Do Dogs Get “Roid Rage” ?

Steroids are used in veterinary medicine quite often. The physical side effects are well known and well documented. In people and rats, there are psychological and behavioral side effects ranging from anxiety and depression to an increase in aggression. This is due to the complex effects of steroids on the brain that involve multiple neurotransmitters.

Do dogs have psychological changes as a result of receiving steroids? A recent preliminary study suggests that the answer is yes.

The study that was done with respect to steroids and behavior changes in dogs was a small preliminary study that will serve as a base for more thorough and in-depth studies that are needed to really answer this question. In this preliminary study, 33% of dogs showed behavioral changes. The changes that the owners reported are as follows:

  • nervousness/restlessness
  • an increase in the startle response
  • food guarding
  • decrease in activity level
  • increase in avoidance responses
  • irritable aggression
  • increase in barking

If your dog has shown any behavioral changes while on steroids, please let us ( and everyone else reading this blog) know by posting a comment.

Emily D. Levine DVM

Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Animal Emergency & Referral Associates

Fairfield NJ 07068

Published in: on February 7, 2012 at 11:28 am  Comments (76)  

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  1. Our rescue bulldog was on Temaril P (which contains a small amount of pred) for severe allergies. We had to take him off due to aggression.

  2. Prednisone is a costicortroid which, I believe, usually used for inflammation and immune problems.

    Anabolic steroids are what I usually hear associated with the side effects listed in the post.

    Can these side effects also manifest from talking corticosteroids?


  3. Yes.

  4. Our 12 yr old dog is showing signs of severe aggression towards our other dogs since being on Temaril P for allergies. I have no choice but to take her off the medicine for her safety and that of our other dogs as well. They so much as walk past her and she goes into a rage that seems uncontrollable. She has not showns any behavior such as this previously. Thank you for this blog!!!

  5. Oh yes. My Siberian Husky, Mollie, has been on 20mg Prednisone daily for the last couple weeks due to a spinal injury. Physically, she seems back to normal, but she’s been hostile and aggressive and very territorial the last several days. All I can think of to explain the changes in my sweet dog are the steroids.

  6. My Silky Australian Terrier is under Temaril-P. First he had 0.5 twice a day then 0.5 once a day for 5 days and now he is on 0.5 every other day. Yesterday he was very aggressive and was the first time that he actually tried to bite me that is the one closer to him.

  7. My 8 year old Yorkie was given Dexamethosone for severe skin allergies. It worked really well on helping his allergies, but it made him highly aggressive towards the other dog in our home. We weened him off of the pills and no more “roid rage.”

  8. Our 3 year old, 85lb rescue pit has been on Temaril P for 5 days due to allergies. Prior to taking the medication, she was an usually sweet and tolerant dog. on the medication, she has become extremely demanding, and mildly aggressive when she does not get her way. She’s taken up new hobbies including confrontational barking and destructive chewing. Looking forward to tapering her off the drug, to say the least.

  9. Our American Bulldog started prednisone 4 days ago and has since attacked both of my other dogs viciously, causing both dogs injuries. This dog has never done anything like this before she is the most laid back dog I have ever seen. Will be discontinuing steroids today.

  10. Our 16 month old English Bull Terrier is on a short course of steroids for skin allergies and I cannot wait until he has finished them!! He has been barking constantly at nothing, has become fearful of other dogs and some people and is being even more stubborn (other bullie owners will know what I mean!) than usual, he doesn’t want to go for walks and will pull back in the opposite direction. I had read about side effects but I will definitely cut him some more slack whilst he’s on these tablets!

  11. My sweet little terrier is usually calm, passive and a lap dog. 6 hours after I administered the drug, she was very aggressive with her toys. By the next day, she was restless, startled easily, pushing me away from her, tracking animals outside, mounting everything in sight, and barking 10 times more than usual. A few hours after I cut her dose, she started to get back to normal. It is sad, because this drug does work wonders with allergies. It needs to be tweaked for aggression however, and behavioral changes should be made more explicit in the warnings.

