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Thread: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

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    Potty Trainer TandVsMom's Avatar
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    Question Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Max is normally a cuddlebug. He's goofy and loves to play play play all the time. He has always been well mannered and has never begged for food or been snappy, etc. He never has accidents in his crate.

    He has been on prednisone for about a week to treat a pretty bad skin allergy flairup and an infection between his toes on one foot and an ear infection in one ear (This is what I get for leaving in the care of "grandma" while I am out of town.) He takes one pill per day, but I don't have the bottle with me, so I'm not sure of the dosage. He's also on an anti-fungal medication that I had to get at a people pharmacy.

    Several times in the last few days, he's peed in his crate while I am gone at work. I know this is a side effect of the steroids. He also has increased panting (steriods, too, I know.) He's been fine with me, but has been begging from my son and tried to steal food (string cheese) from my daughter yesterday. I have never seen him do this before. I know the steroids can make him hungry, but I've never seen him show any sort of "dominant" behavior like this toward my kids.

    This weekend was beautiful outside. I took him to my BF's mother farm. She has a whole pack of dogs, 3 American Bulldogs, 2 boxers, 1 pit, and a jack russel. Max always gets along with ALL of them very well. One of the Americans is his special best friend. She tried to initiate play with him a few times, but he seemed uninterested. A bit later, he came over and started playing with her (he initiated, and they were playing the way the ALWAYS play). After about...a minute of playing, he bristled and snarled at her. My boyfriend says "Roid Rage" lol -- funny, but not funny. Then, I took him to the vet for a recheck on his skin/ears and he went bananas, pulling on the leash and snarling and barking at a German Shepherd that was minding her own business. This is so uncharacteristic of him.

    I have been wanted to add another bully to our family (hopefully a rescue) but now I am apprehensive about him even meeting new dogs. And I know he can likely feel that I am anxious. Have any of you experienced aggression increase during prednisone use? I don't want his behavior to become a learned pattern while he is on the meds. What can I do? Should I just try to keep him separated from other dogs? Help!
    'Is he happy or sad? With all those wrinkles, it's hard to tell." V, age 7

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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    This is exactly why I refuse predisone.... we used it years (7or more years ago) for both Nitschke and Banks and for everything you list I told our vet at some point... no more! We did the allergy test to find what was causing all the issues with them and the Pred has not been in our house or our bullies since then.

    The dosage is most likely 10 or 20 mg.

    Nitshcke wasn't too bad, but he would go into fits of what seemed to be 'speed freaks' and he would pee where he was standing, like he did not know it was coming.

    Banks -- roid rage is right on mark. She would fight, pant like a mad-woman, run, fur always on end, eating like she had not had food in weeks... she would drink a whole bowl of water in minutes, chew ice and pee all over the house -- it was horrendous.

    Get the Pred out of his system for 30 days and talk to your vet about a full blood screen allergy test to see what is causing all the ear.skin infections. There are alternatives if you know what is causing the infections... the Pred is only covering up the issue.

    Can ya tell I do not like Predisone?
    Last edited by 2BullyMama; 03-12-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    Can ya tell I do not like Predisone?
    Yeah, I'm starting to hate it, myself. I asked him last night, "What happened to my nice puppy?" He turned and looked behind him like there must be another dog in the room. lol. ugh
    'Is he happy or sad? With all those wrinkles, it's hard to tell." V, age 7

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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Quote Originally Posted by TandVsMom View Post
    Yeah, I'm starting to hate it, myself. I asked him last night, "What happened to my nice puppy?" He turned and looked behind him like there must be another dog in the room. lol. ugh
    I am getting anexity thinking about this....OMG.

    Nitschke's issues were all caused by RICE and grasses.... poor baby - his paws were a mess his summer with us. Banks, he issues are Chicken, Salmon and anything green that is outdoors (grass/tree/mold/weeds, etc). We just wipe her down when she comes in and keep her paws clean... Benedryl twice a day or as needed.
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    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    This is exactly why I refuse predisone.... we used it years (7or more years ago) for both Nitschke and Banks and for everything you list I told our vet at some point... no more! We did the allergy test to find what was causing all the issues with them and the Pred has not been in our house or our bullies since then.

    The dosage is most likely 10 or 20 mg.

    Nitshcke wasn't too bad, but he would go into fits of what seemed to be 'speed freaks' and he would pee where he was standing, like he did not know it was coming.

    Banks -- roid rage is right on mark. She would fight, pant like a mad-woman, run, fur always on end, eating like she had not had food in weeks... she would drink a whole bowl of water in minutes, chew ice and pee all over the house -- it was horrendous.

    Get the Pred out of his system for 30 days and talk to your vet about a full blood screen allergy test to see what is causing all the ear.skin infections. There are alternatives if you know what is causing the infections... the Pred is only covering up the issue.

