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Dog Dancer September 1st, 2011 04:02 PM

Shadow on Prednisone
Okay, so a quick update as she's only been on the pills now for 24 hours. They do seem to be helping her quite a bit. Her bowel issues seem to be resolved, she has had her bowel movements while out on her walks yesterday and today, yay! I slept much better last night not having to worry if it was going to be another messy night. It seems the nerves are transmitting to her brain again.

When she walks now she does not seem to be quite so stiff, there is a much more natural look to her leg movement. She also seems to be more alert. Now somebody told me that Pred. may keep her from sleeping. She's still sleeping fine under my desk at work, but when she's awake, she is very alert.

Her appetite is fine! I ran out of chicken livers this week and with her appt and such I haven't been able to get to the store that carries them, so I bought a couple cans of Pedigree at Safeway just so I could put a wee bit of wet stuff on top of her Taste of the Wild kibble. Well suffice it to say that she thinks this is just the best! She's eating way more food now than she was with the liver on top. Sometimes she'd just pick off the liver or not even touch it if she knew the kibble was there. As a result she has lost 2 lbs over the last two and a half months. Right now I put in twice as much kibble and a bit of the canned stuff and it's all gone. I don't think it's going to hurt her to have a bit of the junk if it gets her to eat more of the good stuff.

The vet will be calling me tomorrow (Friday) for an update. He did want me to check how her feet were doing with the thing where you put her back paw upside down and see if she fixes it. In his office she just left it upside down and that is not good, he says a healthy dog will immediately fix the foot. Halo fixes her feet when I do this to her. At the park at lunch today Shadow would not let me flip her foot over, she put it back right away, but when we returned to the office she just stood on it upside down. :wall: Oh well, I guess I can't have everything.

Anyhow, for today, I'm happy with the prednisone, and it's not expensive either, so that's just a bonus.

Winston September 1st, 2011 04:29 PM

DD that is good news!!! I am so happy that Shadow is feeling better even if just for a bit longer!

The vet told me the same thing about Winston..if he wants it give it to him who cares at this stage. I was already 10 steps ahead of him thinking I would do that anyway.

Well at least you know now that of she wont eat you can make a run to McDonalds for chicken nuggets :thumbs up

You guys are in my thoughts.


Rgeurts September 1st, 2011 04:55 PM

I'm so happy to see that precious Shadow is doing better, DD!! :lovestruck: :cloud9:

As for the prednisone, it will probably give her a HUGE appetite. I don't know what dose she is on, but Nookie started on a 60mg dose for 3 weeks, then dropped to 50mg daily for a month or so, then 40 and so on. He was ALWAYS hungry! Hence the really chubby pics of him lol. He slept a lot though. It didn't make him hyper at all. One thing, if she is on it for quite awhile and the dose is fairly high, she can get whats called "pred head". It's a wasting of the muscles on the skull and in the face. Nookie had it so bad that one vet diagnosed him with masicatory myositis and had us ready to let him put Nookie under so he could do a biopsy on his skull muscles :eek: :eek:, but we decided to speak with our specialist first. She said most vets aren't familiar with pred head and don't let them do anything until she could see him.

If that happens, just know that it's "normal" on higher, long term doses of pred and isn't harmful. She will just look like a conehead :)

Rgeurts September 1st, 2011 05:03 PM

One other thing, pred can cause them to get really bloated!

Dog Dancer September 1st, 2011 05:14 PM

Thanks for the Pred Head info Rgeurts. Shadow is currently getting 10 mg per day (5 in the morning 5 at night). After I think it was 5 days (might be 10 I don't have the pills with me) it drops down to just one pill per day, so the dose is very low. I guess he'll decide once she's on them for a while if they need to be increased or decreased, but fingers crossed that right now it's good. I guess I'll have to stock up on the cans of Pedigree :D. Shadow is fairly thin right now, so a bit of bloating won't hurt her I guess.

hazelrunpack September 1st, 2011 06:54 PM

That's great that the pred is working so well at a relatively low dose! :highfive: That's a lot of improvement for such a short time on the new meds. I hope this gives you a lot more time together! :goodvibes: :grouphug:

renegaderuby September 1st, 2011 07:57 PM

Glad your shadow is feeling better! Its always good to see them rebound so fast. YAY shadow. :)

Sylvie September 2nd, 2011 09:40 AM

I am so glad the pred is working for Shadow. Wish I could say the same for my Shadow, however every day is a blessing at this time :thumbs up

Give Shadow a big hug from me, and take one from me.

Dog Dancer September 2nd, 2011 10:02 AM

Sylvie a hug to you and your Shadow from me and mine. My girl is doing well still. I do wish the vet had told me when we put her on metacam that when that stopped working for her we would move on to the Prednisone. I would have been able to save myself all the grief of planning to put her down this week if I had known there was a plan B. At least this time he told me there is no plan C ahead. But Sylvie as you know, at the age our Shadows are we are blessed with each day.

