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goda
29th May 2011, 02:07 AM
Owner treating your cavaliers with steroids, have you notices your cavalier becoming more aggressive?

anniemac
29th May 2011, 02:42 AM
Ella was on prednisone and I did not notice aggression at all. I have not heard of that causing aggression.

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goda
29th May 2011, 02:48 AM
Ella was on prednisone and I did not notice aggression at all. I have not heard of that causing aggression.

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Luka is getting slowly weaned off of it and is a little too "short" with Atlas for my liking, I rarely have to discipline him but he got a stern talking too for bumping his brother today.

Pat
29th May 2011, 02:59 AM
I've heard of this, particularly in males, but I think it is fairly uncommon. Checked Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook (the veterinary drug "Bible") and it mentions:

"behavioral changes (depression, lethargy, viciousness)" in one section and under "CNS/Autonomic Nervous System" it includes "alter mood and behavior" under the list of symptoms. I think it is fairly dose dependent, as it says that "With the exception of PU/PD/PP, adverse effects associated with antiinflammatory therapy are relatively uncommon. Adverse effects associated with immunosuppressive doses are more common and potentially more severe." On another page it says "Adverse effects are generally associated with long-term administration of these drugs, especially if given at high dosages or not on an alternate day regimen."

Is Luka taking steroids? If so, at what dosage and what does he weigh?

Pat

goda
29th May 2011, 03:05 AM
I've heard of this, particularly in males, but I think it is fairly uncommon. Checked Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook (the veterinary drug "Bible") and it mentions:

"behavioral changes (depression, lethargy, viciousness)" in one section and under "CNS/Autonomic Nervous System" it includes "alter mood and behavior" under the list of symptoms. I think it is fairly dose dependent, as it says that "With the exception of PU/PD/PP, adverse effects associated with antiinflammatory therapy are relatively uncommon. Adverse effects associated with immunosuppressive doses are more common and potentially more severe." On another page it says "Adverse effects are generally associated with long-term administration of these drugs, especially if given at high dosages or not on an alternate day regimen."

Is Luka taking steroids? If so, at what dosage and what does he weigh?

Pat

He's taking it for the SM and is down to 5mg every day, soon he will go to every other day. I just noticed he got more snippy with Atlas. He's 22 lbs.

Karlin
29th May 2011, 03:19 PM
I would not punish him (and generally disagree with corrections anyway, which mostly dogs do not understand or understand in the context in which owners try to use them-- as is pretty clear when you watch TV trainers! Management and positive approaches are more productive :) ). I'd especially not punish an SM dog as so much behaviour can be attributed to pain/discomfort/meds. In short you are punishing him for having his condition if you punish him for snapping because of it. Punishing really does nothing at all to address this and may only worsen the issue with the affected dog or make him more withdrawn.

If he is coming off preds then perhaps he is feeling more pain. Perhaps your other dog seems threatening for approaching -- a painful dog is going to be more defensive. Perhaps your other dog has bumped into him, even in play, and is now therefore seen as a threat of potential pain.

Many people find they need to separate and manage their dogs differently when one has SM or any chronic pain condition/illness.Some people do face some serious decisions when they have multiple dogs around one with a condition like SM. I know of cases where other dogs have needed to be rehomed. It can just be increasingly hard for an affected dog to deal with other dogs in the home behaving like normal dogs and not knowing the affected dog is in pain. Hence the need for thoughtful management to try to avoid rehomings if at all possible, if problems begn to be seen. :flwr:.

There def. can be some psychological issues on preds but they are not common and especially not with such short term, comparitively low level treatment as Luka has had. I'd think it more likely that the lower dose may not be enough to address his level of pain, or that there may be more pain while his body adjusts to trying to reboot producing cortisol (what preds replaces) or to a lower level of preds.

I have found that each time I lower my own preds dose I have a week or so of increased pain (as a matter of fact, am dealing with that right now... it does tend to improve as the body adjusts to the lower level but I'd think not perhaps with a pain condition like SM as opposed to an inflammatory condition).

goda
29th May 2011, 04:14 PM
I would not punish him (and generally disagree with corrections anyway, which mostly dogs do not understand or understand in the context in which owners try to use them-- as is pretty clear when you watch TV trainers! Management and positive approaches are more productive :) ). I'd especially not punish an SM dog as so much behaviour can be attributed to pain/discomfort/meds. In short you are punishing him for having his condition if you punish him for snapping because of it. Punishing really does nothing at all to address this and may only worsen the issue with the affected dog or make him more withdrawn.

