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My dog has become very ill due to prednisone steroids side effects! Any advice on how to help him? | Presentation and Diagnosis

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My dog has become very ill due to prednisone steroids side effects! Any advice on how to help him?
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Charlotte
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7 May 2014 - 4:32 pm
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Hi,
My dog Kai has recently been on a large dose of prednisone steroids to boost his platelet production because his immune system was attacking his blood platelets so his blood would no longer clot. The steroids have boosted his platelet production there's no doubt about that, however the side effects of the steroids are awful!
Before Kai went on the prednisone he was a happy, active and spritely dog and now he collapses after standing up for two long due to losing so much weight and muscle, he doesn't seem to remember how to put one foot in front of the other a lot of the time! He wasn't supposed to come off of the prednisone steroids yet however due to the side effects he has had to be taken off of them early.
I was wondering if anyone knew whether it will be possible for him to make a full recovery from the side effects? And if there's anything I can do to help him at the moment as it's very distressing to see him like this and I want to do all I can to help! Thankyou

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 May 2014 - 4:40 pm
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Hi Charlotte,

I'm so sorry to hear about Kai's health issues at the moment, I know that's got to be scary.

Did you happen to see this news blog post?

Prednisone and Dog Cancer Tips

What does your vet say about the outlook for recovery? Is there a follow-up plan for what's next to ensure he stays in good health? That's what I would want to know next, and if you dont' get those answers then it's time for a second opinion.

This is a challenging situation but stay strong, Kai sounds like a great dog who will bounce back. We are sending you lots of love & pawsitivity. Please consider registering so your future posts will automatically appear. Thanks!

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Charlotte
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7 May 2014 - 4:51 pm
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Thankyou! I haven't seen that yet but I will have a look now! I will say Kai is 10 years old and he has had severe liver damage just over a year ago. But I really hope he will get better soon! Thankyou for the support.

The Rainbow Bridge

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7 May 2014 - 4:53 pm
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Charlotte I just saw that your comment was approved, you did read that article. I'm hoping that others who've had prednisone side effects will chime in soon, other members have more experience with it than I do.

How did Kai's liver get damaged?

Hugs to you and Kai.

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Orrtanna Pa.
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7 May 2014 - 9:18 pm
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Ty had a lot of muscle wasting from Prednisone. His head even got skinny. This was in spite of eating a ton. He was on 15mg in AM and 10 mg in PM. He weighed about 70lb. He was taking it because the vet felt that he had some neoplastic issues with his immune system.he lost the weight very quickly on it. It also made his urine look very soapy when. He went. Not sure this is too helpful, just what we experienced. Lori and Ty

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 3 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 13, Lucy, a Corgi who is 5, 2 minis, 2 horses, 2 cows and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she is at least 15. She is going strong with no sign of reoccurance.

Charlotte
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7 May 2014 - 11:02 pm
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Hi,
Thankyou for the replies. Kai got his liver damage from eating a large amount of xylitol. When we researched the effects of xylitol on dogs, the two main issues were hypoglycemia and liver failure. After visiting the vet and ruling out hypoglycemia the next thing to look out for was liver failure. Thankfully some how his liver didn't fail and managed to process the xylitol even though it was a dangerously large amount, however he did have severe liver damage.
And Kai was on 75mg of prednisone a day and then I think it went down to 50mg and it was due to go down to even lower than that but we've had to stop giving him them like I mentioned earlier due to the side effects.
Kai has got unbelievably skinny aswell! He is a large dog and before the prednisone he weighed about 35kg or more, but now he is incredibly skinny and lost a lot of fat and muscle mass. The bones on his head and back have become very prominent now and his legs are very thin and weak.
Thankyou for telling me about your experience with your dog Ty, I hope everything is all better with him now. It is helpful knowing Kai isn't the only one to experience such severe symptoms.
If you don't mind could you please tell me how well Ty recovered from the prednisone tablets after he was taken off of them?

Charlotte
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7 May 2014 - 11:04 pm
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And the vet hasn't mentioned a follow-up plan yet? I will ask her about it at Kai's next appointment. Thankyou

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10 May 2014 - 6:40 pm
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That is quite a huge dose of prednisone although sometimes you need to use that much to stimulate platelet production.  Is he on another immunosuppressive such as cyclosporine or Imuran?  In general you need to wean off of the prednisone and it can take months to fully recover from the high doses.

Pam

Orrtanna Pa.
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10 May 2014 - 7:48 pm
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I agree, they should be weaned of , not stopped abruptly. Also, if they decide to use another NSAID instead, please make sure they give him a 2 week "wash out" period before starting it. My dog became very ill because a vet did not do this. 75 mg is a pretty large dose. Ty had side effects from 40 mg per day. Not sure if the muscle can be rebuilt or not. On one of his vet discharge papers, the vet had noted muscle wasting in head. I thought he was just getting skinny. I unfortunately lost my boy 3 weeks ago . Not from Prednisone. We were in the process of lowering his dose due to the weight loss.. He had just gotten over a MRSA infection and we could not do chemo after the 1st dose. His body was so weakened from the infection that the cancer overtook his body. He was running 104 fevers and I found 3 lumps on him. Hopefully there is another drug that can boost the platelet production for your guy. Ty also had a blood transfusion once when his red cell count was very low. Don't know if that would help or not. Hang in there. Let us know what his vet says. I also tried to feed Ty as much protein as I could. Eggs, chicken, turkey and small amounts of beef liver. He actually had a week that he gained weight instead of losing. I do know that my husband used to take a very high dose of Pred. He had a lot of side effects, most of which are now gone. He still takes a very small maintenance dose. So I think once it is out of the body, the body can recover. Take care, hugs from, Lori and Ty

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 3 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 13, Lucy, a Corgi who is 5, 2 minis, 2 horses, 2 cows and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she is at least 15. She is going strong with no sign of reoccurance.

Dagmar
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4 April 2017 - 2:42 am
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Hello Charlotte,

Did your Kai recover from the side effects? 

Our Daisy (12 year old border collie) has exactly the same. She had blood behind her eye approx. 1 month ago and the Vet discovered that her white blood cells were VERY low (she had 2 - normal for dogs should be 200-500 according to our Vet). She stayed in the dog-hospital for some days and was put on 2 x 25g (50g/day) since. After 2 weeks we noticed that her coordination went and she had trouble walking. The back legs seemed to be VERY weak. We went back to the dog hospital and they told us that Daisy has an autoimmune disease and has to stay on steroids until the end of her life. I tried to reason that she was such a happy dog and I´d rather have her enjoying a shorter than suffering a longer life ... Vet said that we can half the steroids now but that she has to take a substitute as well. Since 1.5 weeks she is on 25mg/day and I hoped that it would get better ... but it doesn´t. She lost so much weight and we have to lift her up, so that she can go into the garden to have a pee. 

She had her morning pee just now and fell down while peeing - it was heart breaking 🙁 ... Our next appointment with the clinic is on Friday and I will half the daily dose from today onwards. 

I feel as if I am letting her down. Okay, her blood count went back to 300, but this skinny, wobbly, depressed dog is not the one we´ve had only 1 month ago :(.

I hope your Kai recovered, Charlotte ... and if, do you have any tips on what to do? It seems as if both doggies have the same illness and the same side effects from the steroids.

Regards,

Dagmar

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4 April 2017 - 9:27 am
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Dagmar said
...do you have any tips on what to do?

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