Steroids for Dogs: In controlling intense allergic symptoms, anti-inflammatory steroids provide effective relief of inflammation and swelling. They are often used for a short period of time during tests and other means of controlling the symptoms of dog allergies are put in place.
Anti-inflammatory steroids are generally prescribed orally and initially administered at an initial dose, with subsequent doses reduced to suspension. A steroid for dogs must never be stopped abruptly or before the complete series of doses prescribed by the veterinarian is given. This is because the correct tapering of the drug is necessary to prevent a possible adrenaline deficiency in the dog’s body.
Keep in mind that canine steroids are also used for other medical conditions other than dog allergies, including inflammation of the brain, spine, stomach and intestines, as well as arthritis and immune-mediated diseases.
In the treatment of allergies in dogs, canine steroids are considered the most problematic of canine drugs due to the side effects of both short and long term uses. However, this shouldn’t dissuade you from using a canine steroid because there are cases where a canine steroid is the only drug that can bring about rapid control of severe dog allergy symptoms.
Although intended for short-term use, there are situations where a dog steroid should be used on an ongoing or permanent basis. However, whenever possible, they should only be used for short-term treatment for dog allergies or other conditions determined by the family veterinarian.
The side effects of anti-inflammatory steroids in dogs are more numerous than in cats. The most common are a drastic increase in appetite and a continuous push, resulting in frequent urination and unexpected weight gain. Other side effects include mood swings, which can be disconcerting and wheezing. Long-term steroid use can cause skin lesions and very serious changes within the body, especially Cushing’s disease. With the use of long-term steroids these internal changes can shorten the dog’s lifespan.
However, anti-inflammatory steroids are one of the most important and highly effective canine drugs used today. If necessary, canine steroids are effective in controlling inflammation and swelling, allowing relief from symptoms and allowing time for blood tests, laboratory tests, skin allergy tests and to determine and implement a treatment cycle that is most suitable for one’s own dog.