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My spoo puppy is recovering from IMHA (recent thread). She's going to be on prednisone for the next few months. She's starting off at 30mg twice a day for the first 2 weeks, and we will slowly decrease that amount as long as her RBC count stays high. The internal medicine specialist said he wants to keep her on it for the next 9 months.

From what little I remember from physiology lectures, prednisone is a pretty nasty drug with a slew of side effects ranging from increased appetite, weight gain, water retention, Cushings syndrome, osteoporosis, etc.

I know there are a few members here with Addisons dogs, who are also prescribed prednisone:

Is the dosage comparable? If it is high enough also be immunosuppressive, what do you do to prevent opportunistic infections? Can you still feed raw? I was planning to start RBMs with Tesla but I'm afraid that the usual surface bacteria that she would've been able to handle will now cause issues.

What do you do to mitigate the side effects? Any special diets/supplements that helps them out?
 

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Im glad you girl seems to be doing well, and that you caught this. As for pred side effects, it varies from dog to dog how severe they are affected. My Riley had addisons, and was put on a very small dose (2.5mg/day). It is a VERY small dose compared to what your girl is on! Riley was really affected by it. His metabolism completely changed, he ate Everything, trash surfed. His water went up a little, and urine didnt really change. He eventually regulated himself though, and things got better. Some dogs dont have many problems. Increased drinking, urination, and appitite are the most common symptoms.

I feed raw, but I would probably wait to start your girl on it until after she is better. I would rather be on the safe side.
As for your other concerns... Yes, prednisone can have some nasty side effects. It can however be a lifesaver (as it is with you). I have seen thousands of dogs put on pred that didnt have major lasting issues. I have seen Hundreds where the dogs/cats would be dead without it. I would not make myself crazy worrying about everything that Could happen. Just keep doing what your doing. I hope your girl continues to do well!!
 

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My mini dachsie, Meika, was on prednisone for about 5 years to combat her Canine Lupus. She started at a higher does and was gradually weaned down to a tiny dose every 3 days. Initially, her appetite and water intake increased a lot. Because extra weight on a mini dachsie is a huge no-no (their long spines can't take the extra weight load very well) my veterinarian told me that I could supplement Meika's meals with steamed green beans and baby carrots. I'd give her a bowl of steamed veggies a couple of times a day - This helped fill her hungry tummy, but didn't add a lot of calories. Her weight did not change dramatically and once she was weaned down to a smaller dose of pred, her appetite leveled off and she was satisfied with her regular meals again. I think weight gain attributed to prednisone is actually the fault of the person feeding the dog... Yes, they'll act hungry, they'll give you the "puppy dog eyes"; but stay strong and don't feed them more fat/calories - give them low calorie bulky foods!!

The water intake was another issue - she drank a LOT more at first and had many more frequent trips outside. I just had to be diligent on watching her clues when she wanted to go out when it wasn't the routine time to do so... We made it through the hard part early on in her disease management and once we had her meds dialed in to optimum, she was her happy self for the rest of her life!

Good luck!
 

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Thanks petitpie, but my Meika lost her battle on May 14, 2009. She fought that Canine Lupus valiently until she developed bladder cancer in December 2008. The vets took her off her Lupus meds in order to give her medicines that would slow the progression of the cancer - because the meds could not be given simultaneously. Once she was off her Lupus meds, it came back full force PLUS!

We are utilizing acupressure and TCM (Chinese herbs) for our 14 year old mix breed, Hannah, for a variety of age related issues. She's doing absolutely WONDERFULLY on the regimen we've been following. My daughter is a professional groomer and she says she gets much younger dogs in at her shop that look and act MUCH older than Hannah.

There is definitely a place for TCM in caring for ourselves and our pets, but Meika was gone before I had learned of anyone in my town using or sharing it. The vets here are still very Western Medicine oriented - we learned about the TCM we're using for Hannah from a vet in Montana who was here visiting a couple of years ago.
 

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My spoo puppy is recovering from IMHA (recent thread). She's going to be on prednisone for the next few months. She's starting off at 30mg twice a day for the first 2 weeks, and we will slowly decrease that amount as long as her RBC count stays high. The internal medicine specialist said he wants to keep her on it for the next 9 months.

From what little I remember from physiology lectures, prednisone is a pretty nasty drug with a slew of side effects ranging from increased appetite, weight gain, water retention, Cushings syndrome, osteoporosis, etc.

I know there are a few members here with Addisons dogs, who are also prescribed prednisone:

Is the dosage comparable? If it is high enough also be immunosuppressive, what do you do to prevent opportunistic infections? Can you still feed raw? I was planning to start RBMs with Tesla but I'm afraid that the usual surface bacteria that she would've been able to handle will now cause issues.

What do you do to mitigate the side effects? Any special diets/supplements that helps them out?
at not quite 4 years and about 50 pounds (now down to 44!) we are taking 50 mg pred per day. plus mycophenelate. have been through some other drugs and antibiotics . now having open skin lesions -- fears are not unjustified. hope you can find answers. we are frantic; send best wishes to you
 
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