that it wouldn’t prolong his life over 6 month or so. We decided to not put him through that as he’s feeling fine now and with prednisone the growth has completely went away. He has been on the prednisone since then and I wondered if it would cause more trouble or there was anything else we could use. I’ve been reading about Turmeric treatment for cancers? What is your opinion of using prednisone on him long term.

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