If he is coming off preds then perhaps he is feeling more pain. Perhaps your other dog seems threatening for approaching -- a painful dog is going to be more defensive. Perhaps your other dog has bumped into him, even in play, and is now therefore seen as a threat of potential pain.

Many people find they need to separate and manage their dogs differently when one has SM or any chronic pain condition/illness.Some people do face some serious decisions when they have multiple dogs around one with a condition like SM. I know of cases where other dogs have needed to be rehomed. It can just be increasingly hard for an affected dog to deal with other dogs in the home behaving like normal dogs and not knowing the affected dog is in pain. Hence the need for thoughtful management to try to avoid rehomings if at all possible, if problems begn to be seen. :flwr:.

There def. can be some psychological issues on preds but they are not common and especially not with such short term, comparitively low level treatment as Luka has had. I'd think it more likely that the lower dose may not be enough to address his level of pain, or that there may be more pain while his body adjusts to trying to reboot producing cortisol (what preds replaces) or to a lower level of preds.

I have found that each time I lower my own preds dose I have a week or so of increased pain (as a matter of fact, am dealing with that right now... it does tend to improve as the body adjusts to the lower level but I'd think not perhaps with a pain condition like SM as opposed to an inflammatory condition).

I wouldn't call what I do punishment, I've put in a lot of work teaching my dogs to the extent that they know what inappropriate means.

I can't say I agree with you, because even if the medication is affecting him, that is no excuse for bad behaviour. There is no way bad behaviour is going to be tolerated in our house, I don't care how sick he is. Our "punishments" aren't severe, a stern talking too, a time out in the crate.

Luka eventually walked over to Atlas and gave him a lick on the nose. He has been more aggressive, he never used to growl at chickens, or bark at birds. It's a little strange seeing him so out of character since his medication regiment started.

Karlin
29th May 2011, 05:22 PM
I think maybe you need to talk to your neurologist and/or your vet on the link between pain and behaviour and I will guarantee you they will advise against 'correcting' (as the totally misleading verb of choice seems to be) for behaviour caused by pain -- animals have a protective instinct triggered by pain and cannot just decide like a human to manage their response to try to be nice. :( I am really sorry you hold these views but in this case I think this is dangerously wrong and could lead to sad and serous problems for both your dogs. I would hope you would rethink. Good trainers always require owners of behaviour-issue/aggressive dogs to have them medically checked FIRST before even considering this as a training issue (and it would not be an issue for corrections, ever, if caused by pain or medications). Then the advice is always to treat the pain -- not to embark on a course of punishment based dog training.

You are a medical professional -- would you scold or slap a sick child in severe pain for inappropriate or impolite behaviour? You have a dog with one of the most painful conditions known in medicine, showing severe symptoms, with a syrinx running down much of his spine, whose pain has so far NOT been fully addressed by his meds. I would surely be gentler on him than to punish him for reacting to another dog. :(

Love my Cavaliers
29th May 2011, 05:28 PM
Riley has been on 5 mg of prednisone a day for three years and has never shown any signs of aggression whatsoever. She is the most layed back dog I have ever seen. Don't know if that's from the prednisone or not. She's quite a bit smaller than Luka also - she weighs 12 pounds!

ByFloSin
29th May 2011, 06:44 PM
Goda, have you tried replacement therapy to modify any unwanted behaviour? I trained my pups to generally learn the rules of the house by giving them a toy to distract their attention when they misbehaved. Rebel is getting on for 9 and will still bring me a toy if he even thinks he might have done something wrong.

This worked with all my dogs except for Winston Alexander, who makes his own rules. I let most things go with him because his transgressions are trivial and not too often. Anyway, he makes me laugh :wggle:

anniemac
29th May 2011, 06:54 PM
I know its scary to see a change in behavior but its a scary thing for Luka. Ella was not aggressive at all and even did pet therapy which I stopped before she was diagnosed with SM. I noticed a behavior change and she was more reserved. The reason was she was in pain and even though she didn't act out, it was not comfortable to be touched which is something vital in therapy.

There was one time that a little dog jumped on her neck and she snapped. I actually feared she would hurt this dog but it was her way of protection. If I had a broken arm and someone jumped on it I would scream. Ella was not on prednisone then, but it is something to always consider with an SM dog. She still was outgoing but when she felt good. On days she didn't she liked the protection of her crate. Sometimes she didn't even want me to hold her. If I picked her up the wrong way, she would yelp.

I could not change this behavior and I was sad that she felt bad. My parents had a lab that developed cancer and was old. He started displaying aggression which the vet compared to an old person with alzeimers being scared and not knowing what is going on.

