After reading in our local newspaper about the golden retriever with horrible allergies, I had to write to you.My dog Mitzi had the same problem five years ago. I spent around $1,000 with my vet trying to find out what she was allergic to. It was everything -- food, grass, trees, etc.We tried special diets, keeping her off the grass, etc. It was impossible for both of us; neither one of us got much sleep. And it was very distressing to watch her suffer so.I decided to get a second opinion. This vet suggested giving her shots of Depo-Medrol. He couldn't promise how much it would help her -- maybe two weeks, three months or longer, or not at all.In fact, it has been a miracle drug. The effectiveness of the shots has lasted anywhere from four months to 11 months. I'm so grateful for the results, and we're both getting our sleep at night now.
V.M., Washington, DC Apr 22, 2007
The judicious use of steroids can be invaluable in alleviating the symptoms of allergic reactions to foreign proteins such as pollen, dust mites, etc. But first, other reasons for dogs' skin irritation, scratching and hair loss need to be ruled out.Second, animals have an increased susceptibility to infection (especially of the bladder) and other complications, such as diabetes, when they are on steroid medication, so they need to be monitored.There is much misuse of corticosteroids, and their immediate benefits to the patient need to be weighed carefully against long-term risks.Some dogs may suffer from a chronic adrenal inefficiency and benefit from the kind of treatment your dog is receiving.For more details, see my article "Endocrine Immune Disruption Syndrome" on my Web site at www.doctormwfox.org.
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