  12. I have a 22 month Rottweiler who has been on a short course of Pred. 20mg for a severe allergic reaction to a popular flea and tick treatment… he already takes “doggy” Prozac as he has an anxiety disorder but he has become really aggressive towards my other 2 dogs, we are weaning him off the Pred. in the hope that he returns to his normal love bug self. Sooner rather than later!!!

  13. We are fostering. Foster doggie, who we’ve had for more than 6 months, went on pred. About day 5, foster doggie and our dog became intolerant of one another. Vet ” assured me” that this aggression isn’t from the med. regardless, we are tapering her off. But I believe this is space issue aggression brought on by pred. Am hopeful that this reverses, but worried about the impact on our dog – and whether they will be able to get along again.

  14. My pug is on 30mg the last two weeks and is becoming aggressive

  15. Once our dog is weaned off of prednisone, will he return to his normal self? He is viscous! It’s scary.

    • IF the aggression is completely due to the prednisone, his behavior should go back to normal once he is off prednisone.

  16. My 8 yrs old Pitbull was on 3 ml a day for Addison’s disease caused by treatment for Cushings disease. My vet increased her to 5 ml a day. She has always had a sweet disposition. Now she’s very agressive! This is long term therapy and I’m concerned she will always be this way!

  17. My 3 1/2 yr old flatcoated retriever – normally a big mush, just attacked me – teeth bared and all, for the second time in 6 days since starting prednisone – guarding his food (actually, my food… 1/4 of my ham and cheese calzone, snatched when I turned my back for a second). 3 days till tapering done. Counting the minutes. Never again.

  18. our 17 month old great dane pup, was started on pred 20-25mgs daily then alt days for enviormental allergies, we have notice dramatic behaviour changes, jumping at children, strangers and going for other dogs. this has been to the point that i walk him on a muzzle as i dont trust him, we have 4 cats and another older dane. he has no problems with them but he is scared of everything!! fortunately there is no food guarding. I have stopped his pred this week and waiting to see how/if he changes.

  19. My 10 year old Border Collie mix has gastric lymphoma and two months ago 20 mg of Prednisone was added to his chemotherapy because he kept losing weight .This weekend I was petting him and he attacked me without warning biting both of my hands. Several hours later he attacked my husband as well. This dog has never shown any type of aggression before – always has been very sweet. I talked to his oncologist and we are decreasing his Prednisone dose by 5 mg each week. It is a shame because the Prednisone really helped his appetite but we cannot deal with this extremely aggressive behavior.

    • How long after the last dose of prednisone did your dog return to the usual behavior?

  20. I have a 7 year old APBT. He’s always been iffy with other dogs…some he’s okay with, most he isn’t. He was on prednisone for ehrlichiosis and I believe he’s been more aggressive. He has attacked our puppy (we’ve had her since October, he started pred in November) and has snarled and snapped at me as well. I have stopped giving it to him as of last Thursday, but he is still showing aggression at times.

  21. I am fostering a GSP who has been on Prednisone for 5 months due to an autoimmune disease. He lunges at small dogs to the point I can no longer take him to the dog park, he barks at the slightest noise at night, this morning he barked and growled at me when I moved suddenly while he was sleeping, he has lost a lot of weight even though he is fed 3 – 4 times a day. His dosage is 4o mg. a day, I am trying to reduce the dosage gradually- I am not a fan of this drug unfortunately its side effects are almost as bad as the disease.

  22. My dog has been on steroids for one week for ibs. She is exhibiting all of the above except increased barking.

  23. My 8 month old border/lakeland terrier has got into 3 fights this week while out walking in various parks. This morning with a dog she knows and loves and usually plays happily with. She has never been like this before and the only change in her life is that she has been taking Prednisone for 5 days

  24. My 11 month old English bulldog is viscous to his Sister/BFF Bulldog every since starting Prednisone for Masticatory muscle myositis (MMM). He was started at a really high immune suppressant dosage 20mg twice a day, after 3 weeks and several fights he is now on a decreased dosage of 20 mg in the morning and 10 mg in the evening. We did see an improvement when we first started the lower dosage but now he is attacking her again for no reason and after they fight he will search for her to continue. I go next week for a follow-up and hopefully another dosage decrease. I hope his MMM symptoms do not return so once he is weaned we never have to go through this again. We have 4 English Bulldogs all sibling and they are all the loveliest snugly babies but he isn’t when he is on this medication, he doesn’t even give kisses, doesn’t snuggle at all and does not play with the others, I hate what this medication is doing to him and I hope my baby is back to himself once he is off of it.

