Prednisone is a drug that it used to treat different ailments in the dogs since it is a highly effective drug but sometime it can also leave some side effects on the dogs. This is why, it is important to know why the prednisone for dogs manifest themselves before you give the medicine to your dog.
The drug is normally effective in treating diseases caused by low autoimmune illness such as Addison’s disease and Crohn’s disease. It can also be used to treat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and allergies.
Normally the drug is inactive until it reaches into the liver where it is converted into the prednisone. The medicine is used as an immunosuppressant and it is used to suppress the effect of the immune system. This is one of the reasons why the medicine is also used with the problems that are caused by overactive immune system and attack on different organs of the body. Even if the drug is used in different ways, if it is used in excessive it can cause some side effects. Sometimes, the prednisone side effects in dogs are severe or in some cases it may be mild; and in rare occasions they may lead to death.
There are many side effects that can be developed in different ways according to your dog, but some of the prednisone side effects in dogs that affect most of the dogs are the following:
Increased huger and thirst; the dogs which are taking the prednisone can begin to be too hungry or too thirsty. That may turn into abnormal weight gain and frequent urination in the dog.
The gastrointestinal disorders: the dogs can begin to develop gastrointestinal problems like vomiting, stomach ulcers and diarrhea or just gastrointestinal discomfort.
If the dog uses the prednisone in long term, then the dog can develop the canine diabetes. This is because the body will fail to produce enough insulin and to absorb the insulin that it is already produced. The result will be the accumulation of high level of the glucose in the blood which leads to diabetes.
The dog also sometimes develops the cataracts, glaucoma and poor eyesight.
Muscle fatigue and wasting: the prednisone also is know to cause the fatigue and weakness in the dog which takes it. This is why the dog should not be given too much of this drug.
The prolonged use of the medicine also can cause inflammation especially in the joint and the dog can have difficulty in walking.
The dog also can suffer behavioral changes such as aggression, anxiety and restlessness. In this case the dog has to be monitored and if possible by a qualified person.
The hair coat and the skin of the dog also can begin to thin and the skin can lose its luster.
The dog also can develop skin infections that are hard to be healed. Sometime the dog also can develop a serious case of the Canine Cushing disease. This is problem is also known as hyperdrenocorticism and it develops because of hormonal imbalance because for the overproduction of the cortisone hormone. The signs of the canine Cushing disease are thirst, hunger, weight loss or weight gain and urination. These problems also can be accompanied by the weakened immune system.
Since the prednisone is a steroid, it means that it has negative and positive side effects. In case the dog is taking this medicine, it should not be stopped at once. There is a need to reduce the prednisone dosage of the medicine gradually to ensure that the dog does not suffer the withdrawal symptoms and even death. This is because the drug decreases the level of the cortisol in the blood. If the drug is withdrawn instantly, then the deficiency of the cortisol in the blood will lead to adrenal crisis. It is best if the drug is administered by a veterinarian and if any of the above symptoms develop, he has to be notified immediately. The symptoms of a withdrawal in the dogs are the following:
- difficulty in breathing
- loss of appetite
- behavioral changes
In case the dog develops severe side effects, then it is a must to see if the drug benefits are more important over the side effects. And by analyzing this, the drug can be continued or discontinued.