Dogs, Steroids and Antibiotics – FAQs

What do steroids do to dogs?

Steroids (given to dogs) are often referred to as Pain Relief Medications for Dogs. As the name suggests, they are often used orally or as intravenous medication, helping to subdue pain and relieve inflammation. Steroids are not often prescribed without reason and are only given to dogs during an emergency. Steroids are also the medication of choice when dealing with inflammations, liver problems, urinary tract infections, allergic reactions and cancer.

Can steroids cause bladder problems in dogs?

In the short term, steroids have a limited negative effect on most dog breeds. This is because they are only prescribed to combat an existing ailment of sorts. However, when steroids are used for longer than three months, additional side effects have been noticed. This becomes more significant if the steroid medication is used in larger doses than recommended.

While urinary incontinence is not a side effect often associated with long term steroid usage, urinary tract infections (UTIs) have been known to occur. If you are unsure about using steroids with your dog, you should consider opting for natural herbal options that can help your dog.

Is incontinence a side effect of prednisone?

Prednisone is a corticosteroid that is used to inhibit the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. It also suppresses the immune system and treats many other known conditions. It is not known to have a side effect of increasing urinary incontinence in dogs or weakening the bladder.

Sometimes, dogs feel a certain level of anxiety, associated with ill health. This, in turn, leads them to urinate randomly while on Prednisone medication. Many dog parents often mistakenly link their dog randomly peeing to the Prednisone medication that they are on. If you do notice your dog begin to urinate randomly while on steroid medication, getting large dog pee pads is a smart short term option to have. This helps protect your home and furnishings for the duration of the changes to your dogs’ system.

Prednisone also spikes the blood sugar level, having the knock-on effect of making our dogs more thirsty. The excess fluids consumed then results in passing urine (peeing) more often.

What are the worst side effects of prednisone?

Some of the worst known side effects of Prednisone include the following;

  • Panting.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Skin infections.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Increased hunger.
  • Retention of sodium (salt) and fluid.
  • Weight gain.
  • Development or worsening of infections, particularly bacterial skin infections.

Is prednisone harmful to dogs?

Usage of prednisone in the short term is usually very unlikely to cause any of the serious side effects listed above. In dogs, the most common side effects of using prednisone is an obvious increase in thirst (following rises in blood sugar level), urination, and appetite. There is a slim chance that your dog will strain to pee as its water intake will increase while using these steroids.

There’s also a risk that your dog might succumb to other ailments as it has a lower immune system while on drugs like prednisone and prednisolone.

Does heavy panting from prednisone hurt my dog?

Panting is one of the side effects of using a steroid like prednisone. So as it is one of the known side effects, it would not hurt most dogs. It is important to immediately contact your Vet if you think your dog is in severe pain from using prednisone, don’t delay. You know your dog more than anyone, so even though steroid medication like prednisone leads to heavy panting in dogs if you think your dog is struggling – contact your vet.
Dogs, Steroids and Antibiotics – FAQs

What are the long term effects of steroids on dogs?

Excessive panting, restlessness and pacing are some of the long term side effects of steroids on dogs. Some dog breeds also tend to become overly agitated or aggressive. These symptoms become more pronounced, over an extended period of steroid medication for your dog.

Do steroids cause frequent urination in dogs?

Steroids do cause increased urination in dogs but this is not because of any bladder problems identified. Some steroids increase fluid retention and make your dog thirstier. As it drinks more water than usual, the dog also pees more often. This can be mistaken for incontinence if your housetrained dog pees while indoors.

The good news is that as soon as you wean your dog off the steroid medication, it will only take a few days for the thirst and urination habits to return back to normal.

Does prednisone shorten a dog’s life?

More often than not, drugs like prednisone are steroids that are only prescribed for short-term usage.

If on the off-chance you have been told to give your dog prednisone for a much longer duration than is the norm (anything between three to four months), then you should ensure you visit your vet regularly. This will ensure attention is paid to any long term issues that might arise from the extended use of prednisone.

How long does it take for steroids to get out of a dog’s system?

It often approximately takes anything between 20 to 24 hours for steroids like Prednisone to be clear from a dog’s system. Clinical research shows that the elimination half-life of prednisone is usually around 3 to 4 hours. The elimination half-life is described as the time it takes for your dog’s body to reduce the plasma levels by 50%. With steroids in general, it usually takes around 6 x half-life for it to be completely eliminated from your dog’s system.

These natural herbal dog crunchies help settle your dog’s intestinal system while waiting for the medication to clear out.

Can antibiotics make my dog pee a lot?

Antibiotics are often the go-to prescription for dogs with Urinary Tract Infections and bladder infections. As these urinary ailments tend to irritate the bladder, it can often increase the urge a dog has to urinate. So while your dog is seen to increase its need to pee, it is not often a direct result of the antibiotics ingested. But a consequence of the effect it has on its urinary system.

What are the side effects of doxycycline for dogs?

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that Vets usually prescribe for dogs when diagnosed with urinary issues. It is not renowned for having serious side effects, as the use of doxycycline has a fairly rare negative effect on dogs. Most large adult dogs tolerate doxycycline without any obvious issues.

Where side effects are observed, the most common ones seen in dogs often include nausea, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing or breathing. Some of these side effects can be reduced if the medication is given to the dog with food.

Can steroids cause diabetes in dogs?

Prednisone and other steroids can cause a spike in blood sugar levels by making the liver resistant to insulin. As such, if used long term, the sustained resistance to insulin can lead to diabetes in dogs. Hence why vets often prescribe it for shorter periods (no longer than three months) and wean your dog off it, if it has not had the required effect.