    • The Internal Medicine Vet decreased his dosage to 20 mg just in the morning, we started that this morning. Hopefully in a few days we will see some change. He goes for a follow-up to our regular vet on Monday, I think they are going to do some blood work to see if he has any other issues from the Prednisone.

  25. One of our dogs has been on Temaril-P twice for a rash on her belly. Both times, she started getting aggressive towards one of the other dogs and we had to physically separate them. She also was getting really “hyper” with people outside, barking aggressively. A few days after we had stopped the steroids the first time, she was fine. She left the other dog alone and was sweet and playful as she normally is. When she went back on the Temaril again, the aggression started again. She seems to get suddenly lethargic, too, for short periods, her bowel movements have been difficult, and she’s urinating more.

  26. My dog is on prednisone for allergies and she is showing most of those side effects actually. She never used to bark, never had problems with her food and most of all never has been aggressive. She is such a sweetheart too. She also is really stubborn with listening to me. So I guess dogs really can have roid rage.

  27. I have a great pyrenees, he just turned 3 and has been taking Temaril for a couple of weeks. He is a super sweet boy and has never shown any signs of aggression towards humans, in fact quite the opposite -he wants to meet everyone we pass on our walks, he is very friendly, outgoing, confident and gentle, loves children. He has shown some aggression towards other dogs in the past, particularly around food, aka resource guarding, but never ever towards a person. In the past week he has bitten 2 people and was taken from me by animal control. Words cannot express how devastated I am. My heart is so broken. His change in behavior and disposition was so acute and extreme, I can only think it has something to do with the Temaril. At this point I am fighting for his life, They are doing an investigation into both bites and if he is deemed to be a dangerous dog, he will be euthanized by the city (I live in Seattle). I have a wonderful, very kind vet. I asked him about the possibility of the Temaril causing the aggression, or some sort of mental imbalance- and he said that he has never heard of a case where Temrail would cause behavior like this. My dog was on a very low dose, (he is 110 lbs and was dosed for 40-50lb dog) He said that he is not saying its impossiblem but that it is statistically unheard of.

    Has anyone here ever experience this type of extreme change in their dog(s) after taking temraril??
    Thank you.

  28. I have a 13 month old Blue Heeler mix. I have had him since he was 4 weeks old. He began taking prednisone one week ago for an ear infection. He has become insane about human food – that we are eating. Trying to get to our plates, jumping up to the kitchen counters, etc. He does not eat human food. I free feed him so he always has dog food in his bowl. He had a rawhide bone earlier and had bitten off a small piece that could have been a choking hazard so I reached for it. This is not a new thing, I do this frequently. His reaction sent me reeling. He has never growled before but today he did and it has me very scared. Called the vet and he is tapering off the med immediately. Thankfully his ear is much better and the infection seems to be resolved.

  29. Reblogged this on Shiloh and Company and commented:
    Our Shiloh is on a low dose of Prednisone, and has had some behaviorial changes lately. Namely, she gets horribly startled if you touch her while she’s sleeping, and will respond by growling and even snapping. This is SO not her usual personality, so I’m really glad her dose has been going lower and lower over time. Hopefully it’s now safe to just take her off. I will be discussing this with the vet soon. Have any of you had these issues with Prednisone in your dogs?

