Atrophy of Muscles in DogsAging dogs will begin to suffer from atrophy of muscles especially when they have a reduction of physical activity. They may be suffering from bone and joint pain from arthritis. There will also be a reduction in growth hormones that causes your dog to be less able to process protein, which is necessary to build and maintain muscle mass. Bal dafrique kaina breed dogs will dog prednisone muscle loss age faster than smaller breed dogs. Senior dogs that suffer dog prednisone muscle loss atrophy of muscles will generally come on slowly and will appear in prednusone hind legs and hips. If you notice severe muscle atrophy or atrophy of the musle in the neck and head, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
Steroid Treatment - Long-Term Effects in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospital
Corticosteroid medications such as prednisolone and prednisone are widely used in both human and veterinary medicine to treat allergies, cancers, and autoimmune problems such as atopic skin disease, flea allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis to name but a few. Used appropriately, steroids can greatly improve your pet's quality of life while helping to treat serious illness. Unfortunately, steroids are often not used appropriately, either due to incorrect or incomplete diagnoses, or because of a lack of understanding by owners of the potential side effects of medications such as prednisone.
The following discussion aims to inform readers of these side effects, as well as suggesting possible methods to reduce steroid use in some specific conditions.
Corticosteroids are produced naturally in the adrenal glands, and have a number of important functions in the healthy pet. Cortisol, the predominant naturally occurring steroid, has. These beneficial effects are dependent on the proper functioning of feedback mechanisms between the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus, and the low levels of endogenous steroid are constantly fine-tuned by communication between these organs.
When communication breaks down, an animal may develop serious problems such as Cushing's Syndrome or Addison's Disease. When we administer corticosteroids in the form of prednisolone or prednisone, we override this sophisticated feedback mechanism, and are likely to cause at least some mild signs of Cushing's Syndrome.
These signs are discussed below. Effects of prednisone vary from one animal to the next, and while some pets will become agitated, hyperactive, or even aggressive, it is most common for owners to notice lethargy and reduced energy levels. While some of this effect seems to be due to a direct effect on the brain, exercise intolerance because of muscular and respiratory effects are likely to also play an important role in these changes.
Corticosteroids have a massive impact on the body's ability to conserve water, increasing fluid loss through urination by several mechanisms. Increased levels of glucose in urine draw out water through the kidneys, while mineralocorticoid effects alter electrolyte levels, driving thirst and increasing excretion. For these reasons, it is very common to notice an increase in water intake, and it is also possible that your well-trained indoor dog may start leaving puddles of urine in the house due to an increased frequency of urination coupled with weaker control of the bladder sphincter muscles.
As mentioned above, a pet receiving steroids will experience mild-to-moderate diabetes symptoms. By reducing the effects of insulin in the body, prednisone will increase blood glucose levels, while reducing the body's uptake of nutrients in lean tissues and creating a feeling of hunger. Unfortunately, corticosteroids also encourage the deposition of fat, so while pets with true diabetes will lose weight, those on prednisone and prednisolone will actually gain weight in the form of fat, while losing muscle mass.
As alluded to above, dogs on steroid treatment will exhibit marked muscle wastage. This is often most evident in the temporal muscles, giving the face and forehead a 'sharper' appearance. Loss of muscle strength in the abdominal wall leads to a characteristic pot-bellied appearance as above , and muscle loss in the limbs contributes to exercise intolerance. Another common complaint from owners is that their pets pant excessively; this again is due to muscle weakness in the chest wall and diaphragm, while house-soiling is at least partly due to effects on the sphincter muscles.
A rare complication of treatment is corticosteroid myopathy , which is a very painful condition due to depletion of intracellular levels of carnitine in skeletal muscle. If identified early, this can usuall be rectified by a reduction of dose and initiation of carnitine supplementation. I recommend good quality Omega 3 oil supplements for all my patients on long term steroid treatment and find them to be very beneficial.
Although prednisone and prednisolone are most often prescribed for skin disease, high doses can cause undesirable effects on coat and skin quality. Comedomes blackheads are commonly seen, while skin thinning and fragility can cause striae stretch mark formation, or even skin tearing in severe cases.
Calcinosis cutis, the deposition of calcium within the skin, can occur with very high doses, and can cause unsightly hard lumps to develop, often erupting through the skin surface. As well as causing the death of certain white blood cells lymphocytes , corticosteroids inhibit communication between the components of the immune system, making unwanted bacterial infections a common complication of treatment. Dental and urinary tract infections are most commonly seen, and any pet receiving long-term steroid medication should have regular oral examinations to detect the early stages of periodontal disease and hence prevent tooth loss.
