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Prednisone - How Long Can You Give And What Dosage?


Guest Vinnie
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Guest Vinnie

Hi GTers -

 

As usual, we turn to the experts for help, direction and opinions and we thank you all in advance. :bow

 

Gracie's Uncle Higgins (by blood line) just had back surgery to remove a ruptured/bulging disc just before the tail joint that was pressing on his nerves - this was causing back pain, leg issues and even slow, slow pee not to mention the GSOD :jaw:yikes

 

This surgery has done wonders for "our" boy (since he is Gracie's Uncle and he normally comes into the office everyday with us, he has adopted us into his family, which is my bosses), though Gracie is missing him terribly as he cannot come into the office during his recovery because we are upstairs. So he goes into work with his Mom to keep him calm and on meds.

 

Our concern is this - how long can you keep giving prednisone at 40mg or 20 mg per day - we just cut him down to 10mg in morning and 10mg at night? Should we be considering something else to help him, will this have any affect on his organs that we should be concerned about, should we be weaning him off of the meds? We are also still giving him valium to help to keep him calm as he is not allowed to get too excited as the docs don't want him to re-injure the area that was operated on. (And we completely trust our clinic - they are the same ones that helped and took care of our Angel Puppy, Vinnie :angelwings , Gracie's brother - they are our greyts Guardian Angels!)

 

The surgery took place December 14th and he got his staples out last Saturday :yay

 

Again any thoughts, experiences or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Or if you know of something that is not so hard on the system and is natural that will help him, that would be even better. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

I tried to attach pictures of his back where the staples were, however it was too large. I will try to download again later, it is not too bad for those that are squeamish.

 

 

 

 

Thank you to everyone's quick responses - they helped my boss feel much more comfortable with the meds needed to make our very precious greyt better. He has been beside himself with worry - as we all get when one of our furkids is hurting in any way. They just gave him a new RX and he was able to voice some of the concerns he had and get more detailed info on what to watch out for - though after seeing the mg some of your furkids were on, he is not quite so concerned.

 

So big thank you's and hugs to all.

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Guest Tenderhearts

When Lori Ann had the happy tail incident, with the first amputation of about 3" of the tail, and subsequently a second amputation of the entire tail after continuing infection despite antibiotics and her tearing all the sutures out, she was on 60 mg of pred a day for almost two months, with no effects other than the anticipated drinking more/urinating more.

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Has your vet not given you instructions regarding tapering the dose?

 

I know of a greyhound that was on pred long term to control GME. The side effects were pretty bad after a while - thinning skin, bacterial infections, "'roid rage" - they had to wean him off and just use another drug altogether, but I think he was on the pred for over a year. I don't know the dose, but as far as I know, even though he had many side effects, his organs were OK.

 

At any rate, do discuss this with your vet. If it's safe for him to be weaned off at this stage, your vet should give you the best protocol.

Edited by turbotaina


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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I think Burpdog has a lot of experience with prednisone and dogs, might PM her if she doesn't weigh in here.

 

At the dose you're talking about, believe you'd have to be giving it for some months before you might expect to see problems.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest Vinnie

Thank you all for such quick replies. Yes, the vet is giving instruction - our concern comes from knowing what certain drugs can do to your system - to us and our furkids - speaking from someone who has been on morphine (due to an accident) way too long. When we tried to look up side effects and dosage - we kept finding this teeny tiny amount of 4mg - not 40mg or 20mg - with some pretty hairy side effects. And with a grandmother who owned a health food store most of my life, I tend to look for natural remedies that are not quite so harsh on your system.

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i wouldn't second guess my vet's dosage for something this important. Pred is a miracle drug for so many things and I'm sure your vet is aware of the long term side effects of using pred. If I were concerned about anything at this point, it would be the weight gain that generally comes with Pred and be watchful to adjust his food intake a little accordingly.

Ann

 

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Thank you all for such quick replies. Yes, the vet is giving instruction - our concern comes from knowing what certain drugs can do to your system - to us and our furkids - speaking from someone who has been on morphine (due to an accident) way too long. When we tried to look up side effects and dosage - we kept finding this teeny tiny amount of 4mg - not 40mg or 20mg - with some pretty hairy side effects. And with a grandmother who owned a health food store most of my life, I tend to look for natural remedies that are not quite so harsh on your system.

 

I see where you're coming from but pred...well, it's one of those things for which there really is no natural equivalent. I'm certainly not into over-medicating, but like Diane said, if he needs pred, he needs it. And again, for the length of time the pup will be on it, you'll probably get increased hunger and thirst and polyuria, but likely nothing else significant (perhaps some muscle wasting).