  30. So much yes! Shiloh is now on a very low dose of Prednisone due to what we were pretty sure is/was IBD (A biopsy was done) and if she’s asleep, she gets VERY startled if you touch her, and just this evening, she responded to that by first waking up suddenly and looking horribly startled, then growling. She kept growling for several seconds, even after she was awake and could see that it was only me. Then, I lightly touched her foot a bit later (as a test) and she growled, and snapped at me.

    This is certainly NOT her usual mood or behavior, and I hope we can just take her off these medications now that her IBD is well under control, and her dose of Prednisone has been slowly and safely decreased. Thank you for posting this topic, and to all of you who shared! You’ve given me some comfort. I was afraid something else could be wrong even though she just had a full physical and was given a clean bill of health with her doctor.

    She goes in for her B12 shot again soon, so I will definitely be discussing this.

  31. My 11 year old sweet, docile lovable Molly was diagnosed with Lymphoma last week. Today was her 4th day on Prednisone and her lymph nodes (in the neck) went from golf ball size to pea size. More astonishing….. She went totally blind two weeks ago and yesterday her sight came back! We were so happy.

    This morning, while my wife prepared breakfast for our three dogs ( a 7 year old Golden Retriever and an 8 year old Pomchi) and everything was normal.. Charlie, the other Golden was happy, Buddy, the Pomchi, was yapping in happiness and Molly was barking like normal. Mind you, Molly gas Never bitten anyone or another dog nor, has she shown a drop of aggression in 11 years. Without warning…..she attacked Buddy with alarming violence, pinning him down and biting him all over. It appeared as if she was trying to kill Buddy! My wife tried to grab Buddy and was butted in both hands. I am 6 ft 4……280 and I struggled to get Molly off of Buddy. It was a scary nightmare.

    Buddy is limping and has pain on his face and back. Molly seems to be normal but we are all afraid that the awesome physical affects of the medication have been darkened by the fear of another aggressive attack. We have been devastated at the reality of losing Molly and now….. We have this to worry about.

    We must continue the prednisone in light of it’s positive effects. But ……we pray this won’t happen again.

    • We had our dog on large doses of pred when he had lymphoma. Hunger takes over and they will want to eat anything. (Anything!!!). Molly was probably being protective of the food. Try keeping food away. (We did have a mellow foster doggie that went totally aggressive on pred. That had nothing to do with food. So I guess you might not know right away). Good luck

  32. My 4 year old lab is currently being treated with prednisone for severe allergies. He has been on it for 4 weeks. He normally loves everyone and has never snapped or growled at anyone. Today my daughter had a friend over and her growls and snaps if she touches him even if I am holding on to him. Never ever has he acted this way. Wondering if it’s the pred…

  33. My 9 month old Bernese mountain dog who is on steriods to treat menningitis has become very irratable and attacks our other puppy at least twice a day. Previously she was shy and sweet and I would never think in a million years she would act so aggressively. She also freaks out when I leave and come home, it is absolute torture .

  34. My dog has been taking prednisone for 2 weeks and he is unbearable! He is irritable, he ha been shredding everything he can get his paws on. He does not listen to anything we say to him!! I can’t wait for him to stop taking this medicine! Please if anyone has had their dog on prednisone and had similar side effects please let me know! I hope that he will return to his super well behaved self once he stops taking his meds 😦

  35. Our 3 year old pitbull has been taking prednisone for 2 weeks for heart worm disease and he has been awful! He has been chewing and ripping up anything he can get his paws on and ignoring everything we say to him. He is so hungry all the time and excessively thirsty. I expected the thirst and hunger but the behavioral problems are just unbearable! We have two more weeks left tapering but I’m thinking about asking the vet if one week is long enough. He just isn’t himself. I am hoping that once he is off the pred he will return to his very well behaved self. Please if anyone has any advice for me let me know!!

  36. Contrary to every other post on here my 4 year old border terrier who was unpredictably aggressive with other dogs became less so. (I thought my training was working at last.) He was also much more restless, had less energy when out walking. He was actually a more pleasant dog to walk, but he was constantly hungry and restless at home, never seeming to relax totally. He’s on a half dose now and his aggression has come back. It’s a shame really.

