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Thread: Prednisone

  1. #11
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    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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    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    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.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    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.....
    Last edited by Reptigirl; 30th May 2011 at 02:24 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reptigirl View Post
    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.

  5. #15
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    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.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    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?

  7. #17
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    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.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    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!

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