Possible behavioral effects of exogenous corticosteroids on dog behavior: a preliminary investigation

Notari, Lorella and Mills, Daniel (2011) Possible behavioral effects of exogenous corticosteroids on dog behavior: a preliminary investigation. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 6 (6). pp. 321-327. ISSN 1558-7878

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2011.02.004

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Glucocorticoids are widely used in veterinary medicine and their physical side effects are well-known; however, the effects on dog behavior linked to their role in the stress response and effects on mood have not been reported in previously published data. In this article, retrospective owner reports of the behavioral changes in dogs during corticosteroid therapy in a series of cases have been described so as to generate items for future use in a controlled structured questionnaire. The perceptions of behavioral changes in dogs during corticosteroid therapy were investigated through semi-structured open interviews of the owners of 31 dogs of different breeds, genders, and ages. All dogs had received corticosteroid therapies in the past 6 months. In all, 18 dogs had been administered methylprednisolone (dose range, 0.2-1 mg/kg), 8 were administered prednisolone (dose range, 0.2-1 mg/kg), and 5 were administered dexamethasone (dose range, 0.01-0.3). Methylprednisolone and prednisolone were used for dermatological conditions, and dexamethasone was used for orthopedic conditions. Owners were asked to describe their dog's behaviors both on and off corticosteroid therapy. Interviews were ceased when answers became repetitive with no new reported behavioral change (interview to redundancy). In all, 11 owners reported behavioral changes in their dogs; 9 dogs were reported to show more than one behavioral change. Six dogs reportedly showed nervousness and/or restlessness, 3 showed an increase in startle responses, 3 showed food guarding, 2 showed a decrease in their activity level, 3 showed an increase in avoidance responses, 4 showed irritable aggression, and 2 dogs increased barking. Semi-structured interviews can be useful preliminary tools for the identification of areas of future investigation, and the outcomes of the interviews reported in this article will be used in further quantitative research, to investigate more rigorously the possible relationship between these signs and corticosteroid use in dogs. © 2011 Elsevier Inc..

Keywords:Dog behaviour
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9032
Deposited On:05 May 2013 19:13

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