dog medicationThe following side effects and adverse reactions are the most common for dogs who are prescribed antibiotics, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

Holistic vets feel that all three of these drugs are being over prescribed by most traditional veterinarians.

It’s important to understand that holistic health involves treating the body as a whole which is vital to it’s complete recovery.  This is the difference between a holistic veterinarian and a conventional veterinarian.  Holistic vets treat the whole body, where conventional vets only treat symptoms.  This is why most pet owners find themselves back at the vet for the same reason over and over again.

The Most Common Side Effects of Antibiotics, Corticosteroids and NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory meds) in Dogs:

Antibiotics- Side Effects
Watch for any of these symptoms when your dog is on antibiotics:

  1. Bacterial resistance
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Dry eyes
  4. Allergic reaction
  5. Fever
  6. Anemias and platelet issues
  7. Joint inflammation
  8. Yeast infections – See my article
  9. Vomiting

Corticosteroids Side Effects
Watch your dog if any of these symptoms appear while he is taking any type of steroidal drug.  See how Dr. Becker feels about the over use of steroids in pets:

  1. Increase in cartilage destruction
  2. Pancreatitis
  3. Obesity
  4. Abnormal results in lab work
  5. Cushings Disease
  6. Addision’s Disease
  7. Hyperactivity
  8. Diabetes
  9. Osteoporosis
  10. Lethargy
  11. Increase in water consumption
  12. Increase in urination
  13. Appetite increase
  14. More infections

NSAIDS – Side Effects
Keep an eye out for any of these side effects. Many years ago before I new better, the conventional vet placed my Doberman “Gretchen” on Etogesic for hip dysplasia and the dosage was way too high. My girl developed liver problems a couple of months later. She literally could not hold her stool and went into liver failure.

Watch your dog if any of these symptoms appear while he is taking any type of steroidal drug:

  1. Liver disease – change in stool
  2. Kidney disease
  3. Gastrointestinal ulcers
  4. Destruction in cartilage

Don’t Assume That Your Vet Really Cares About Your Pet’s Well Being

I know, the above statements sounds harsh, but nonetheless, it’s true.  Although you have your pet’s best interest in mind when you take your dog to the vet; many veterinarians don’t!  Traditional veterinarians are pushing the use of steroids, vaccinations and antibiotics on our pets. Why?  Because they make the bulk of their money with it.

As a pet owner, you MUST educate yourself.  You owe it to your fur baby!  I’m not saying that all traditional vets think this way.  One of my favorite vets was a traditional vet, but she also educated herself about food and supplements and never took advantage of pet owners who did not know better. She was the only traditional vet that I ever met that was like that.  A “diamond in the rough”.  After she retired, I switched to using holistic veterinarians and never looked back.

I highly recommend learning more about treating your dog as a whole through holistic veterinary care and not just treating symptoms with conventional medicine. Discover how conventional veterinarians are also over vaccinating our petshere and the health consequences our dogs and cats are facing because of it.

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Showing 15 comments
  • Sandra Bradshaw

    You truly should cover MDR1. My collie could have becomes severely ill, or worse, died, as my USA vet knew nothing of the defect – am here in Switzerland and fortunately she had Laddie tested for the defect and he came back double positive.

    • admin

      Hi Sandra:
      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. You know I’ve discussed in the past on my website, but it’s probably a good idea to add the Ivermectin issue to this posting about meds and symptoms. Thanks again for sharing and I will definitely add and update a little later. ~Janie

    • admin

      Thanks Sandra and I’m looking forward to including the link in my post!

  • Sandra Bradshaw

    Hi Janie, actually it goes beyond Ivermectin. Here is a limited amt of info (am writing an article for my local paper): “The first test from the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Lab can determine whether a popular parasite-control product or other commonly used drugs are dangerous for a dog before a veterinarian or pet-owner uses them. Specifically, they test for the MDR1 gene for multidrug sensitivity in herding breeds.

    Some of the breeds most commonly affected by this mutation and these drugs include the Australian Shepherd, Collie, Long-Haired Whippet and Silken Windhound. Dogs with this condition can become critically ill or die from the use of common parasite-control products, antibiotics, sedatives and pain medications.

    The second test is from the College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Lab and tests for genetic heart mutations in Doberman, Boxer dogs and Maine Coon and Ragdoll cats. They test Dobermans for Dilated Cardiomyopathy Mutation (DCM), Boxers for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cadiomyopathy Mutation (ARVC) and Maine Coon and Ragdoll cats for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

    Knowing whether your pet has the mutation can help you take steps to mitigate the condition or be aware of the age of onset and know what to expect and do. ”

    “Many different drugs and drug classes have been reported to cause problems in Collies and other herding breed dogs that carry the MDR1 mutation. We and other researchers have documented the toxicity that occurs with several of these drugs.” -College of Veterinary Medicine
    Washington State University

  • admin

    Hi Sandra:
    Thanks so much for sharing this information as well as your expertise in this area. I’m positive that this will benefit other visitors out there. I’m going to add a paragraph or two on my post and forward the reader to your comments here.