  37. Glad I found this sight, despite bordetella shots my 1 year and 6 month old pup got kennel cough at doggie day care. They started temaril p and within 2 days it was like we had 2 different dogs, radical behavior changes from terrible fights were my youngest turned and started attacking me. My older 1 year old staring off in space and not responding, jumping at noises, not wanting to sleep on the bed (shocking) and both were ravenous. They really should amend know side effects for this drug, We stopped the dug and hopefully no long lasting damage was done to what has otherwise been the biggest doggy bromance I have ever seen.

  38. I have two pitty’s (boy and girl) under the age of 3. Both with really bad allergies. The vet gave them prednisone and they went from snuggling by the fireplace to trying to kill eachother. I taking them both off. But they are so miserable with allergies. There has to be some other option. This is so dangerous for dogs big and small;(

  39. My APBT has horrendous allergies. Most of the time we can manage with Benedryl but sometimes, he needs a short round of antibiotics & steroids to give his immune system a kick. I HATE the steroids. He goes from possibly 1 of THE best behaved dogs in the world to a little heathen. The most obnoxious & notable effects are:
    -NAUGHTINESS! He gets restless & b/c of it, starts getting into trash, eating undies, jumping up & stealing paper towels & other paper products to shred & just generally acts badly, which is completely uncharacteristic of him.
    -Increased hunger & thirst. He gets desperately hungry & I can’t feed him enough to satisfy his hunger (he also does NOT gain weight though, I wonder if the steroids kick his metabolism into high gear?).
    -Increased food guarding/food aggression.
    -Short-tempered with the other animals
    -He also gets more clingy, following me everywhere, even more so than usual. I think he feels funny & hopes that I can help him feel better…I wish I could.
    Thankfully, the bouts with steroids are few & short but I dread having to go there, poor guy 😦

  40. Rosie, my 5-year-old rescued Australian Cattle Dog, has been on prednisone for a little over a week now. And boy is she grumpy! She’s always been kind of a food hoarder, but now she seems to be hoarding it from HERSELF. Barking and growling are becoming a regular occurrence during meal time (even with no other dogs around). She’s also become quite vocal in general… Barking and growling and making her weirdo gremlin noises constantly. I’m still so thankful that the prednisone is helping her, though! I just wish we weren’t getting up 4 times each night to go potty… 🙂

  41. My dog has been on Prednisone since December 20th for an ear infection. Since he started we have seen increases water drinking, hunger and altered behavior. Christmas day at my inlaws there were 3 different occasions where he snapped, 2 were over human food. I’ve never been so freaked, because he does not act like that. He has been more irritable with our other dog and tonight just snarled at me when he was laying by the fridge and I went to get something out of it. We have reduced his meds this week and it is our last week. I would never use this medicine again.

    • Did your dog return to normal behavior pretty quickly after you took him off the prednisone?

      • Fortunately, she went back to normal within a day or two of stopping the prednisone. I’ll never give that to her again!

  42. I just found your blog while searching for prednisone-related behavior changes. Our yellow lab was just put on a short course to deal with an anal gland infection. When I went to kiss her this morning she growled at me – something she has never, ever done. I suspect it is the prednisone, but she’ll be off of it in a few days, so hopefully her grumpiness will go away as well.

  43. My 10.5 year old Golden was put on 20mg Prednisone yesterday for a skin infection on her tummy. A few hours after her first (and LAST!) pill, she started behaving very strangely. She would whine and roam around aimlessly and stop and stare at the wall. Her legs were shaky and she was scared to step from the hardwood onto the carpet. It was so weird, I freaked out and called a 24 hour vet for help. She told me these were side effects of the Prednisone, so we will not be continuing with the doses. Her regular vet claims these aren’t side effects that she’s ever heard of, but 24 hours after the pill, she is seeming much more like herself (thank goodness!) Won’t be using Prednisone again unless it’s 100% necessary; just too scary!

