steroids for itching

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Thu Jul 28, '11 8:02pm PST 
To begin, I'm not going to administer anything without calling the vet and asking first... but I wanted to get a baseline opinion here before I do, so I don't get jerked around.

Mulder has a pretty bad flea allergy. I've kept it in check for most of his life with preventatives (both natural and with chemicals), and for the most part haven't had too much trouble dealing with it.

Not this year. I made the mistake of thinking I could go 100% natural with him... bad idea. Somehow he managed to get a few (literally 1 is all it takes for things to go sour for him), and now he's absolutely miserable.

His entire underside is raw from scratching and he's losing hair.

I still had some Vectra 3D left from last year, so despite my feelings about it I went ahead and put it on him. It did its job, the fleas are dead, but the damage has been done.

I flipped out when I actually turned him over and saw JUST how bad it is. Guys, its awful. I feel terrible. I've put some cortisone on his chest, and bought some kind of natural aloe (Kenic brand) lotion and spray to to put on the other areas where he licks a lot (too afraid to put the cortisone in places he licks). I also had to buy him a doggie t-shirt (goodness gravy) to keep him from ripping his poor chest apart.

I still have some low-dose prednisone left over from his fistulas/not-fistulas debacle, and was wondering if that could help him. I've got at least 30 30mg (maybe 20mg... can't remember off the top of my head), so it'd be enough to start and wean off... if that's even a good idea?

Again, I'm going to see what the vet says, but I'd like to know what you guys think.

Or if you have any other ideas to help. He's awful right now, I can't stand to see him like this.
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Thu Jul 28, '11 8:49pm PST 
For a one time thing, I'd do it for sure.

You know the fleas are gone now. So helping him deal with the aftermath isn't a bad thing.

Daisy was on steroids for a few months last year while we worked to get her itching under control. Her hair was coming out and it was bad. I didn't want her to be miserable if there was something I could do to help.
Tucker, CGC,- TDI

Bloggin' Dog
Barked: Thu Jul 28, '11 9:22pm PST 
I tend to agree ... I'm not a fan of steroids, especially not as a long term solution, but for a one-time, short-term thing in a case like this, I think it's probably not the worst thing in the world.

Nakita Mae- Angel Girl

Live to dock- dive!
Barked: Thu Jul 28, '11 10:28pm PST 
Sorry your pup is dealing with his allergies. I would not give him anything until you check with your vet, there are different steriods used for different medical problems, there are not any that are 30mg, it is probably 5mg or 20mg, but at the same time "what" steriod is it?? Also, your dog could have a staph infection or yeast infection from all his licking/scratching which needs an antibiotic.
To help relieve his immediate skin problem, you can give him a nice, soaking bath with a mild oatmeal shampoo, but there again this would just be a temporary way of relieveing the itching.
The problem with flea allergy dermatitis is that just one bite will set the dog off for weeks.
If your dog does have a staph infection or yeast problems a quick bath will not help the ongoing problem, but at least it may comnfort him some.
Also, what is the expiration date on your meds?
Most steriods are prescribed on a reducing dosage plan, for example, 1 tablet twice a day for 3 days, then 1 tablet once a day for 3 days then 1 tablet every other day for 3 days and so on (this is just an example).
Can you ask your Vet about giving an antihistamine such as Benedryl to help with itching? Please check with the Vet first of course.
We hope your pup will feel better soon.dog
(retired)min- ister misty

be calm, dont- worry!
Barked: Fri Jul 29, '11 1:41am PST 
best to bark the vet...shrug
pop for mulderhug
Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Fri Jul 29, '11 7:23am PST 
Definitely call the vet first to double check/make them aware. Steroids are serious business, but I'm sure since he's been on them a lot before you know how to wean him on and off them properly. Prolonged or too much steroid use can cause major issues, which is why the vet needs to know so they can make note of how many times he's been on them.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Jul 29, '11 8:03pm PST 
Well, decided to forgo the steroids. He seems to be doing a little better today with continued application of the ointment/sprays, and his chest is looking much better since putting the shirt on him.

I guess I just have to play the waiting game until this mess clears up.

What is the recommend dosing for the Benedryl? Is it the same body weight measurement as it is for people? He's around 73 (ish) lbs right now.
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Fri Jul 29, '11 8:56pm PST 
Mulder, when Daisy (65 pounds) was on Benadryl she got two 25mg tabs twice a day.

Didn't make her sleepy or anything.

Also, if you feel the need to double check, Walmart sell benadryl in the pet section, way overpriced, but with dosing for dogs on the label. smile
Allee Oop!!!

I love my Mommy
Barked: Sat Jul 30, '11 12:17am PST 
Allee also has flea allergy and had a horrible reaction to them when her frontline was no longer working for the whole month last year. We had to switch to Comfortis. I think he will get better in time as long as there is no secondary infection.

Benedryl didn't seem to help Allee. We had good luck with hydroyzine from the vet and also Aller Chlor from Drs Foster and Smith.
I also used Earthbath tea tree oil and aloe shampoo.