Back to "What to expect during the inflammation/swelling phase of a disc episode"
NSAIDs vs. steroids?
How long should a dog stay on medications to get the swelling down?
Why is Pepcid AC needed?
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Answers:

1. Steroids do not have the requirement of days to wash one steroid from the body before the start of another. Many vets choose to give a steroid shot and send home steroid pills.  The using of steroids <-->NSAIDs   or a different brands of  NSAID <-->NSAID without out a 4-7 day washout can contribute to potential for severe GI tract complications. Warnings accompany each medication with a package info insert. http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/ApprovedAnimalDrugProducts/DrugLabels/ucm050105.htm

2. Steroids are the most powerful of anti-inflammatories.  The non-steroid anti-inflammtory drugs (NSAIDS) are the lesser of anti-inflammatories.


3. When there are solely pain symptoms with a disc episode and no neuro diminishment, many vets often choose a NSAID.  Other vets choose to start with a steroid to avoid dealing with the washout issue should the NSAID end up not being enough to deal with inflammation.
        Mild episodes can have the possiblity to progress to a more severe case. Should neuro functions begin to diminish, then a vet has a very, very serious consideration to make. Usually a 4-7 day washout is ideal to avoid double GI tract jeopardy with a switch from the NSAID class to the steroid class. When nerve function is being lost, the spinal cord takes priority over a washout. With an emergency the GI tract is double protected with not only continued use of Pepcid AC, but the addition of sucralfate.

4. All anti-inflammatories whether they be from the steroid class or the NSAID class increase the chance of serious GI toxicity such as bleeding and ulceration  A stomach protector such as Pepcid AC (famotidine) reduces production of acids.  Pepcid AC is generally considered a safe-over-the-counter suppressor of stomach acid production for a healthy dog and good insurance. Dogs don't speak up at first signs of trouble like a person would. By the time we notice black or red blood in the stools, things can quickly go from bleeding ulcers to a life threatening perforated stomach.


Disclaimer:
This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the Dachshund community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice and all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.


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