  44. My two year old whippet girl is on 30mg pred for meningitis and is not coping well with it. She is either very excitable or very depressed and does not want to go out walking. She turns her nose up at dog food and will only eat chicken. The wierdest change is that she keeps jumping on my back and is actually trying to hump me. I don’t understand this as she has been spayed. I hope she responds soon so we can gradually wean her off this medication.

  45. My normally docile happy laid back dog is on 20 Mg prednisone for a skin allergy. OMG! It has changed him sloop much. He is very antsy, anxious and ireitable. Showing signs of aggression and being unmanageable! I will never use it again. He constantly pants and is breathing rapidly, even when he sleeps, Wichita is not fog too lo g at a time. Henlooks to me for help with wide open wild eyes and I nearly cry. He is being weened off them but I can hardly wait! He has not even been on It a week! Not happy at all!!!!!

  46. Thank you! My ancient poodle is on short term pred for a URI.She is a lot better but experiencing major restless and nervousness.She only has a few more days, so I will ride it out because she was so sick .hopefully then she will be back to her usual mellow, sweet self…THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE……..Jean

  47. When I called the vets office to ask about these behavioral changes, the tech said it was not the pred..Fortunately, I knew better (this happens in people) How. Can we get this info out there? ALso, it really helps to give many very small meals a day, it satisfies they don’t get sick from to much at the same time………..Jea

    • People use facebook more these days than read blogs. When I have time in the next week I’ll repost that post on my fetchthefacts facebook page and you can share with your social network and share the link with any professional pet people ( vets vet techs etc….)

  48. My dog has started acting very aggressive after taking this medication. He keeps going into frenzies & starts coming at me trying to bite. He seems very anxious & annoyed. The vet says it is a very rare reaction, but sounds like a lot of other people have experienced the same situation. I’m not going to give him anymore of this medication. He is already very head strong & this is just making things worse.

  49. I believe my German Shepard has irritable aggression from Prednisone. I’m extremely upset with the vets who prescribed it because I asked! I specifically asked! They said no. Well, last week he and my dachshund had an issue. Normally, if my dachshund growled, the Shepard bit him in the start of a fight. I was right there, jumped up and grabbed the sheppard by the collar a d pushed him away and made him fo lay down on the other side of the house. He stayed! Dachshund had to go to the vet. Now he’s traumatized and on antibiotics. Two days later, my Chihuahua growled… normally the sheppard doesn’t pay any attention to the Chihuahua. He snapped at her. I had him tied to my waste because of the previous issue. He’s been on prednisone for over 3 weeks and I noticed a change after a week or two. So I started slowly lowering hisdose to ween him off. Then last night, he went back to the house he was raised in (he was back and forth between houses as he grew up, so living with me isn’t new!). I PRAY his disposition returns to normal after they’re out of his system. But why did the vet say no! I have 3 small dogs and 3 kids. I’m strong enough to handle him. But he listens to commands from anyone in our house. But if there was any possibility I should have been warned. He’s bite is over 200 lbs and can break bones. In pain or irritated, any dog wil bite. But they assured me it would be fine. Please if anyone knows of a similar issue… will they’re behavior return to normal in a few weeks? If not, I’ve got a big issue on hand. I don’t know if I can ever trust him again. And its not something you want to “test”.

  50. My English Bulldog, 16 mos old, has been on high doses of prednisone for the past 7 days. She started at 80mg/day and is down to 40. Her behavior has changed dramatically. Her eyes are hard. She is aggressive towards our other dogs and very obsessive over food. The vet is having me taper her off over the next week. But I am concerned these behaviors will become a new “habit.” Every time I give her a pill I feel as if I am poisoning her. And I don’t like this new dog. I am tapering her dose down faster than a week. I want her off now.

    How long will it stay in her system?

    Kathy Reilly

    • Kathy, our lab returned to her sweet self within days of getting off the prednisone. I hope the same happens with your dog!

  51. My dog is on prednisone awhile getting treated for heartworm and he has been guarding his food, bones, and crate very badly.

