The aim of treatment is to provide fast, effective, and safe relief for your dog. One of the most common causes of itching is allergies to dust mites, molds, and pollens or less commonly to carpets, wool, or shampoos. Finding the cause of the itch gives both you and your pet the best chance of successful long-term control of itching.
In the past, allergic itch was treated with antihistamines which were largely ineffective for most dogs, or with corticosteroids prednisone which worked but had undesirable side-effects, shown below. Excessive urination. Increased thirst. Some dogs even result to drinking out of the toilet bowl to satisfy their need for water. Increased hunger. Not only can increased hunger cause weight gain  which can lead to orthopedic problems , but it can cause your dog to steal food including from the trashcan , and even nip children trying to take food out of their hands .
Heightened stress and anxiety. Steroids have the potential to increase anxiety-related behaviors, like a lack of obedience, barking more often, and being restless, nervous, or fearful . Dog owners spend an average of 5 hours per week dealing with the side effects of dogs on steroids .
These side effects can put a strain on the special bond you share with your dog. After 4 years of private small animal practice in northern NJ, she returned to the University of Pennsylvania and completed her residency in Dermatology and Allergy, obtaining board certification from the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, then continued as a Lecturer in dermatology at Penn.
She then joined a multi-specialty referral practice in Rochester, New York where she practiced for 10 years before joining Zoetis. Rosenbaum has lectured extensively and has published articles on a wide variety of dermatology topics. Her areas of particular interest include canine and feline allergic dermatitis and management of recurrent and resistant pyoderma.
These steroid medications are prescribed to manage inflammation and immune function in dogs and must be used regularly in order to be effective. Systemic steroids are corticosteroid medications that are taken by mouth pills or liquids or injection. These medications need to be metabolized by the body before they take effect and, once in the bloodstream, are carried throughout the body.
As a result, only some of the medication reaches the target area, while the rest can impact other organs and cause many unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Injections are usually administered by a vet in an emergency situation to get serious symptoms under control. Inhaled steroids are medications that are prescribed to treat respiratory conditions in dogs and administered by inhaling the medication through a nebulizer or a metered dose inhaler.
Inhaled steroids are different than oral or injected steroids as they do not need to be metabolized by the body, allowing the medication to directly target the lungs or respiratory tract. As a result, inhaled steroids have a very low risk of side effects and are considered safe for long-term use. Depo medrol for dogs Pfizer, methylprednisone and dexamethasone are injections used to get severe symptoms under control such as when your dog is having extreme difficulty breathing.
In higher doses, corticosteroids are prescribed to treat autoimmune conditions and adrenal disorders in dogs such as:. Systemic steroid use in dogs affects almost all the systems in the body, resulting in a high risk of potentially serious side effects. Systemic steroids should not be used for long term treatment due to the high risk of serious side effects.
For dogs with chronic respiratory issues, systemic steroids are normally used to get serious symptoms under control before transitioning to inhaled steroids. For dogs who suffer from chronic canine bronchitis or other respiratory diseases, steroids are an important component to daily disease management.
Inhaled corticosteroids can greatly reduce side effects and promote a higher quality of life for your dog and your family. In a study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice 9 , inhaled corticosteroid therapy was shown to be well tolerated in dogs and reduced or resolved symptoms of canine respiratory disease without obvious side effects.
Inhaled corticosteroids are easy to administer to dogs, can be done at home, and without the need to hide pills in food. Learn more about canine bronchitis and treatment options to manage your dog's quality of life and keep them healthy long term. Take the Quiz Take the Quiz. We would love to hear from you. If you have questions or comments about one of our chambers, please reach out to us today.