While prednisone for dogs is a common cancer treatment, it can have some serious side effects. If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer and is taking prednisone, it’s important to understand the drug’s pros and cons.
How Does Prednisone Work?
Prednisone is a synthetic pharmaceutical (manufactured in a lab in a form that is not normally produced by the body) that mimics the effects of the dog’s natural steroid hormones (corticosteroids). The adrenal cortex in the dog’s adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, is responsible for producing these hormones. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” is the major steroid hormone generated by the dog’s adrenal cortex.
Steroids are used for many different types of diseases in people and pets. Prednisone can be used to treat a wide range of conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disease, allergies and asthma. It’s also commonly prescribed for arthritis, for dogs who have cancer, or other illnesses that are causing pain or discomfort.
Prednisone may be given orally (pill form), by injection under the skin or into muscle tissue, and even by mouth wash at times. When you give your dog prednisone orally make sure that you follow the dosing instructions carefully because too much can cause serious side effects like vomiting blood due to ulcers forming on their stomach lining! If your dog gets sick while taking prednisone then contact your veterinarian right away so they can figure out what happened.
Prednisone Can Increase Your Dog’s Appetite
The lack of appetite in cancer-stricken dogs frequently begins subtly. The dog may begin to be “picky.” He or she might not eat the meal as quickly as previously, or he or she could need some persuasion. This is sometimes misinterpreted as the dog “simply becoming old” and losing its sense of smell.
As the cancer advances, the dog may eventually refuse to eat despite begging and trying a range of foods. Weight loss and muscular wasting will occur as a result of this loss of appetite.
Given that one of the most prevalent side effects of this treatment is an increase in appetite, using prednisone at this stage may assist make a difference. This increase in hunger is caused by the corticosteroid-induced euphoria that this medicine produces.
Prednisone to Reduce Tumor Size and Increase Blood Cell Formation
Prednisone may be used to treat certain types of cancer. In such circumstances, prednisone can be used as a chemotherapeutic agent or coupled with other stronger chemotherapeutic medicines to decrease tumors.
Prednisone aids red blood cell formation in the case of spleen cancer. According to studies, if the spleen continues to kill new red cells, the sick dog will remain anemic.
Prednisone is beneficial in the treatment of lymphoma since it has the ability to kill lymphoma cells. Prednisone can be used as a stand-alone treatment for lymphoma in dogs whose pet parents do not want to utilize chemotherapy.
Prednisone Can Be Detrimental to the Immune System
While prednisone can be a lifesaver for some dogs, it’s important to understand the risks of taking this medication. The drug has both positive and negative effects on your dog’s immune system. If a vet prescribes prednisone, you should discuss any concerns with them before giving it to your pet.
If your dog’s immune system is weakened by an illness or other factors, taking prednisone could make her more susceptible to infections. But if she has an infection but her immune system is strong enough to fight it off without medications, the drug may be able to help boost her natural defenses against the disease or sickness in question—and possibly ward off other potential infections as well.
Full-Spectrum CBD as an Alternative
CBD is being studied as a’steroid-alternative.’ CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets that suffer from chronic pain and a lack of appetite. Compounds have been discovered that can help us and our pets minimize inflammation. THC and CBD, the two most prominent phytocannabinoids present in the Cannabis plant, are both anti-inflammatory. Other minor cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBC, and THCV, have also been discovered to have anti-inflammatory activities.
Cannabinoids have shown substantial potential to be employed as innovative anti-inflammatory drugs, and precise targeting of CB2 receptors holds the possibility of mediating immunosuppressive effects without exhibiting psychotropic side effects.
CBD dramatically reduced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF- while increasing levels of anti-inflammatory IL-10. CBD has been shown to significantly reduce pain and enhance mobility in animals with an affirmative diagnosis of osteoarthritis in a dose-dependent manner in a veterinary trial.