Steroid Side Effects in Dogs

Although anti inflammatory steroid drugs are among the most potent and powerful medicines that you can give to your pet, the various steroid side effects which accompany them are oftentimes quite serious. Before you plan to give your pet any medicine, it's a good idea to check in with your vet to determine the potential risks and side effects that that medicine entails. This is especially true of steroids, which may change a number of elements of your pet's health in ways that aren't necessarily expected. Read on for a brief overview of some of the side effects of steroids in dogs.

Changes in Thirst and Appetite

One of the most common side effects of steroids in dogs is a dramatic increase in thirst and appetite. However, changes in appetite and thirst are not limited to this direction, however, and it's also not uncommon for pet owners to see their dogs lose interest in food and water. While both of these changes are not good for your pet's overall health, it is the latter that is of more immediate concern. Make sure that your pet continues to drink water and eat food regularly in order to protect his immediate health and overall nutrition.

The Weight Gain Side Effect

As a longer term side effect of an increase in appetite, it's not unusual to see your dog begin to gain weight when he is taking steroids for an extended period of time. This is one of the many reasons that many vets typically opt to not provide steroids to dogs when a long term medicine treatment is needed.

Steroid Side Effect: Mood Changes

Another side effect that is occasionally seen in dogs taking steroids for various health concerns is changes in behavior. It's not uncommon to see your pet become suddenly more aggressive or anxious after giving him steroids. Dogs that were otherwise very mild mannered and well behaved may begin to run around or bark. In more extreme cases, you may need to be careful about the possibility of your dog biting or harming someone. Mood changes can also make your pet more sedate and depressed as well, so it's important to also be on the lookout for other types of adjustments in behavior.

Panting as a Side Effect of Steroid Use

Dogs taking steroids oftentimes begin panting at what would otherwise seem to be inappropriate or unusual times. Watch out for your pet panting when he is not hot or exercising, as these may be indicators of a side effect of steroid use.

Due to the long term potential for side effects in steroids, most vets recommend not providing these medicines to your dog for a longer period of time. Rather than wait for other side effects to appear, it's crucial that you take your pet in to the vet in order to have him examined. The dosage of steroids may need to be adjusted, or he may require another treatment method to address his issue.