Shadow had a good night. Her bowel movements seem to be back to a controlled event. She goes on her walks like usual, which is good. Not knowing when she would need to go has been very difficult. Since she has severe s/a she comes everywhere with us, and not knowing when she would need to poop did create a lot of stress over taking her in the car.

When I talk to the vet today I will have to ask him about increasing the dosage of the Pred. if/when it seems its not working as well. I have learned so much about these things on this board. I can't thank all the members enough for sharing their personal experiences, it is invaluable to me as I travel this road with my girl. The road is not so dark when good friends light the way with their knowledge. :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: to you all for your support.

hazelrunpack September 4th, 2011 09:28 AM

How is she doing, DD? :goodvibes: Have you all been sleeping in these past few days? :fingerscr

Sylvie September 4th, 2011 03:04 PM

Hope everything is going well for Shadow DD :goodvibes: your way.

Dog Dancer September 4th, 2011 04:19 PM

Hey ladies, sleeping in, yeah just a bit though. Shadow is doing pretty good. I'd still like to see more improvement, but really what can I expect. I am supposed to cut her from 10 mg per day (one 5 mg pill in the morning and one at night) to one pill per day starting tomorrow. Not sure I want to do that though. She seemed a bit stiff today and was panting quite a bit last night, but it was warm. I'm afraid of setting her back if I reduce it. The vet says if she seems worse to bump it back up again, but I don't see the point in reducing it to start with. What's your opinions on this ladies?? Drop it and see, or leave it as it is? All answers appreciated.

breeze September 4th, 2011 05:11 PM

DD when is she more stiff?? uncomfy??

I'm not a vet[/I][/B]

I probably cut the 5mg in the morning to [B][I]half[/I][/B] and a whole one at night, and see
=2.5 in the morning and 5mg at night
or the other way around
a whole in the morning and 2.5mg at night

reduce it in smaller than what is wanted if in doubt

hazelrunpack September 4th, 2011 05:25 PM

I would try to cut it down. Granted 'long-term' takes on different scales in a situation like this, but if you can keep her comfy on a lower dose, it's so much easier on the body and also cuts down on the side effects--like increased urination. You can always up it again later if you need to, but finding the minimum effective dose with harsh meds like steroids is always a good idea, imo.

Winston September 4th, 2011 07:07 PM

DD good to hear Shadow is doing doing okay. I would cut it back too just to see where your going to be at. At this point in Shadow's life I dont think its going to matter if she stays on the pred longer term. Maybe you can get her down to a manageable amount.

I wonder if Shadow would do well on the Previcox like Winston? I do see great results for the pain and mobility. Compared to where he was at last Tuesday to me its remarkable the difference.

I have also noticed that the panting is also heat related. Winston has been really good with the panting since we turned the a/c on in the house a few days ago. When its off he starts to pant??

pattymac September 4th, 2011 10:19 PM

That's so good to hear that the Pred is helping!! I think this is one drug that the benefits far outweigh the side effects!

Dog Dancer September 5th, 2011 07:17 PM

Thanks for the opinions. I don't know when she seems most stiff. I honestly can't say. I think I will cut the night time pill by half to start with. Last night she went for a walk at about 9:30 and sometime during the night she pee'd in her bed. I tried to get her to go outside at about 2:30 in the morning but she wouldn't budge. Tonight when I wake up I will definitely force her to go out. Halo is always willing to go out in the middle of the night. She doesn't ask herself, but if I get up to go, she's gotta go too!

Winston September 5th, 2011 07:44 PM

DD I have been having the same problem with motivation to go outside..I actually have to go downstairs to his crate and say come on get your butt up! but he has been good in the house for 3 nights now. I am hoping tonight will be another night of no messes or needs to go out!

Give sweet shadow an extra hug for me! :thumbs up

Goldfields September 5th, 2011 09:23 PM

Which is why I pen my oldies rather than crate them. More room for them to have accidents without soiling bedding.I get unused, unsold newspapers from the newsagent for free, give my oldies lots of paper on the floor, then if they have accidents it's easy to clean up soiled paper. Means we all get a peaceful night's rest. Mind you, I talk of female oldies. Sorry, Winston, it is not the answer for the males. I just think that things aren't going to get better once they reach a certain age, or stage health-wise, so why not relax the rules a bit. I know myself how hard it is to move arthritic joints.

Dog Dancer September 6th, 2011 03:42 PM

Hey ladies. Shadow had a good night. I had to drag her (literally) to the door to put her out at 2:00 during the night, but she went and pee'd and then was good until I had to drag her for a walk this morning at 5:45 am. She doesn't like mornings apparently. Can't say I blame her. She did her business immediately on going outside and then didn't want to go any further, however, she had no choice as we had to go on until Halo went. It was a short walk. Can't say if Shadow was more stiff, or just not interested. She had a hard time jumping into the car this morning, then at lunch time she just put her front feet into the car and sat down. I had to lift her hiney into it. Later when we got back in the car she just launched herself in. So now I'm very confused! She had the half pill last night at dinner and a full pill this morning. Will keep with the half pill for a few more days and see. Other than that she's just sort of coasting along. Not too interested in anything other than eating nowadays.