    It’s people like yourself that take the time to share this kind of information that are making a real difference in how the average pet owner cares for their pet. 😮

  • admin

    If you have a link to the article you are writing for your local paper, I would love to link to it from this post. That is if the article will be online as well. Please let me know and we can share your article through my blog. 😮

  • Sandra

    Sure will Janie . Hope to have it out within a few weeks and will send the link. Am contacting as many local vets as I can back in Traverse City area, northern MI USA, the four I contacted today were not yet aware of the MDR1.

  • Joanne

    Thank you so much for sharing the valuable information. The more people post info such as this, the more people will realize these problems exist.

    • admin

      Hi Joanne:
      You’re very welcome and “thank you” for noticing AND for your very nice comment. ~Janie 😮

  • Sandra

    If there are any pet owners out there with experience in MDR1 and would like to share their info for Joanne on the web site, and then with Janie’s permission, allow me to interview you via phone or e-mail from here in Switzerland, please respond! Some dogs have died due to this defect, others quite ill and those stories need to be told to pet owners all across the US. So many vets and other pet caretakers are unaware of this. Please help us!

    And if anyone wants a list of meds that are in question, I shall gladly send (and they will be in my first article in the Grand Traverse Insider, Traverse City, MI). I am looking for some pet magazine editors too! Danke Schoen!

    • Igrainne Davis

      My dog is currently being treated for skin bacteria infection with prednisone 5 mg (steroid) & cefpodoxine proxetil 100 mg antibiotic.

      I have always been skeptical of over medicating & vaccinating. I had many animals growing up & they never had to have what my vet says is absolutely necessary. Please send me information.

      Since her trip to the vet (where they took a heart worm blood test & another that I can’t remember at the moment) she has had terrible gas & as soon a she walked in the house had a very big bad #2 accident. This is obviously from the medications.

      I took her because she was scratching so much and benadryl wasn’t even taking the edge off anymore. Please help, no more room.


    Hello Sandra,

    My boyfriend’s dog is 12 years old and a full bread beagle. He has never had any problems/illnesses, etc.. And has gone to the vet on occasion for regular check up. Nothing more.

    Scoobs had a growth under his tail that he lived with just fine. It did become irritated and ultimately had it removed(it was not a dangerous growth- no bad results came back after tests) This happened just a few months ago. He was in a bandage and e-collar for a few weeks. He took antibiotics, etc. He seemed fine. Then went in for follow up; he then had a ear infection; then went back left him in vet for 5 hours; the next day or so he developed kennel cough; now he has uveitis(and eye infection). He has been on ear medicine, predilsone(sp), and now they have added another eye drop and more meds. Now he is taking another generic antibiotic and one for parasitic infection…. He is getting worse. He got a urin test- showing high proteins and blood. Then the blood test showed nothing wrong.

    To make a really long story longer; I feel like he has all these problems because he spent time in the vet with other sick animals. The vet is preparing us for cancer- Wants to do an ultrasound. I just feel like he has gone from A to B so quickly and only after all this “care”.

    What are your thoughts? I mean i am willing to be realistic as he is an older dog but I can’t help but wonder what scoobs would be like if he had never gone to the vet and taken all these meds.

    I mean I feel terrible after taking one allergy pill.

    Thanks so much for your time and response.


    • admin

      Hi Laurie:
      I’m sorry to hear about Scoobs – that’s terrible. I have a question – is Scoobs taking probiotics right now? He is currently on antibiotics, correct?


  • laurie

    Hey Janie,

    Thanks for the response. Scoobs is not taking probiotics at this time. He is take two types of antibiotics and has been taking two types of eye drops. He also just finished an ear drop treatment as well.

    This dog has never taken any medicine.

    He does have a sort of respiratory sounded thing now and he is hacking on occasion. He was doing this prior to taking the most recent antibiotics. but has developed this cough only after he went to the vet.

    Does this make sense?

    ultimately I feel like he caught kennel cough from some other dog at the vet and now it has progressed into other stuff becuase he is an older dog. Or this side effects from meds.

    Anyway, any and all expert advice/opinion is welcomed. :)


  • admin

    Hi Laurie:

    Steroids such as Prednisolone quickly weaken the immune system especially in an elderly dog which I’m sure is what happened to Scoobs. Then when you add antibiotics to the picture, they strip the body of necessary, healthy bacteria. There’s good bacteria in which the body needs (flora) and bad bacteria (fungus, yeast, etc.).

    Prednisolone should never be used (at least for humans and I’m sure it’s the same for dogs) when any type of fungal infection is present ANYWHERE in the body. I don’t know whether or not Scoobs had a fungal infection anywhere, but if he did the use of prednisolone was a bad idea.

    Laurie, I think it’s critical that you start Scoobs on a good probiotic to build up his strength and replace good bacteria within his system. This is critical to recovery. Remember something for the future; anytime your dog is ever placed on antibiotics – you must follow up by including probiotics. The best thing to do is to give your dog probiotics daily. This way the dog is covered at all times and they are believed to increase longevity in both people and pets. Probiotics help to ward off infection and keep the flora within the gut at a healthy state. Probiotics help to fight off disease, keep the intestines healthy and absorb food correctly. Here is a link to one of my favorite probiotics for pets. It is a high quality, human grade:

    High protein amounts in the urine could indicate renal issues as well (kidney disease).

    In the event (I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s not) that cancer is found, let me know ok. Let me know if you have any further concerns.


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