Actually, ella was attacked by a dog. I found out that this dog was old and very sick. There were people at the house along with other dogs. Ella went through introductions but this dog was tired and wanted to lay down. Ella went up to the dog and he snapped.


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goda
29th May 2011, 09:45 PM
I think maybe you need to talk to your neurologist and/or your vet on the link between pain and behaviour and I will guarantee you they will advise against 'correcting' (as the totally misleading verb of choice seems to be) for behaviour caused by pain -- animals have a protective instinct triggered by pain and cannot just decide like a human to manage their response to try to be nice. :( I am really sorry you hold these views but in this case I think this is dangerously wrong and could lead to sad and serous problems for both your dogs. I would hope you would rethink. Good trainers always require owners of behaviour-issue/aggressive dogs to have them medically checked FIRST before even considering this as a training issue (and it would not be an issue for corrections, ever, if caused by pain or medications). Then the advice is always to treat the pain -- not to embark on a course of punishment based dog training.

You are a medical professional -- would you scold or slap a sick child in severe pain for inappropriate or impolite behaviour? You have a dog with one of the most painful conditions known in medicine, showing severe symptoms, with a syrinx running down much of his spine, whose pain has so far NOT been fully addressed by his meds. I would surely be gentler on him than to punish him for reacting to another dog. :(

I am not physically slapping my dog and if my child started hitting another just because they felt like it and they were sick I would scold them.

Yes he's sick, he's medicated it doesn't give him carte blanche to do whatever he wants. We obviously disagree which is fine, I would not let a cancer patient, all of a sudden abuse other patients just because they have cancer.

And frankly I really resent you telling me how to parent my dog. He's generally happy dog whose is being taught boundaries, he's not being abused. He's being told that his behaviour is not appropriate and he is given a time out to calm down.

ANY rational vet will tell you that letting your dog do whatever they want is not good for the dog, especially when it comes to being aggressive towards others, canine or human.

I appreciate your concern and advice.

Reptigirl
30th May 2011, 01:17 AM
Riley has been on 5 mg of prednisone a day for three years and has never shown any signs of aggression whatsoever. She is the most layed back dog I have ever seen. Don't know if that's from the prednisone or not. She's quite a bit smaller than Luka also - she weighs 12 pounds!

Sorry to chime in and I don't mean to hijack the thread.. but I just talked to our Neuro about possibly adding prednisone on for our dogs...especially Blitz.. and he told me that it is a VERY last ditch effort... that he will only prescribe it if "nothing else works". I mentioned to him that I know of many dogs taking it and he said that the side effects are too sever. That long term use will cause excessive damage. That once we get to prednisone we are "near the end of the road" so to speak... I was really frusterated because even though everyone is moderatly managed here with there current meds... they all still scratch and they all still have "flare ups". These Flare ups can last a day or even days. But our neuro is reluctant to add on anything else.... I have mainly been bugging him for something I can do to help with the flare ups but he said there is nothing. :(

Has Riley had any problems due to the Prednisone? Has your neuro mentioned anything similar? I'm really wondering if I need to be on the search for a new neuro.....

goda
30th May 2011, 01:22 AM
Sorry to chime in and I don't mean to hijack the thread.. but I just talked to our Neuro about possibly adding prednisone on for our dogs...especially Blitz.. and he told me that it is a VERY last ditch effort... that he will only prescribe it if "nothing else works". I mentioned to him that I know of many dogs taking it and he said that the side effects are too sever. That long term use will cause excessive damage. That once we get to prednisone we are "near the end of the road" so to speak... I was really frusterated because even though everyone is moderatly managed here with there current meds... they all still scratch and they all still have "flare ups". These Flare ups can last a day or even days. But our neuro is reluctant to add on anything else.... I have mainly been bugging him for something I can do to help with the flare ups but he said there is nothing. :(

That's really interesting, I am going to have to ask my Neuro at the next appointment.

Love my Cavaliers
30th May 2011, 03:12 AM
Riley's problems are mainly due to the damge to her vestiblular system by her SM. Without prednisone, she can barely walk and is very weak is in rear legs. Prednisone has been a miracle drug for her. She runs, she jumps (kind of), she is happy. The main side effects that I have seen are a loss of her fur. At one point about a year ago, she had almost no fur on her belly. I had been giving her 1000 mg Omega-3 fish oil from Puritan Pride, but switched to Wild, deep Salmon Oil caps (1000 mg). Within 2 months her fur had grown back on her belly, but not on her tail. Her tail looks like a rat's tail. But so far that is the only side effect I have seen from the prednisone. She has not gained weight - she is still a little dog at about 12 to 12.5 pounds. She doesn't pee more.