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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I have found, from experience both myself and the dogs, when they need pred, the side effects are much less and take longer to appear.

 

This is a major surgery and treatment plan--I would not second guess the vet. Use the pred!

 

Heart was on 40mg a day at 14 1/2 yrs of age for 4+ months because she needed it. She had been on 20mg a day for over a year until then. My Dobe girl long ago was on 60mg of pred, step down dose with no ill effects.

Diane & The Senior Gang

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Guest larock

Our boy Ward was on Prednisone for three years with no ill effects. The doses were as high as 60mg daily and the last year about 25mg daily. Ward had a meningitis-like condition and was on Predisone and Chemo treatments to keep it under control.

 

We did eventually lose him in November at 11.5 year of age, however, it was the result of a fall and not the condition that took him from us.

 

We hope your baby heals quickly.

 

Lynn

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I am not a prednisone fan at all, but your pup NEEDS it. This is one of those times where the vet knows best, and he won't be on it for long term. The side effects of reducing the dose outweigh any side effects from the dose he is recieving. It's main purpose is to reduce the swelling in his spine so that it can heal properly and cleanly after the surgery. Sometimes if the swelling returns, it can create burs on the bone and completely undoes the whole point of the surgery. My Dad's dog went through the same surgery and was on pred for 4 months including the wean off stage. She's a lovely old lady, and doing well 3 years post surgery.

Also, bring your concern up to your vet as well, that's what we pay them for and they might have a slightly different protocol for your pup due to your concern.

 

Give your pup a scritch from me.

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Guest Vinnie
Our boy Ward was on Prednisone for three years with no ill effects. The doses were as high as 60mg daily and the last year about 25mg daily. Ward had a meningitis-like condition and was on Predisone and Chemo treatments to keep it under control.

 

We did eventually lose him in November at 11.5 year of age, however, it was the result of a fall and not the condition that took him from us.

 

We hope your baby heals quickly.

 

Lynn

 

 

Thank you for your healing thoughts. We are so sorry that you lost your Angel, Ward. I hope our Vinnie has made a new friend at The Bridge.

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Guest greytmonty

Monty developed iatrogenic Cushings after being on Temaril P, which is trimeprazine and prednisone combined. While I would definitely follow your vet's advice, I would ask what to look for in unasked for side effects, and then if you do see them, let the vet know ASAP.

With pred you have to wean, a sudden discontinuing of the med is very dangerous.

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Guest Vinnie
I am not a prednisone fan at all, but your pup NEEDS it. This is one of those times where the vet knows best, and he won't be on it for long term. The side effects of reducing the dose outweigh any side effects from the dose he is recieving. It's main purpose is to reduce the swelling in his spine so that it can heal properly and cleanly after the surgery. Sometimes if the swelling returns, it can create burs on the bone and completely undoes the whole point of the surgery. My Dad's dog went through the same surgery and was on pred for 4 months including the wean off stage. She's a lovely old lady, and doing well 3 years post surgery.

Also, bring your concern up to your vet as well, that's what we pay them for and they might have a slightly different protocol for your pup due to your concern.

 

Give your pup a scritch from me.

 

 

So glad you Dad's furkid is doing well, that is encouraging for us, especially looking down the road aways at 3 years post surgery. :)

 

I will pass the scritch along - though I have to find a new place to scritch - his favorite place for scritches is right where the surgery was so I won't be able to see his happy dance for awhile! :sad1

 

The best news with all of this though is that he is here with us and pain free (minus the surgery pain) - no stress face any more. And thanks for the heads up to watch for swelling in the future and what it can cause if you don't keep an eye out and treat it as it comes up. Just like us, the simplest thing can re-iratate the area.

 

 

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Katie has been on pred but much lower doses for almost a year. She had her lumbosacral laminectomy on 11/26. Is that what Higgins had? Sounds about right. Anyway, we went to 10MG twice a day after the surgery, at this point I have her down to 7.5mg AM and 5mg PM If I cut back to 5 and 5, she's restless and lightly panting. Yes, it has side effects and those were starting to show in her bloodwork before the surgery. I can't remember if it's liver or kidney that can be affected. Pred can also cause tummy ulcers, and I expect your vet advised that Tagamet should always be given with pred? The slow reduction in pred is to give the body a chance to start producing it's own steroids.