  52. I have a 1 year old goldendoodle. She is very hyper and loves to play with other dogs including her brother. She has had a bad skin allergy and was put on steroids and antibiotic. I have notice her being lazy and not wanting anything to do with anyone. She has been showing aggression with her brother. He will get close and she will growl/bark at him as a warning. Also, when she is eating her food and her brother walks up she does the growl/bark and won’t let him eat out of his bowl. To be honest I am so ready for her to be done with this medicine and get my sweet fun little girl back!!!!

  53. Thor,8 y/o, border collie mix, has chronic hepatitis and we have to use prednisone off and on for high liver enzymes. He is ravenous and takes food off of the table and whines while we eat. He also is fearful and will only go outside to go to the bathroom. He usually loves to go on long walks but he refuses to leave the house. He has always slept in a room on “his” couch but he has to sleep in our bedroom now either on the rug near my bed or on the futon. He rarely leaves my side when I am home. 20 mg of prednisone. He weighed 90 pounds but has gained 10 pounds on prednisone. We are hoping to find a level of prednisone that keeps the liver enzymes down and also allows him to be his “usual” personality. He isn’t aggressive or biting, just very fearful. Poor boy.

  54. My 8 year old dog has never had an issue with other dogs. He loves playing with small dogs, kids, cats and not had one issue.
    He has been on prednisone for 2 weeks and while at the park snapped and attacked a small dog. It took my husband 5 minutes to get him to let go. It is so upsetting to us and thankfully the dog made it and is recovering. I think more studies need to look at the side effects and the dog parents better Informed so they can prevent this during treatment better

  55. My 13 month old Border Collie mix, 25 pounds, was having a bad skin rash and chewing to the point of bleeding. Went to the vet and got proscribed Prednisone 7.5 Mg 2x a day. He used to be the sweetest loving little guy, now he is moping about the house, chewing his bone like he is his 155 pound malamute brother he has and wont even come when called. This stuff is poison and I am taking him off of it immaterially. We will find something else to help.

  56. My dog has been on prednisone for about a month. Eats everything in sight. Gets into the garbage under the sink and is getting more aggressive. When outside for potty break he is hyper vigilant and tough to get on with his business. Vet wants him on prednisone long term. No can do!

  57. We recently (2 weeks ago) got a rescue pup from down south – 3 y/o plott hound mix. He came from a foster home with kids, other dogs, and always playful with no history of aggression. Shortly before he was transported up here, he had some surgery to correct issues from unresolved ear infections, and has a history of skin allergies. He came to us recently being put on Zyrtec (40mg/day) and Prednisone which he had been on just long enough to start weaning off per vet’s orders. In the first 24-hours we had him, he had already attacked our resident dog while they were playing in the park – resulting in bite wounds to our existing pup, and a trip to the vet. We promptly ordered a muzzle for safety and it’s been a godsend, as while the new pup and old pup get along fine most of the time, you never know when something will just set him off and put him into attack-mode and we’re scrambling to separate a dog fight. It’s like we’ve been living in Michael Vick’s house for 2 weeks… Just today it dawned on me that Prednisone may be a culprit, and googling eventually landed me at this page. Luckily he only has a couple half-doses left, but we’re ending it a few days early in hopes that he can return to being the lovable, playful pup that we heard about! Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories, validating my concern, and giving us hope that he may be back to his normal self (that we haven’t even met yet) soon!

  58. I just looked this up due to the dramatic changes in my dogs behavior. Drastic meaning he actually lunged and my daughter while she told him to back away from the dinner table!!!! Then he proceeded to nip at my hand when I went to pet him. He has been on prednisone for a few days due to an ear infection. The vet NEVER once informed me that there could aggressive side affects.

  59. My Mexican hairless has been on prednisone for a couple weeks to try and control her skin, and she has been barking all of a sudden at nothing, at me, and growling and showing me her teeth. Previously she would bark as an alert but the aggression is new.

