Corticosteroids can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to infection. This means you should avoid any live vaccine until at least 3 months after your course of corticosteroids has finished. There is less chance of this happening with steroid injections or sprays.

  • Occasional visits to your neurology clinician or primary care vet may be required during the course of treatment.
  • It is important not to alter or stop the treatment for epilepsy in dogs without veterinary advice.
  • This is because suddenly ending treatment might cause unwanted effects.
  • The ADSHG advises you always to have 3 months’ supply available of your essential steroid medicine.
  • Trying to shove pills down her throat would cause us both great distress.
  • However, it can occasionally happen if they’re used at high doses and for a long time.

We are not normally able to establish why an animal develops an immune-mediated disease such as SRMA. Why the immune system suddenly becomes ‘confused’ and decides to attack the CNS is a mystery. We recognise SRMA most commonly in young (less than two years of age) dogs of certain breeds including Beagles, Boxers, Bernese mountain dogs and Weimeraners, but dogs of any breed can be affected. A complex interaction of genetics and the animal’s environment probably contribute to developing the condition.

Side effects of steroid tablets

Other side effects which your vet will be on the lookout for include the increased risk of infection (due to suppression of the immune system), stomach ulcers, blood clots and diabetes (particularly in cats). Sometimes we need to use other drugs to compliment the use of steroids, allowing us to reduce the steroid dose whilst still controlling the disease. The concomitant use of this veterinary medicinal product with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may exacerbate gastrointestinal tract ulceration.

Once treatment starts you are likely to notice an improvement in a matter of days. After a few weeks the dose can slowly be reduced over several months. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a group of commonly used painkillers.

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It’s easy to get in touch – just call, email or fill in our referral form. Steroid responsive meningitis has no known cause, though it is most likely to develop as a result of environmental and genetic factors rather than any specific diseases. Medrone V Tablets are presented as oval, pink tablets that have been scored for easy and accurate dosing. Early treatment is important for the long-term management of SRMA.

Companion Animal

Never use steroids without a prescription from your vet, they can be harmful if used incorrectly. Contact your vet if your pet has been prescribed steroids and is showing any of the side effects listed above. If you run low or run out of steroids by accident it’s very important to contact your vet ASAP. It is natural to want to go above and beyond for our pets, especially when they aren’t feeling well, but there are some substances they can’t have.

In these conditions, steroids are given to dampen the overactive immune system response and stop the destruction of normal healthy cells. Steroids can also be effective in stopping or slowing the rate of growth of some, but not all, cancers. Now that you know all about steroids for dogs, want to know more about the dos and don’ts of dog medicine?

Most vets work with you and your pet to try and titre the steroid dose to the lowest effective level to minimise the risk of unwanted side effects. The main clinical signs of SRMA are spinal pain and an elevated temperature – this pain is severe in the neck but can also be present to a lesser extent in the lower back. The pain is most severe when trying to touch the chin to the chest. Other neurological abnormalities are not expected with this condition.

Corticosteroids can also be used to replace certain hormones that aren’t naturally produced by the body. Your veterinary neurologist or primary care vet will discuss with you what side effects may be expected with medication. Ingesting too much prednisone or prednisolone can lead to digestive distress, particularly in canines.

While anti-epileptic drugs will make some fortunate animals seizure-free, successful treatment more often implies reducing the frequency and severity of the seizures with acceptable side effects. Common dose-dependent side effects of steroids include increased thirst and hunger (consequently urination and weight gain), lethargy, panting, and increased risk of infections (respiratory, urinary etc). If steroids are stopped suddenly, it can cause an Addisonian crisis in which the body lacks enough cortisol to manage all its functions that this hormone affects.

Sometimes, the underlying causes of Addison’s disease can be treated. For example, tuberculosis (TB) is treated with a course of antibiotics over a period of at least 6 months. The signs caused by Myositis in dogs can vary considerably depending on the muscles affected.