I was nervous initially about the prednisone, but it helped her so much, I was willing to take whatever side effects came with it if it made the rest of her life happy. And for three years, she has been a dream dog. If someone told me to stop the pred, I would probably look at that person as if they were an alien! And we had tried so many different medications after her decompression surgery that made no difference in her symptoms until we hit upon the prednisone just by itself.

Riley I guess is one of the lucky dogs that prednisone does what it is supposed to do and no more. Which is good because she will be on it for life. She's close to 9 years old now, and I never thought I would see her live this long, and be so happy and not be terribly infirm. She loves to run around the yard, she can walk for over a mile several times a day, but mostly, she is happy always wagging her tail. I hope this helps.

goda
30th May 2011, 03:38 AM
Riley's problems are mainly due to the damge to her vestiblular system by her SM. Without prednisone, she can barely walk and is very weak is in rear legs. Prednisone has been a miracle drug for her. She runs, she jumps (kind of), she is happy. The main side effects that I have seen are a loss of her fur. At one point about a year ago, she had almost no fur on her belly. I had been giving her 1000 mg Omega-3 fish oil from Puritan Pride, but switched to Wild, deep Salmon Oil caps (1000 mg). Within 2 months her fur had grown back on her belly, but not on her tail. Her tail looks like a rat's tail. But so far that is the only side effect I have seen from the prednisone. She has not gained weight - she is still a little dog at about 12 to 12.5 pounds. She doesn't pee more.

I was nervous initially about the prednisone, but it helped her so much, I was willing to take whatever side effects came with it if it made the rest of her life happy. And for three years, she has been a dream dog. If someone told me to stop the pred, I would probably look at that person as if they were an alien! And we had tried so many different medications after her decompression surgery that made no difference in her symptoms until we hit upon the prednisone just by itself.

Riley I guess is one of the lucky dogs that prednisone does what it is supposed to do and no more. Which is good because she will be on it for life. She's close to 9 years old now, and I never thought I would see her live this long, and be so happy and not be terribly infirm. She loves to run around the yard, she can walk for over a mile several times a day, but mostly, she is happy always wagging her tail. I hope this helps.

How much did the surgery cost? What was her recovery time?

Love my Cavaliers
30th May 2011, 02:31 PM
She had decompression with the titanium mesh implant, so it probably cost around $4000, maybe just under. Let me tell you, I didn't have insurance, but it was the best money I have ever spent. Recovery is long - I think it actually feels longer for the owner than it does for the dog - especially in a multi-dog household, especially since one of my dogs was just 11 months old and was just a power-house. She was crated or on my lap for four weeks and was allowed four five minute leash walks outside for peeing and pooping. No running or jumping allowed. After that, I aded an x-pen to her crate to give her more room. Gradually she was allowed short walks, but the whole recovery was about eight weeks. It seems like a long time, but you live through it and it becomes a distant memory. I would do it again in a second.

She sees her neurosurgeon every four months for blood work. She takes a liver supplement to protect her liver from the prednisone so she has her liver enzymes checked. She also takes pepcid every day for stomach upset. I guess maybe prednisone can be tough on the tummy. Riley has had no problems with either. You can PM with questions. I'm always happy to talk about her success.

goda
30th May 2011, 04:17 PM
She had decompression with the titanium mesh implant, so it probably cost around $4000, maybe just under. Let me tell you, I didn't have insurance, but it was the best money I have ever spent. Recovery is long - I think it actually feels longer for the owner than it does for the dog - especially in a multi-dog household, especially since one of my dogs was just 11 months old and was just a power-house. She was crated or on my lap for four weeks and was allowed four five minute leash walks outside for peeing and pooping. No running or jumping allowed. After that, I aded an x-pen to her crate to give her more room. Gradually she was allowed short walks, but the whole recovery was about eight weeks. It seems like a long time, but you live through it and it becomes a distant memory. I would do it again in a second.

She sees her neurosurgeon every four months for blood work. She takes a liver supplement to protect her liver from the prednisone so she has her liver enzymes checked. She also takes pepcid every day for stomach upset. I guess maybe prednisone can be tough on the tummy. Riley has had no problems with either. You can PM with questions. I'm always happy to talk about her success.

The more I hear about people's successes the more I am happy to explore surgery. I thought it cost more than 4000$ so I was a little petrified but now that I am discovering otherwise it is more and more becoming a valid option for us, financially. Not that we weren't willing to make sacrifices when we thought it was 20,000$-we were (we just needed to safe agressively and fundraise).

Though I am worried about recovery, Luka is so active and his brother is 14 months. Mind you we still need to discuss this all with the Neuro. Thanks!