Centro Ferretero Patagonia

Steroid Therapy for dogs and cats

Steroid Therapy for dogs and cats

Side effects are common, but are generally worth tolerating, especially given the potential benefits of their use. Vets can prescribe systemic steroids to your dog in the form of tablets or injections. It is natural to want to go above and beyond for our pets, especially when they aren’t feeling well, but there are some substances they can’t have. In this article we will be exploring whether steroids for dogs are safe or not.

  • If they do, the clinical signs will be similar or identical to the original syndrome.
  • In order to reach the diagnosis all other causes of itchiness need to be ruled out.
  • Cushing’s disease is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland that secretes too much of the hormone cortisol.
  • If you need to take both medications, you may be given a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).
  • They have many functions including supporting the stress responses, as well as helping to control inflammation, and regulating blood electrolyte levels and nutrient metabolism.

Naturally occurring steroid hormones are produced in the adrenal glands, which are situated in the abdomen. They have many functions including supporting the stress responses, as well as helping to control inflammation, and regulating blood electrolyte levels and nutrient metabolism. The most common method of diagnosis includes an ACTH stimulation test.

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However, prolonged treatment at high doses can cause problems in some people. Steroids can cause shrinkage of the adrenal glands, leading to adrenal insufficiency. This becomes apparent following sudden withdrawal of steroids and can lead to an acute medical crisis where an animal is unable to deal adequately with stressful situations. Steroid therapy should therefore never be discontinued abruptly, particularly if high doses are being used.

  • In these conditions, steroids are given to dampen the overactive immune system response and stop the destruction of normal healthy cells.
  • Steroids for dogs are extremely useful drugs, which allow vets to treat serious medical conditions.
  • Blood testing often reveals changes to liver parameters as well but this is often clinically insignificant.

This is no mean feat, as it involves changing the way the body is programmed to behave towards substances which trigger reactions. Conventional veterinary treatment largely relies on the use of drugs to suppress the immune system and any inflammation. Although this often (not always) provides relief, as we have seen, it also carries the risk of significant and potentially serious side-effects if continued long term. Immunotherapy – This is the only possibility for a cure for your dog.

Who can use corticosteroids?

Following cessation of treatment, signs of adrenal insufficiency extending to adrenocorticol atrophy can arise and this may render the animal unable to deal adequately with stressful situations. Systemically administered corticosteroids may cause polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia, particularly during the early stages of therapy. Some corticosteroids may cause sodium and water retention and hypokalaemia in longer term use.

Other side effects which your vet will be on the lookout for include the increased risk of infection (due to suppression of the immune system), stomach ulcers, blood clots and diabetes (particularly in cats). Sometimes we need to use other drugs to compliment the use of steroids, allowing us to reduce the steroid dose whilst still controlling the disease. Dogs with mild symptoms will be closely monitored before treatment begins. Other treatment options involve destroying enough of the adrenal gland to reduce the secretion of cortisol when administered very carefully.

It is possible that your symptoms are due to the resurgence of inflammation rather than withdrawal. Should your illness become more severe, it may be necessary to increase your medication of steroids for a short period in order to control the inflammation. Prednisone can have an effect on the gastrointestinal tract, leading to nausea, diarrhea, and ulcers or bleeding in the gut. A pot-bellied appearance, poor haircoat, or loss of hair can all be signs of Cushing’s syndrome in dogs.

This should be given continually to any dog with atopic dermatitis to help improve skin quality, prevent flare ups and reduce itching. We recommend supplementing your pets diet with Nutramega which is a natural and pharmaceutical grade product that is fed to your pet as a capsule every day. It also contains d-biotin and vitamin E to reduce skin inflammation. In order to reach the diagnosis all other causes of itchiness need to be ruled out.

We will take a blood sample to quantify the level of antibodies in yours dogs blood against several antigens e.g. dust mites. This will tell us what specifically your dog is allergic too and then a vaccine can be produced and given to your dog to help de-sensitise them to the allergen i.e. the body no longer reacts to the allergen. These injections need to be administered under the skin whichwe can do at the clinic or some owners are happy to do at home. The first school of thought advises treatment of seizures as soon as a dog is diagnosed as having recurrent seizures (i.e. after the second seizure episode).

How and why are steroids used?

The condition is not caused by an infection, and it is not contagious, so your dog can’t pass it on to other pets or people. The prognosis for SRMA is generally very good, with most patients improving after two to three days of treatment and entering clinical remission within two weeks. I can reassure you that we receive the medications we stock only from licensed wholesalers.

Medication Datasheets

The first major cause of itchiness is ectoparasites i.e. fleas and mites. Unless your dog is on monthly flea and mite treatment we will need to rule out parasites windstarhealth with skin scrapes, hair plucks and possibly skin biopsies. If these come back negative then all causes of itchiness by parasites have been ruled out.

Effects of Prednicare

Please note, our vets and nurses are unable to respond to questions via this form. If you are concerned about your pet’s health, please contact your vet directly. Steroids have many different actions but are most commonly used for reducing inflammation (swelling) and managing the immune system.