The Use of Prednisone in Dogs
Article Courtesy of PetAlive
Dogs have proven their usefulness to humans time and again. In the Stone Age, they helped man in hunting. In the stressful lives that we lead these days, dogs help us in relieving stress by providing a fun-filled atmosphere.
But great responsibilities accompany the fun. Taking good care of your canine pal is not always easy. Reality checks happen in the form of diseases and the solution is not always as simple as giving medication. Many medicines that are administered to dogs come with their own set of complications and side effects.
Prednisone is one drug that is often used for treating autoimmune diseases in dogs. It is a synthetic inactive corticosteroid that is chemically converted by the liver into prednisolone, an active steroid. The benefits of prednisone use for treating a number of conditions in humans and animals have been established over time. The uses that prednisone has been put to are diverse.
1. Treatment of excessive itching.
2. Alleviation of asthma and other allergies.
3. Managing emergencies like injuries to the spinal chord.
4. Controlling rejections during organ transplants.
5. Treating kidney disorders.
The manner in which this drug works allows it to be extremely versatile. It suppresses the immune system and therefore can be used to treat auto-immune, inflammatory and kidney diseases.
But the side effects that it causes are taxing for the most loving pet owner. Side effects that can be caused even if the drug is used for a considerably short period of time are
1. Renal disorders.
2. Abnormal thirst levels.
3. Excessive hunger.
4. Insatiable diet.
Side effects that occur only after a considerable period of usage are
1. Ulcers in the digestive tract.
2. Pain and inflammation in pancreas.
4. Degeneration of muscles
5. Unpredictable change in behaviors.
The most dangerous side effect that can appear while administering the drug is hyperadrenocorticism in dogs. Also known as Cushing’s disease, this condition is caused by an overdose of the drug.
Since it is a corticosteroid itself, prednisone obstructs the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. If the drug is continued for more than a week it can affect the normal functioning of the adrenal glands permanently. This results in a dependency on the drug since the body is unable to create its own natural corticosteroids.
Though prednisone seems like a wonder drug at times, indiscriminate use of the same can be very dangerous. It can lead to conditions like Cushing’s disease in dogs and Addison’s disease, both of which can prove to be fatal.