Side Effects of Prednisone in Addison dogsPosted: August 6, 2009
Six months after my border collie, Shakti, started treatment for canine Addison’s disease, her hair began to fall out — at first, I thought she was molting. Over the course of a few weeks, big bald patches began to appear on her legs and elbows. Her skin became infected, and soon our gorgeous girl looked like an Indian street dog. Our vet thought she could have a thyroid problem, or possibly an Omega-3 deficiency. This resulted in more tests and many wasted attempts to fix her skin complaints with expensive shampoos, sprays and diet supplements. The real reason? Too much prednisone can cause all of these symptoms in Addison dogs.
Shakti was taking her 5mg of prednisone every morning since getting a canine Addison’s disease diagnosis. I watched her for signs of Addison’s shakes, vomiting or other out-of-the-ordinary behavior. But what I didn’t know was that prednisone has an extensive list of unpleasant side effects:
• Diabetes mellitus
• Elevated liver enzymes
• Excessive hunger
• Excessive urination and drinking
• Hair loss
• Lipidemia (excess fat in the blood)
• Muscle wasting
• Poor quality coat
• Skin infections
• Thinning skin
• Vomiting, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal upsets
• Weight gain
Nearly all of the side effects for the drug are also seen in Addison dogs as a direct result of canine Addison’s disease. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms and your vet is baffled, prednisone could be the cause.
I began tapering off her dose to 5 mg every other day. My vet mistakenly gave us 20mg pills instead of 5mg last year, and her coat began to fall out again within a couple of weeks. However, she’s back to a glossy coat and bushy tail now, she had bundles of energy and I’m happy to say, is extremely healthy!
Barbara Forney, VMD. Prednisone for veterinary use.Wedgewood Pharmacy.
Mike Richards, DVM. Corticosteriod side effects. Vet Info