    Can ya tell I do not like Predisone?
    i was once told by a handler that prednisone will take years off a dog's life. I have refused it at the vet on more than one occasion. Mabel was on dexamethazone after her surgery and peed on her bed every night. I never want another dog on steroids! Now that she's off we have dry nights again. I agree with everyone else in finding the source of the allergies and preventing the reaction.




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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Well, the good news is this will go away once the Prednisone wears off.

    I also had to give my bully Prednisone for similar problems but he didn't have a change in behavior other than the drinking. Sounds like you need to avoid it in the future - or at least prepare if it's necessary!

    Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    I hate prednisone. One of my dogs (about 8 years ago) was put on prednisone for a mast cell tumor and she was having so much trouble with urinating. Her whole personality changed (I don't recall aggression though). It seemed as though she started to really fail right after that too. I don't want to think it was the prednisone but it was probably the fact that it was killing all the good (few) immunities she had left. I don't think I would ever use prednisone for allergies, certainly not long term. Maybe for a few days to bring comfort but thats it. Last year I had to take prednisone for a bee sting (my whole face was swollen) and it made me incredibly anxious. My doctor ended up telling me to take benedryl until I was done with the pills. In my opinion, not good stuff. I agree with the full blood panel. As @2BullyMama said, it's only covering up the real issue. Good Luck!!
    "The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Ok, It's a 20 mg dose, once per day for 14 days (we are on day 7) and then one pill every other day until finished. I started with a total of 35 pills. So, if I give him all these pills, that's 56 days of pred. We've never been on a medication this serious before. I called the vet today and told her his symptoms and she said "Normal. You should just continue with them to get his skin cleared up." This is the second vet I've used and only started with her recently. I switched from our first vet because he changed his practice emphasis to large animals and he is so busy doing farm calls that he really doesn't have time for small animals anymore.

    We can not, certainly, make it another 49 days on prednisone. I think I'm not going to give him any more...and perhaps look for another vet. Although finding a bully vet in this area is like finding apples in a pear tree. ugh
    'Is he happy or sad? With all those wrinkles, it's hard to tell." V, age 7

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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Quote Originally Posted by TandVsMom View Post
    Ok, It's a 20 mg dose, once per day for 14 days (we are on day 7) and then one pill every other day until finished. I started with a total of 35 pills. So, if I give him all these pills, that's 56 days of pred. We've never been on a medication this serious before. I called the vet today and told her his symptoms and she said "Normal. You should just continue with them to get his skin cleared up." This is the second vet I've used and only started with her recently. I switched from our first vet because he changed his practice emphasis to large animals and he is so busy doing farm calls that he really doesn't have time for small animals anymore.

    We can not, certainly, make it another 49 days on prednisone. I think I'm not going to give him any more...and perhaps look for another vet. Although finding a bully vet in this area is like finding apples in a pear tree. ugh

    Is this vet may be near you

    Hillside Veterinary Hospital
    Dr. Roberts
    Charles Town, WV
    304-728-2203
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your lif
    e.

    Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BullyMama View Post
    Is this vet may be near you

    Hillside Veterinary Hospital
    Dr. Roberts
    Charles Town, WV
    304-728-2203
    Unfortunately, no. That vet is about 6.5 hours from where I live, on the opposite side of the state. Charles Town is near Maryland and I live near the WV, OH, KY border.
    'Is he happy or sad? With all those wrinkles, it's hard to tell." V, age 7

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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    I truly do have a love hate relationship with Pred. Dublin has severe allergies to everything pretty much and as hard as we try she will find something else to cause her problems. BUT and it is a big but. There have been times that they literallly saved Dubbie's life. Afer both of her palate surgeries and nasal surgeries. her swelling was so severe that we nearly lost and I believe only for the steroids we might have.

    She is on two Benydryl twice a day just to keep her from being totally miserable but sometime it gets to the point that she is in such distress that we opt for a samll course of steroids. What a difference.. She can breathe again, and has less chance in breaking out in massive hives, and the down side is the constant drinking and peeing and yes, being rowdy at time. it is a pain but they help her so much I can't not give them to her. As I said, the shortest time possible works good.

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    Default Re: Prednisone and possible aggression increase

    Quote Originally Posted by TandVsMom View Post
    Ok,
    We can not, certainly, make it another 49 days on prednisone. I think I'm not going to give him any more...and perhaps look for another vet. Although finding a bully vet in this area is like finding apples in a pear tree. ugh
    I understand your concern, but you CAN'T yank your dog of pred cold turkey!! It can damage his adrenal gland, and cause all sorts of other issues. With steroids of ANY kind you must WEAN him off. You can start the every other day dosage now, but please don't just stop altogether.

    Believe me, I understand your issue with the prednisone. It is a love/hate relationship, for sure. Just don't stop suddenly without weaning.

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