View Full Version : Coping with Prednisolone

murphy's mum
12th November 2011, 08:25 AM
Is anyone's beloved pooch on Prednisolone?

Misty has been on it for a fortnight now, as a trial, to see if it helps with her SM scratching. She started on five days of two, five of one and then she was to be cut to one every other day. I really feel there was an improvement on the two a day, and I thought I saw it continue into the one a day. Once we started our one every other day the scratching/head rubbing returned, so our Neuro decided to put her back on the one a day, which we've been on again since Monday. The scratching is less, but still there, so I don't know if we may need to go back up to two a day :(

The big problem is the side effects, she drinks lots now, which we cope with just fine, however, she is hungry all the time. She's driving me crazy wanting fed. She sits under the cat food, and cries/howls, she's scratching the cupboard door, but worst of all, as soon as she is awake in the morning she wants fed. It doesn't matter what time it is, she scratches the cupboard door or the babygate crying. Ignoring her behaviour isn't working, she's very persistant, I'm so tired this morning.

I came back home at four yesterday to find her on the kitchen table! She could have been up there for a couple of hours, she couldn't get back down as she can't/wont jump off high things due to her SM. Luckily there wasn't any fruit in the fruit bowl, but she was eyeing up the cat food on the worktop, but the gap was too big for her to have jumped.

We've been adding veg into her meals, but it's just not working. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions :confused:

12th November 2011, 04:44 PM
You could try feeding low calorie snacks to fill her up. Ricecakes are good. Also i give mine almondmilk to drink! She loves it and it fills her up.
Its very low calorie and lots of proteins in it as well as vitamin E. Mine is hungry 100percent of the time too, although not on preds. She got spayed late and ever since..

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murphy's mum
12th November 2011, 06:44 PM
Thanks Blondiemonster. I've never even heard of almondmilk, but I'll google it now :)

The vet has suggested feeding her a diet or a light food, so I can give her a feed at supper time, so we'll try that. I'll give her some extra of her normal food tonight to see what happens. Fingers crossed :D

12th November 2011, 07:40 PM
Is she on a complete food?

If she is you could try giving her the dried food that is especially for over weight dogs, they can have alot
more without worrying about putting on more weight.


12th November 2011, 08:45 PM
Some people say nuts aren't good for dogs. But mine LOVES all nuts and has eaten it without any problems her entire life. (no macademias because those are toxic).
Almond milk is mostly water, it has a thcikener in it too and is derived of almond paste, but the almond quantity is not high at all...
Almond milk is very very healthy for humans , and replaces real milk when you are lactose intolerant.

Brian M
12th November 2011, 09:31 PM

Try giving her carrot batons or water melon or swede to chew on .:)

12th November 2011, 10:34 PM
You could add some oatbran to her food as well to help her feel fuller for longer.

murphy's mum
12th November 2011, 11:13 PM
HollyDolly, she's on Royal Canin small breed, so I'll go tomorrow and get a bag of the light stuff.

Blondie I had a look and couldn't see any in Tesco's but I'll keep hunting for some.

Brian, she gets carrots and greenbeans with her RC ;)

Madpip, now you mention it I'm sure that was the other thing the vet mentioned, a powdered bran I think he said. The stuff from a natural health shop would probably be better I suppose? Although she does try her luck when I have my Branflakes :rolleyes:

She's had her supper so we'll see how she does tomorrow, I'd kill for a lie in till 7 or 8 :cool:

13th November 2011, 01:41 PM
Why prednisone? Were other things tried that didn't work? Usually that would be the final option to try. Or is this just a short term attempt to calm severe scratching before moving to something like gabapentin/Lyrica? Either of the latter,along with a CSF inhibitor and in some cases, an NSAID painkiller like trocoxil would be the more typical route to manage scratching. Unless there were no other working options, I'd always avoid long term preds use. When nothing else works effectively, it can give back quality of life though. Usually would not be used alone for SM.

