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Dr. Katie
Dr. Katie, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 52
Experience:  Dog Expert
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How to wean a dog off prednisone

Customer Question

My dog is a 9 year old black lab mix on 10mg of prednisone per day (since Jan. 3)for inflammation due to an ACL injury.

We have decided not to have the ACL surgery due to a lack of faith in our vet due to the following:

Our vet forgot that the dog was on steriods and when he did the pre-surgery work up, the results led him to believe that the dog had Cushing's disease. When he did the supresssion test (which I think was a waste of money,) he found that the dog was supressing fine and the numbers were a result of the oral prednisone that he had prescibed.

The vet stated that we need to keep the dog on steriods or his urine will "concentrate" resulting in a life-threatening situation.

My question is: How do we safely wean him off the steroids?

Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Tammy F. replied 12 years ago.

 It is true that steroids should not be stopped abruptly.  You should check with your vet for a "step down" procedure so that you can wean the dog off them slowly.  Stopping them quickly can be dangerous.

As for the ACL surgery and the test results, even vets are human.  I know that we expect them to be infallable but it does happen.  They, and their office staff, do make mistakes.

If you are uncomfortable with your vet doing the ACL procedure, you can look around for another vet but you should not postpone the surgery solely for this reason.

Cranial cruciate injuries are painful and even if the dog may not be showing signs of pain now, chances are that he will in the future. 

If you CAN manage it medically rather than surgically, that's great but please don't rule out the surgery just because your vet made a mistake.

Let me know if you have more questions. 

Customer: replied 12 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: Unfortunately, it took so long for my Paypal deposit to clear that your answer was no longer timely.
Expert:  Dr. Katie replied 12 years ago.
Hi There,,
To answer your question about weaning the dog off prednisone..................Give 1 tablet every other day for three days: then, 1/2 tablet a day every other day for three days, then a half tablet every third day for six days and you can stop after the six days.
I know it's 'late' for you, but that answers your question..........
Good Luck,
Dr. Katie