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Dog losing weight and muscle quickly Dg, starting steroid treatment.

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Chrisruptor, Nov 4, 2020.


  1. Chrisruptor

    Chrisruptor PetForums Newbie

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    My 13 year old staffy was prescribed a steroid treatment, "Prednidale" after I had him at the vets for an increasingly frequent and severe cough. A mass on his lung was found by the x-ray which they think is cancerous given his age, but can't be sure without testing (which carries risk in itself).
    One of the options I was given was to manage it palliatively via steroids which would keep him comfortable for as long as possible. I thought, naively perhaps, that this would give him up to another couple years with me.

    However within days of starting treatment I noticed his face looking more ghuant and bony. Over the past couple of weeks he's become noticeably thinner, and weaker (he can't jump onto my bed anymore) and his teeth chatter sometimes.

    The vet thinks it unlikely the steroids would have that much of an impact that quickly and it could be effects of cancer. But I don't understand how he could appear perfectly fine and healthy beforehand aside from the cough to noticeably deteriorating within days of starting treatment.

    I am feeling that given his age it would be unfair to put him through chemo and surgery. But I am feeling stressed seeing him deteriorate each day when it should be helping him.

    Has anyone had a similar experience with steroid treatment? Did you manage to stop the weight loss and regain some of the lost muscle? Would it be worth changing or supplementing his food? He's been on Autarky adult chicken dry food since I got him 6 years ago and he's been fine till now.

    I just want to do right by him, but I feel guilty watching him get weaker by the day.
     
  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to read what you and your dog (what's his name?) are going through.
    A friend's dog was given steroids for unconfirmed cancer, and it seemed to work well; she got a lot of her spark back. After about 6 months though, her owner came down one morning to find she had died in her bed during the night.
    It does sound as though your old boy is close to the end.
     
  3. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    My 13yr old GSD has been on a low does of Prednidale for several years now for arthritis (& other health issues). Whilst there has been a slight decrease in muscle mass (which might be due to the fact she is not as mobile anymore as well as the mediation) it has been a deterioration over the years rather than suddenly.

    It does sound as if it might be the cancer that is causing this, some forms are more aggressive than others. Speak to your vet about how best you can care for your dog. So sorry, it must be a horrible time for you :(
     
  4. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    As @Burrowzig .

    I would interpret chattering teeth as maybe a sign of pain.
     
  5. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    My dog Kite did too. They are so good at just carrying on; they adapt and hide that there's anything wrong. With internal cancers, it can be that the first symptom you notice is when the organs begin to fail. I too think that teeth chattering could be an indication of pain.
     
  6. Chrisruptor

    Chrisruptor PetForums Newbie

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    His name is Rusty. I was hoping for at least 6 months. I honestly never expected to have him deteriorate so soon. Part of me is hoping when the time comes it will be peacefully in his sleep, by my side.

    I am worried that the teeth chattering is indeed a sign of pain. He's so restless too. The vet is concerned about him losing weight so quickly so he's booked in for another check up on Friday. I just hope there is something they can do to slow this all down. It does seem like the pills have had the opposite effect, apart from helping the cough :(


    My instinct is telling me this is the case with Rusty too. It's painful to watch and feel so hopeless. Two weeks ago he was hopping up and down from my bed, sleeping under the covers as he always does. Now he won't even attempt to jump up and he would even rather sleep on the hallway carpet than the comfy dog bed beside mine. He was sick this morning too after breakfast. I'm hoping the vet will have answers and a way forward.
     
  7. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    If he's in pain or discomfort which the teeth chattering, restlessness and withdrawal (sleeping on the carpet) suggests, it won't be peaceful for him.
    You could try putting something beside your bed that he can hop onto. like a step, so he wouldn't have to try making the full jump, see what happens with that.
    However much it hurts us, the best we can do for our dogs is to end their pain, not let it drag on for them.
     
    Torin. and Cleo38 like this.
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