Veterinarians often prescribe corticosteroids, most often referred to as steroids, for dogs with reoccurring allergy problems. Steroids can effectively relieve dogs of their itching and red skin as soon as 24 hours after the drug is administered.
In most cases, steroids are supposed to be subscribed at an initial starting dose, and then reduced to smaller doses until they are completely discontinued. When used as a short-term treatment to ease inflammation and swelling, steroids can be very effective.
Unfortunately, due to the quick results of this form of treatment, many dogs are prescribed steroids for much longer periods of time than recommended, which can cause harmful side effects. And, when administered at a high enough dosage, steroids can suppress your dog’s immune system – making them more prone to infections.
- Can relieve itching, red skin and inflammation in less than 24 hours.
- Quick results can be ideal for dogs with seasonal allergies.
- Often the right solution for older dogs who may require quick relief over long-term solutions.
- Side effects can include increased thirst and appetite, increased urination, weight gain, hyperactivity, panting, diarrhea, and depression.
- Long-term usage can suppress your dog’s immune system, making them susceptible to infection and illness.
- Long-term usage can cause permanent or severe damage to the liver, adrenal gland and pancreas.
- Long-term usage has been attributed to diabetes in dogs.
Since steroids are ideal for quick inflammation relief, you should discuss any long-term side effects and potential health risks with your veterinarian before starting this form of treatment.