Health & Wellness
Your pet may not be able to tell us exactly how they're feeling, but observant pet parents may notice changes in their behavior from new medication. In fact, two of the most commonly prescribed medicines for cats and dogs — antibiotics and steroids — both come with sometimes irritating side effects. The Dig teamed up with Fetch by The Dodo’s on-staff veterinarian Dr. Aliya McCullough to share what pet parents need to know about these common medications and their side effects.
Even the healthiest dog or cat has likely been on antibiotics once or twice. Antibiotics (which are typically covered by Fetch pet insurance) treat bacterial infections in the skin, respiratory tract, urinary tract, blood and more.
The most common side effects are:
However, each antibiotic produces different side effects. Before leaving the vet's office, ask them about potential side effects. That way, you'll know what to look out for in case an adverse reaction occurs.
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Steroids are another common medication for veterinary patients. Most often, vets turn to steroids for their anti-inflammatory properties. Steroids can be used to bring down swelling or treat acute or chronic pain, and they work wonders on itchy dogs and cats. These medications can also be used to suppress the immune system, easing the symptoms of allergies and autoimmune-related illnesses.
The effect steroids have on your pet depends on the size of the dose. A low dose of a steroid could help an itchy dog, but a much higher dose will probably be needed in a pet with an autoimmune condition. The dosage will also affect the level of side effects you see in your pet.
Side effects of steroids include:
It's important to monitor the side effects of any new medication to make sure it's not doing more harm than good. Always talk to your vet about potential side effects from medications before you go home, and keep a close eye on your pet, especially when you’re administering a new medication.
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