GF, Shadow will only sleep in our room at night. Unfortunately now with company here we keep the bedroom door closed, so she can't even wander into the tiled kitchen where the outside door is to make her mistakes. Last time (before company) that she had the runs she pooped right in front of the door, so I know she wanted out, but couldn't wake me up. No pens for my girls! Am thinking I may lay a large plastic under her bed just in case.

Red Shasta September 6th, 2011 04:58 PM

Tierce the Shiba is on Prednisone for his seasonal allergies. It's sure better than having him scratch himself miserable. I would much rather a dog have a good quality of life now than having a miserable (longer?) life. I notice that he drinks a lot more than he used to and tends to be a little more reactive towards other dogs - not enough to be serious, but enough that I watch his interactions carefully.

He's been on the 'zone for about a month now and so far, so good.

hazelrunpack September 6th, 2011 09:36 PM

DD, it sounds like maybe she's been feeling well enough to possibly overdo a bit. Remember, she's been less active for a while, so she was probably a bit out of shape. Enough so that she tired herself out when she started feeling better again, maybe? It might be that after a few days she'll recover and start being more active again. :fingerscr

Sylvie September 7th, 2011 07:38 AM

DD I am so glad that things are going better for Shadow. She deserves to be happy.

The dose of preds that she is on is really a low dose, so I don't think you need to worry about any problems. If they help at this point then I think that is great.

Dog Dancer September 7th, 2011 10:30 AM

Hazel, it is possible that she's just fatigued, although I have tried to keep her doing short walks daily so her muscles keep moving. Even if that means taking a break halfway through our walks. I'll keep her on the 5 mg in the morning and half of that at night for now and see where we go. So far no more wetting in the bedroom, but I do have to wake her in the middle of the night and put her out just to be safe. Hazel, the heat here right now would explain the panting at home, but at work we're air conditioned and she still pants frequently, so that concerns me.

Sylvie, thanks for the support. I know her dose is low, so I sometimes wonder if it was higher if she'd have better results. Right now I'm kind of torn on whether I'm seeing enough results. Yes it's better than it was with the metacam, but I still think she could improve some, and I'm not looking for a 10 year old dog.

Red Shasta, so glad to hear that Tiece is doing well. I have a fond spot for Shiba's. I think they're wonderful little dogs. My second dog was called Sheba and our trainer bred Shiba's. Good luck to your boy with his allergies, my lab has them also, but not so bad that she needs pred.

Dog Dancer September 12th, 2011 11:07 AM

So I have a new question now about Shadow's behaviours and health. Last year one day when she was in DH's jeep for a couple hours on the way home her face was vibrating for lack of a better word. Her bottom jaw was just shaking up a storm and she looked like she would have a heart attack. It would stop when I was petting her, but otherwise she was shaking up a storm. I put it down to nerves as she doesn't like the jeep.

In the last few days though I've noticed her doing this more often. One day we were just sitting outside and the neighbours daughter was there and the mom said Shadow was shaking. On Saturday we were driving to a friends house and again her lower jaw was shaking. Then last night while we were all out together at a neighbour's house, her jaw was shaking. No real stress factors for her in the more recent episodes.

I'm not connecting this to the prednisone seeing as it happened a long time ago as well, but curious if anybody has had this with their dog. It really bothers me when she does it. It stops as soon as I start to pet her, but starts again when I stop.

Anyhow, I'll be asking the vet about it. Since increasing her pred. the other day I have not really seen the improvement I would expect. She was having a great deal of trouble with stairs on Saturday, and had a poop accident in the house last night (which was no big deal, she has never been good at waking me at night). She still seems to stumble quite easily when we're walking, which sometimes she wants to do and sometimes she doesn't. Should I be asking the vet about increasing the dosage? She's taking 5 mg at breakfast and 5 mg at dinner. I guess I was just hoping for a more dramatic improvement, and I could just be out to lunch with my expectations. The improvement was so drastic when I first put her on it, I guess maybe it got my hopes up too high and I should just be happy with what we've got. But I can't help but wonder if increasing it would help more...

hazelrunpack September 12th, 2011 09:22 PM

I'm trying to remember if we ever noticed anything similar with Evan when he was on pred. Neither hubby nor I can recall anything like that.

It's just her lower jaw? Not her whole head? Almost sounds like a mild seizure in that she stops when you pet her, but I'm thinking a seizure would involve the whole head, not just the jaw. Can you video an episode to show the vet?

Maybe someone else has a better idea of what's going on :fingerscr


Dog Dancer September 13th, 2011 10:26 AM

Hi Hazel, it doesn't seem like a seizure to me. It is just her jaw area that trembles like when you've got bad chills and your teeth chatter. As I said the first episode happened last year well before she was on any drugs for anything at all. I have been putting it down to stress. It's just in the last couple days I notice it more often. I will be talking to the vet today anyhow about her pred dosage and will ask him about it.

hazelrunpack September 13th, 2011 08:02 PM

Hope the vet can set your mind at ease about it! :goodvibes:

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