What happens to a dog with prednisone to treat cancer? The Ultimate Guide

Prednisone as Palliative Care for Dogs With Cancer

Its unfortunate that cancer remains one of the top causes of death in dogs. Not all cancers are created the same. There are some forms of cancers where aggressive treatment involving surgery and chemo are worthy of being implemented, while there are others where these treatments are not. On top of that, some dogs may be in such an advanced state that they are inoperable and the best option is to institute palliative care.

Palliative care should not be interpreted as “giving up,” but rather as an attempt in maintaining a good quality of life for as long as possible. In some cases where there is advanced cancer, palliative care may provide survival times similar to those attained with aggressive treatment.

Palliative care should also not be interpreted as prolonging the inevitable. It is wrong to think of palliative care as a way to drag the dog for more days or weeks when the dog is living in sub-optimal health conditions with a poor quality of life. At a certain point, when the dogs quality of life declines, human euthanasia should be elected so as to not unnecessarily prolong the dogs suffering.

Palliative care in dogs with cancer entails nutritional support to prevent dogs from developing nutritional deficiencies while maintaining a good appetite. Other palliative care includes pain control and other necessary steps to help maintain good physical and emotional well-being. Prednisone for dog cancer may play an important role in providing palliative care.

Advanced-stage cancer in dogs, regardless of the body part affected, will also lead to partial or complete loss of appetite.

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Prednisolone (or prednisone) is a corticosteroid (i.e. steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), while piroxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Both medications have anti-inflammatory properties, but which one is best for pets with cancer?

The answer depends on the individual needs of your pet at the time. Here are some answers to some ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ about piroxicam and prednisolone.

Helping Your Dog to Cope with Pred Side Effects

Try these tips to help you and your canine pal better cope with these side effects…

  • Offer your pup as much water as they need. Since prednisone stimulates increased urination, your dog needs to drink more water to avoid dehydration.
  • Take your furkid outside to use the bathroom more often. Increased urine production is unavoidable, so if they try to ‘hold it in’ too long, urinary tract infections can develop.
  • Remember, even well-trained dogs can have urinary accidents in the home because of the need to go more often, so please be patient with your pup if that happens.
  • Give prednisone with a bit of food. Avoid giving it on an empty stomach, and you’ll decrease the chances of an upset tummy.
  • What happens to a dog with prednisone to treat cancer?

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