The hunger aspect of it can be hard to manage but it also will take time to train a dog -- by ignoring the unwanted behaviour to not do what he is doing. Also: if you must remain on preds then perhaps you will need to change management tactics especially for when you are not there. Eg he will need to be kept in some other room that one where he smells food on the counter?

murphy's mum
13th November 2011, 03:50 PM
Karlin it started as a short course, two a day for 5 days, one a day for 5 days, and then one every other day. When we stepped her down to the one every other day, the scratching returned the same as before, so we were told to put her back on the 1 a day for another week and see how she went. The Neuro advised she may need to stay on them depending on how she reacted.

I've just come off the phone to them again though. I had already expressed my concern on Monday about her having to be on them full term without trying a CSF reducer, so we discussed it again, and she will start on cimetidine, three times a day from tomorrow. We'll wean her down to 1/2 a Prednisolone tablet for a week, and then stop. So we'll have another review of her meds next week. I was advised that in some cases Prednisolone is the only thing that work, but we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm still going to move her onto a light food in the mean time, as she is not 10.5kg, and I'm not feeling her ribs quite so easily as before.

13th November 2011, 05:01 PM
I am not sure just a CSF inhibitor will help if prednisone doesn;t. But is she on gabapentin or has Lyrica been tried if gabapentin didn't work? An NSAID and/or CSF drug alongside either of those? Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm goes through just about everything else long before prednisone/prednisalone... gabapentin/lyrica is generally what helps most with scratching, not prednisone (and especially -- without prednisone's side effects).

murphy's mum
13th November 2011, 05:43 PM
Oh yes, sorry :)

She's been on Gabapentin since her MRI scan at the start of October. She has 100mg thrice a day.

13th November 2011, 06:52 PM
Oh OK!

It is o course important to work through any regime with your neurologist -- but that is a pretty moderate level of gabapentin and if she is getting only gabapentin, following Clare's algorithm you'd have a huge range of things to try before prednisone inclusing increasing the gabapentin to 150 3x say. And Lyrica is generally more productive, and at lower doses, than gabapentin (it is a further development along the same lines as gabapentin).

Prednisone just introduces so many other headaches so often that if there's lots of other things to try, that is what I would be doing. You can download Clare's treatment algorithm from her website. I'd discuss it with your neurologist to consider other options unless there is a strong reason the neuro feels predisone is needed rather than trying all the other possibilities (and there are a lot, for a dog only on 100mg 3x of gabapentin :thmbsup:).

murphy's mum
13th November 2011, 07:49 PM
Clare's treatment algorithm was the reason I had questioned the Prednisolone to begin with. I know each Neuro will probably have their own ways to begin treatment, but I just didn't feel that comfortable with the fact we weren't trying a reducer first. I don't want to wave it around telling them how to do their job, but the steroids seemed a little final.

We'll keep our fingers crossed we see some positive reasults with the cimetidine :xfngr:

13th November 2011, 11:05 PM
Madpip, now you mention it I'm sure that was the other thing the vet mentioned, a powdered bran I think he said. The stuff from a natural health shop would probably be better I suppose? Although she does try her luck when I have my Branflakes :rolleyes:

She's had her supper so we'll see how she does tomorrow, I'd kill for a lie in till 7 or 8 :cool:

Yes it is a powdered oatbran rather than bran flakes. I get mine from the breakfast cereal aisle in Tesco's. It's just a plain packaging, own brand, near to the Scotts Porridge oats etc.

14th November 2011, 10:03 AM
Bonnie was on 1/2 tablet prednisolone twice a day and it was effective for controlling her scratching, we eventually had to include gabapentin due to pain in her back legs. And yes she was always hungry, but I found she was worse around my Mum because she is a big softy and would feed Bonnie when she looked at her. Around me not too many problems because she knew the rules, so at times you do need to be a little tough. I did put her on a low calorie diet so she could have more to eat but she was still my little fatty.

Be aware that you need to be careful with vaccinations...we didn't vaccinate Bonnie after a couple of years due to the fact that pred. can affect their immune system, which I wonder if this was the cause of us having to make that awful decision to PTS as she was unable to fight a severe infection in her lungs after having an abcess removed which was wrapped around her larynx.

So pred. did give Bon Bon better quality of her short life but there are alot of side effects so if you can wean her off it so much the better. We couldn't.

Brian M
14th November 2011, 10:35 AM
Hi Paula

How long was Bonnie on prednislone alone before gabapentin was introduced ,and I presume the pred was to
control her scratching .