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Steroid treatment longterm

If a dog needs to be on Prednisone for 6 months, is there anything one can do to help prevent the bad side effects like erosion in the stomach and GI, Pancreatitis, muscle loss, etc ?
9 Responses
675347 tn?1365460645
Firstly let me say that I am not a vet, so all I can give are suggestions which may not be appropriate. I also do not have experience with a dog who had chronic pancreatitis.

It is a very serious illness and unpleasant for your dog. And Prednisone treatment for 6 months is a long time. Prednisone is usually fine with no of very few side effects when given for a short course, But I guess your vet feels that this is the best treatment for your dog.

Can you ask your vet about supportive treatments to cope with any side effects?

Alternatively, maybe you could consult with a herbal or holistic vet, if you can find one near you or within driving distance. It is possible there may be treatment options....
675347 tn?1365460645
This is an interesting website, and there is an option to call or email for a consultation, etc. I am not suggesting you stop the treatment recommended by your vet! Unless of course you fully trust 'alternative' advice you may receive.
But you may be able to consult with someone here for added advice:

Avatar universal
Myself, rather than look for what might lessen the damage from steroids, I would be looking for 'alternatives' to steroids. For me, drugs are 'always' a last resort.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your comment, I will check into this further. A neurologist (has a great reputation) has diagnosed him with SRMA =steroidal responsive meningitis.  According to all of the research, 6 months of steroids is the only treatment that even remotely works for this serious disease.  We are like all of you, no drugs unless absolutely necessary.  He had NONE his entire life and minimum vaccines..breaks our hearts to put this Prednisone into him, but we haven't come up with any realistic options at this point and he couldn't even walk before we started them.
Wish there was a Vet that answered these questions here, but I will check ito the link you posted.  Once again, thank you so very much.
441382 tn?1452810569
Dogs don't tolerate steroids nearly as well as cats so it will be very important to do tests to keep careful track of the liver function during the duration of the treatment.  Cats can be on steroid therapy for quite a long time, actually, without too many ill effects, but dogs are much more quick to develop diabetes and other problems due to steroids.  If there is another method of treatment that is possible then I would investigate that or check with another vet to see if there is another option.
675347 tn?1365460645
Oh I see....so that is the best treatment for this form of meningitis? I understand the problem better now, and hadn't any experience of managing that condition before.
It is however -possible that a Holistic or Herbal vet may be able to give you advice about supportive treatments to manage any side effects.
As they would also be a qualified vet, they would understand drug/herb interactions and probably better than your regular vet?
Alternative treatments are often used as supportive care for the more brutal conventional treatments. Herbal remedies are sometimes used with some success by human chemotherapy patients.
Avatar universal
Yes, thank you as we are totally open to alternatives once we get this horrible scary disease under control .
Any suggestions, such as Milk Thistle, or pancreatic and kidney aids?
675347 tn?1365460645
Milk Thistle may well help your dog, as it is a safe supportive herb for the liver in both dogs and humans.
The liver does most of the processing of toxins, from life in general and from medications too. Giving the liver some support may reduce stress on kidneys also.

There is some information here:


There is more info. on this site, including suggested dosage:


But if you are new to herbal treatment for your dog -including other herbs, to support other organs -it can be a bit daunting. Also, not all herbs which are perfectly safe for humans -are safe for dogs. Also, most vets know little or nothing about herbal treatments. The absolute best course of action would be to consult a herbal or holistic vet. But of course, not everyone has access to a herbal vet.

I know a little about herbal medicine but do not have the knowledge to advise you on a course of supportive treatment.
It would also depend on your dog's general health and condition, and as they are individuals, some will have different needs so a different herbal combination might be needed.

Anyway, I would say that there would be no harm in giving your dog Milk Thistle.
thank you !
Avatar universal
Thank you all that commented...this is a rather complicated disease and we can use all of the input we can get.
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