Long Term Use of Prednisone in Pets

 
Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

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.

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49 Comments

  1. Greg Walker
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  2. Sam Ward
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Sam Ward Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

  3. Amy
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  4. Paul
    Posted October 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  5. Chloe
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  6. Adrienne
    Posted November 22, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  7. Joan
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  8. Amanda
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  9. Amanda
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

  10. Hilde
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    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 !

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  11. Joyce
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  12. Tracey
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    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.
    Thanks
    Tracey

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Tracey Reply:

    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?
    Thanks
    Tracey

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

  13. Posted January 18, 2013 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  14. Posted January 18, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Duly noted.

    [Reply]

  15. Posted January 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    You are very welcome.

    [Reply]

  16. Pat
    Posted January 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  17. Carol
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    Can include secondary infections, and occasional diabetes in cats.

    [Reply]

    Carol Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

  18. Carol
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

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

    [Reply]

    Carol Reply:

    …blood work

    [Reply]

    Carol Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

  19. Pat Mullin
    Posted February 3, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    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.
    pat

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  20. Posted February 10, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    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)

    Thanks,
    Teresa

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  21. Brad Davis
    Posted February 12, 2013 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    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.

    Brad

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  22. D. Christopher
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    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!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  23. Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    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,
    Laurie

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  24. JULIE
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    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 )

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  25. Lisa
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  26. Alex
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

  27. Alissa
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Alissa Reply:

    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!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    Alissa Reply:

    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.

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    Alissa Reply:

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

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

  28. Michael Lynch
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  29. Pamela Sanderson
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  30. Stasia Napierska
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Stasia Napierska Reply:

    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?
    Thankyou

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  31. Pamela Sanderson
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    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!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  32. Mark Swindle
    Posted August 10, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  33. Vicki
    Posted August 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  34. Rini Arvidson
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  35. Rhonda woods
    Posted September 29, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    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 !

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  36. Jackie
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  37. Jeanne Daniels
    Posted November 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    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,

    Jeanne

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  38. Patricia
    Posted December 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  39. Leslie
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    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!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  40. Melissa
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Melissa Reply:

    I will be sure to do that.

    [Reply]

  41. Shari
    Posted February 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

  42. shawn
    Posted February 20, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  43. Joyce Deal
    Posted February 26, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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

    [Reply]

  44. Jasper Holt
    Posted March 9, 2014 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    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?

    [Reply]

    Savannah Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  45. Jennifer Reitmeister
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  46. Nancy A
    Posted March 25, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  47. Stacy L.
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    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!

    [Reply]

    Stacy L. Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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!!!

    [Reply]

  48. Sara Sunland
    Posted April 10, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    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!

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

  49. Erika
    Posted April 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    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

    [Reply]

    Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian Reply:

    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.

    [Reply]

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