  60. Our dog had a depo shot for her itching. Them they have me 20mg of prednisone. She is now barking a lot, had to go out every half hour and chewing everything she can find…especially paper. She found a toilet paper roll and when I tries to tell her to drop it she growled at me. I went into the kit hen and came back into the living room and she chewed a paper advertisement that I had on an end table and chewed an instruction book my husband had on a coffee. She is never this bad

  61. My 2 year old Brittany was prescribed a brief dose of Vanectyl P to address severe itching. She has not acted aggressively, but she is spaced out and lethargic. Probably the weirdest side effect is that she is constantly trying to mount us; it almost seems obsessive. I wish I had been better informed before agreeing to give her this medication, as I think the itching is preferable to the strange behaviours. She is not our same, sweet girl on this drug. 😦

  62. I have a 9 year old boxer who has lymphoma – we are just treating with prednisone and no chemo. He is on 40 mg of Prednisone/day and is so restless in the evenings. Thankfully no aggression. Unfortunately we cannot quit giving him the Pred. because then the tumors will start growing. 😦 Hard way for him to spend his remaining weeks ..

  63. I have a year and a half old boxer boy who was put on steroids due to a severe allergic reaction to the Pro Heart injection. He initially got a steroid injection, but also went home on steroid tablets. On day one, he stated being food aggressive and cat aggressive. He has always chased the cat, but is now backing him into the corner and acting like he is going to bite him. He snapped at the puppy for getting a drink out of the water bowl when he has never done that before. I will be glad when the steroids are done. Ugh!!

  64. I hope I never have to put my dog on steroids again my little Shih-Tzu terrier mix is 11 years old and now has back trouble knee,and joint trouble basically .She pees,and I’ve taken her out 8 times a day.She is very nervous about every little sound she hears ,and her senses or just tripled. it’s very scary because I’m afraid her heart rate is so much faster like mine was when I was on it.I feel sometimes her heart is just going to jump out ,it’s scary.

  65. Omg!!! As an ER nurse… I try to come up with a cause for changes in my patients. Well it never dawned on me it could happen in dogs too until today. I have a litter of bully breed puppies that just turned 9 weeks old. They have been normal up until 48 hours ago. I noticed an allergic reaction in one of the puppies and brought him to the vet. He was given clavamox and prednisone. 20 hours ago the puppies got into a fight. And I have raised several litters as a rescue foster…. So I can tell the difference between play and aggression. It happened three times in the last 20 hours. The meds are the only difference so it HAS to be related to them. The others are playing and wrestling like normal puppies. He is separated for now.

  66. My 12 week old puppy received a steroid pill after her immunization shot yesterday evening and has been very aggressively playing all day today. Lots of biting and rough housing.

  67. My 5 yr old Maltese mix was diagnosed with meningitis over a month ago…. after being on predisone 2.5 mg per day he has become aggressive ( with dogs and people) and barks a lot more…. after reading the above,,, I have contacted my vet to advise… hopefully he will return to his normal personality after finishing the meds…

  68. We have a recently adopted golden-x who loves other dogs; in fact we adopted her because she was so depressed being an “only dog”. She was HW+ when she joined our family so after a month with us, she received her first round of immiticide injections followed by a 4 week protocol of prednisone. We noticed behavorial changes almost immediately; specifically: pacing, impatience, and aggression. She attacked our (much smaller) Pomeranian creating a substantial open wound on the back of his neck. I reported the incident to Lloyd, the makers of predisolone. They claim they have never received reports of aggressive behavior by dogs on pred: which i find odd since I read so many forum posts from people with similar experiences. Last week. Chloe had her second round of injections and began a new course of pred. The aggression, which had begun to subside, resurfaced immediately Today she attacked my Pomeranian again, reopening his nearly healed wound.

    We are horrified about the whole process! I have taken her off the prednisone but have been offered no alternative. My Pomeranian is scared to walk around the house and now I am considering the possibility of having to rehome my golden-x.

    I can only attribute Chloe’a behavior to “roid rage” and although she can’t control it, my other dogs are in danger.

    Please !!!! Anyone who notices ANY side effects in their pet to any prescription drug needs to report the incident to the drug company: they are required by law to them report that information to the FDA.


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