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Guest Vinnie
Katie has been on pred but much lower doses for almost a year. She had her lumbosacral laminectomy on 11/26. Is that what Higgins had? Sounds about right. Anyway, we went to 10MG twice a day after the surgery, at this point I have her down to 7.5mg AM and 5mg PM If I cut back to 5 and 5, she's restless and lightly panting. Yes, it has side effects and those were starting to show in her bloodwork before the surgery. I can't remember if it's liver or kidney that can be affected. Pred can also cause tummy ulcers, and I expect your vet advised that Tagamet should always be given with pred? The slow reduction in pred is to give the body a chance to start producing it's own steroids.

 

 

 

When they showed me the meds for Higgins, Tagamet was not one of the ones he had. When my boss, Higgins' dad, gets in tomorrow I will ask him if they put this in with the new rx's he just went to pick up. And I know he used a big fancy word for what they did for Higgins but I cannot remember what it was - all I know is that it took forever because of the two little veins on either side of the spine that they could not get to stop bleeding. We were all just a bit on the edgy side as it went from an hour an a half to almost four hours instead.

 

How long was it before you were able to allow Katie up and down the stairs? Is she your only furkid or did you have to separate her from others? That's what we are finding very difficult as Higgins is a very outgoing boy and our little Gracie is very shy and reserved except around him - they miss running up and down the office and playing so instead both of them are moping. And while she likes to have play dates and slumber parties with some of her other buddies, it's just not the same. But we are fearful of him hurting himself if he decides he wants to play like they are used to playing - which actually looks like they are killing each other!

 

I am glad your Katie girl is doing well and hope that there are not any other side effects causing new issues. Our thoughts are with you for many pain free years.

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How long was it before you were able to allow Katie up and down the stairs? Is she your only furkid or did you have to separate her from others? That's what we are finding very difficult as Higgins is a very outgoing boy and our little Gracie is very shy and reserved except around him - they miss running up and down the office and playing so instead both of them are moping. And while she likes to have play dates and slumber parties with some of her other buddies, it's just not the same. But we are fearful of him hurting himself if he decides he wants to play like they are used to playing - which actually looks like they are killing each other!

 

 

Katie's surgery was 3+ hours. It's delicate scary stuff! To keep the other dogs from knocking into her by mistake, I have an x-pen to create the fourth 'wall' across file cabinets in my office. She has three more weeks of 'crate rest' and though she had a tough time at first, we got the meds adjusted and she is becoming more and more restless. Her solution is to talk to me in roos and mumbles. I also give her a lot of things to chew on. One of the best is a bone shaped plastic thing with discs of a non-rawhide material which screw in. It's called something like 'Busy Buddy Bone.' It also gives her front legs some exercise as she pushes and anchors it with her front paws while she trys to get the chewy discs.

 

When she had her staples removed after 3 weeks, the vet authorized one slow 5 minute walk per day, and we're up to 10 minutes now. No stairs allowed. And she doesn't want to do them anyway. I've been carrying her up and down since early summer. But I suspect Higgins may weigh more than 60 pounds, so not as easy to tote him around? I don't know when she'll be able to do stairs again, and happy she's here to be carried as long as needed :) Hope Higgins continues to improve. Sounds like he has good results already. Do check on the Tagamet - perhaps they're using another brand or the generic - cimetidine.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Vinnie

Hi Cynthia & Katie -

 

 

Higgins is starting to get restless as well and sometimes he forgets and plunks down - which of course instantly reminds him that he's not healed yet. Something to chew on may help as the way they chew on things seems to be with their whole body! Where did you get her Busy Buddy Bone?

 

As far as carrying Higgins - I know Jim could and would do it, as would I - however, it would be with great difficulty. Higgins stands very tall and he weighs between 95 - 105 pounds! He's a big boy, to say the least, compared with our little Gracie who is between 65 - 75 pounds now. She was the runt when we first got her at 1-1/2 after we lost her brother, but with Higgins by her side, she has absolutely blossomed - weight, height and playfulness. When we were dealing with our Angel, Vinnie we carried him often - first taped up on his right front leg, than with the cast on and then finally as a tripod. And he was about 77 pounds and actually bigger than Higgins and that was a struggle, so I can imagine what you are going through having to carry Katie, but you are right, for as long as they need it - you do everything possible and even things you didn't think were possible.

 

I will definitely have Jim check on the Tagamet or it's generic version. Give Katie scritches from us, and we'll keep the both of you in our thoughts. I can't tell you how much Greytalk and all the new friends we have made, makes dealing with things like this, so much easier. It's good to know you are never alone as there is always someone out there to help you through. Thanks so much. We will check back to see Katie's progress as well.

Edited by Vinnie
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