Long Term Use of Prednisone in Pets

There can be side-effects from long-term use of Prednisone.

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 chronic inflammatory bowel disease, chronic skin/ear allergies, chronic respiratory disease and asthma, as well as chronic 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.

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. 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. Thinning of the bone and skin also may occur with long term use of Prednisone. 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.

Comments

  1. Stasia says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  2. winston says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  3. Tracy says

    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!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  4. Judy Munoz says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  5. Terra says

    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!!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  6. Vikki Lovatt says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

      • Vikki Lovatt says

        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.

        • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

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

  7. says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  8. Susan says

    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?

  9. Lindy says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  10. says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  11. says

    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.

  12. Ricardo says

    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.?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  13. Karen says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  14. Kathy Steele says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  15. Mac Burtt says

    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?

    regards
    Mac and Mary

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  16. al says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

      • Tim Olson says

        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.

        • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

          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.

  17. Ken says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  18. Kathy says

    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!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  19. Kristy says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  20. Tiffany says

    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!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  21. MG of IL says

    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.

  22. MG of IL says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  23. says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  24. Jeni says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  25. COB of MA. says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  26. Natalie says

    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?

  27. Natalie says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  28. marci says

    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!

  29. marci says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  30. Don says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  31. Jo-Ann says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  32. Amy Grant says

    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?

    • Mary G. says

      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?

      • Amy Grant says

        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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  34. Amy Grant says

    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?

  35. Sharon says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  36. Kim says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  37. Julie says

    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?

  38. Janine Wolfe says

    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

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  39. Susan Sarubin says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  40. sharon says

    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 !

  41. Julie says

    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.

  42. shaun says

    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?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  43. shelby says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  44. Trina says

    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.

  45. Trina says

    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!!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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

  46. Brian Walter says

    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!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  47. Ken says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  48. Sharon says

    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.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

      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.

  49. Melinda Wines says

    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,

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian says

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

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