Regular monitoring of the pet's urine is also recommended to detect urinary tract disease, which often exists without obvious signs. The key to reducing all of these unwanted side effects is to reduce the dose of steroid being administered. Your veterinarian should be advocating complementary therapies for your pets primary problem in order to achieve this.
These other therapies will vary depending on the specific problem being treated. Almost all pets with autoimmune or allergic problems will benefit from Omega 3 fish oil supplementation see above. These oils are powerful antiinflammatories, as well as providing some protection from adverse steroid effects.
When dealing with allergic skin disease, it is crucial that any concurrent bacterial and fungal infections are controlled with appropriate topical and systemic treatments.
Malaseb is a very useful shampoo when managing the first presentation of skin disease or when skin flares up, while a protectant shampoo such as Allermyl should be used for maintenance washing. Pets with digestive problems will usually benefit from dietary change, meticulous parasite control, probiotic treatments, and low-dose antibiotic treatment.
While steroids will usually still be required, the dose will often be greatly reduced. Finally, one should be aware that steroids need not be used in isolation for treating any of these ailments. While prednisone and prednisolone will usually be the first-line treatments, other drugs such as oclacitinib, ciclosporine and azathioprine can often be used in combination to reduce side effects.
As a veterinarian, I can say without doubt that countless animals would lead poorer lives without the availability of steroid medication for the treatment of many common conditions.
However, there is much scope on the parts of both veterinary surgeons and owners to exercise greater care in their use and to explore alternative treatment options in order to minimise potentially harmful side effects. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. My dog has been diagnosed with ITP a month or so ago. Been on Pred 20 twice a day and Atopica.
Now they say her blood work looks good except elevated liver. Is the Pred or Atopica the cause? And how should I taper back? She was critical at onset I spent thousands saving her. I put my family in financial crisis. I cant afford continued vet apt. To tell me more tests if it is that I shoued ween off drugs. And the Atopica is very expensive! So which one is it doc? Or Atopica causing this? Right now we had decided to ween off I wanna know how to do it So pls tell me how to ween off.
From reading I think Omega 3 should be introduced to replace pred, and melatonin for platelet support. My primary vet that referred us to internal medicine kinda leaves it up to them and I am not impressed. They tell me to get blood test for dog there and they will get results and then they tell me they want a follow up with the dog and then do the same blood wk and additional procedures its too much!
Her liver and everything was fine until the meds and I told the dr. I had learned one of these meds could effect liver and she was like oh no hasn't been seen and here we are!! Only thing noticeable is her whites of her eyes are a little dirty not yellow. She hasn't gotten pot belly or crazy eating. Drinking yes, appetite good, muscle loss around head yes.
Happy wagging tail yes and little skip in her step yes.. She is 10 Please help. I know I can do this! With some proper outside advice.. Causing skin issues and fatigue. Wish I could find something for colitis besides steroids. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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Are Steroids Safe For Pets? Common Side Effects Corticosteroids are produced naturally in the adrenal glands, and have a number of important functions in the healthy pet. Cortisol, the predominant naturally occurring steroid, has antiinflammatory homeostatic immune-modulating functions, amongst others. Appearance of Cushing's Syndrome. Survey For what reason was your pet prescribed steroids?
Skin disease Digestive problems Chemotherapy Other See results. Behavioral Changes Effects of prednisone vary from one animal to the next, and while some pets will become agitated, hyperactive, or even aggressive, it is most common for owners to notice lethargy and reduced energy levels.
Steroids Cause Increased Thirst and Urination Corticosteroids have a massive impact on the body's ability to conserve water, increasing fluid loss through urination by several mechanisms. Steroid Medications Make Your Dog Hungry As mentioned above, a pet receiving steroids will experience mild-to-moderate diabetes symptoms.
Steroids Cause Muscle Wastage As alluded to above, dogs on steroid treatment will exhibit marked muscle wastage.
Supplements for Pets on Steroid Treatment. Side Effects on Skin and Hair Although prednisone and prednisolone are most often prescribed for skin disease, high doses can cause undesirable effects on coat and skin quality.
Hair loss and a failure of hair to regrow following clipping are also extremely common effects. Steroids Cause Immune Suppression As well as causing the death of certain white blood cells lymphocytes , corticosteroids inhibit communication between the components of the immune system, making unwanted bacterial infections a common complication of treatment.
Reducing the Need for Steroid Medication The key to reducing all of these unwanted side effects is to reduce the dose of steroid being administered. Can cause myocardial thickening rare.