Lysodren for dogs suffering with Cushing’s disease and other illnesses

(redirects here from mitotane)

The following information details the usage of mitotane (Lysodren) for dogs including the correct dosage, safety guidelines, uses of the medicine and more.

Lysodren, sometimes referred to by the generic name “mitotane” or “o,p’-DDD”, is a chemotherapeutic drug most often used for treating cancer, specifically, cancer affecting the adrenal glands. Many vets prescribe the drug for use in dogs due to its unique effects on adrenal gland function which aids dogs with conditions such as Cushing’s disease. It is recommended that the first dosage of the drug is administered on a Sunday, this allows a few days for adverse side effects to develop (if they develop at all) so they occur on a day when the vet is working.

Lysodren dosage for dogs

Usual treatment will begin at home with you administering 55 mg for every pound your dog weighs twice a day (every 12 hours). However, you absolutely cannot begin treating your dog with this medicine without an individualized treatment plan from your vet. The dosage of the drug will be carefully planned by your vet to ensure that adrenal tissue damage is minimal.

You should be especially attentive during these first stages of treatment. This period is known as the “loading phase” and typically lasts 7 to 14 days. After this period your dog will likely undergo another ACTH stimulation test to check whether his or her adrenal gland function has returned to normal, if treatment needs to be continued adjustments will be made to the dosage. Once the vet is certain that your dog’s adrenal cortisol secretion levels have returned to normal as a result of Lysodren use, they will typically lower the frequency you administer the medicine to your dog. For example, you may only have to give Lysodren to your dog once or twice a week at this point. You should also be sure to arrange regular ACTH stimulation tests for your dog. Most commonly, these will be scheduled in twice a year.

Important: You will need to wear medical gloves whilst handling the tablets as they are cytotoxic.

Is Lysodren safe for dogs?

For dogs who need the drug it is better than avoiding it completely and used under professional guidance it is quite safe. When treating your dog with this drug, it’s important that you follow the vets instructions carefully throughout the entirety of the treatment time and remain especially careful during the initial one to two-week loading phase. You should always keep prednisone tablets handy in case of emergencies, your vet will likely give you a prescription for prednisone alongside the mitotane with instructions on when to use them. If your dog has cancer you might want to try this cancer treatment for dogs to improve your pet’s chances of surviving the illness.

Safety precautions

  • Never give this drug to your dog without first consulting with the vet
  • Remain vigilant, particularly during the initial 7 to 14 day loading phase
  • Administer the drug alongside dog food with high fat content
  • Be sure to receive regular blood tests for your dog throughout treatment
  • Make yourself aware of the serious side effects so you can catch them early

Because Lysodren is best absorbed when fatty food is present in the stomach of your dog you should always provide food alongside the drug. If you don’t exercise care when your dog is being treated with this drug, you put their health at serious risk, it’s important that you understand Lysodren is not a trivial drug. Always wear disposable gloves when handling the drug, if bare skin comes into contact with Lysodren wash the area thoroughly as Lysodren may be absorbed into the skin.

Uses of Lysodren for dogs

As a drug which affects the function of your dog’s adrenal glands, Lysodren is commonly used by vets to combat:

  • Cushing’s disease

Side effects of Lysodren use in dogs

Side effects during Lysodren treatment are common, and you will need to keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior so that your vet can make adjustments accordingly.

The most typical symptoms include decreased appetite and thirst (drinking less than 132 ml/lb a day is a good benchmark). If you notice your dog displaying these side effects then it’s time to get in contact with your vet. The reason is that such behaviour indicates that the loading phase is complete for your dog and adjustments to the regimen need to be made. Other side effects which indicate that you should get in contact with a professional includes vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and depression. It’s best to stop administering the medicine until you speak to your vet once you notice these signs as they could be warning signs that your dog is developing hypoadrenocorticism (Addison’s disease), a potentially life-threatening condition.

Any unforeseen side effects when using Lysodren for dogs should be checked over with a vet.

Prednisone for dogs
Wikipedia article containing information about Lysodren

lysodren for dogs