Tapering steroids in dogs

My dog’s story- adopted him from the local animal shelter and within months he becomes an allergy dog. Spent thousands and countless vet visits before he went to a dermatologist. Atopica was the first treatment option and he developed two different tumors on it. Finally got him a chronic yeast infection, with maybe four flare ups a year with the weekly allergy shot. Moved him from NC to WA and he flared up so badly – paws swollen and ulcerated, bowel movements of only blood, we made the decision to put him down. The vet asked us to try one more thing – Apoquel. He has only been on it for five days but it is a miracle drug. I have read the potential side effects and have decided even if he has a shorter life due to his body not fighting off cancer cells, it is worth it. Atopica worried me more since it was originally intended for humans.

Cyclosporine: Cyclosporine can be used to control atopic dermatitis in dogs and allergic dermatitis (including atopy) in cats. The medication is given once a day for 4 weeks (4 to 6 weeks in cats, based on response). After that, the dose can be tapered to every other day or twice weekly, as needed to maintain effectiveness. Researchers estimate that over 70% of dogs and cats respond to this treatment; however, cyclosporine can be costly, and its side effects may include stomach upset and diarrhea. Ask your veterinarian if cyclosporine may be a good choice for your pet.

Hi Carol
I am afraid I am not qualified to be the tie-breaker here. It is so brilliant that you have had your lovely dog from the rescue treated and we are glad to hear no adverse reaction to date. It is going to have to be the vet who administered the immiticide who advises you. Although heartworm preventatives will not kill the adult worms and only the immiticide will do that, you are rightly concerned about any possible re-infection during the period of treatment. Your vet will be able to give you the definitive answer and put your mind at rest.
We would love to hear from you and maybe publish your dog’s story, do let us know how you get on.
All the best
Alison

Cushing's syndrome is the result of excessive corticosteroids in the body. The main cause is overproduction of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) in the pituitary gland. ACTH causes the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids, so too much of ACTH means too much of corticosteroids. Another main cause is taking long-term external steroids like prednisone (sometimes used in some chronic diseases). In addition, certain lung cancers and other tumors outside the pituitary gland may produce corticotropins. Other causes include benign or cancerous tumors on the adrenal glands. Rarely, Cushing syndrome can be an inherited endocrine disorder. 

Hypoadrenocorticism is treated with fludrocortisone (trade name Florinef) [35] [36] or a monthly injection of Percorten-V ( desoxycorticosterone pivalate , DOCP) and prednisolone or Zycortal. [37] [38] [39] [40] Routine blood work is necessary in the initial stages until a maintenance dose is established. [8] Most of the medications used in the therapy of hypoadrenocorticism cause excessive thirst and urination. It is absolutely vital to provide fresh drinking water for a canine suffering from this disorder. [12]

Tapering steroids in dogs

tapering steroids in dogs

Cushing's syndrome is the result of excessive corticosteroids in the body. The main cause is overproduction of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) in the pituitary gland. ACTH causes the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids, so too much of ACTH means too much of corticosteroids. Another main cause is taking long-term external steroids like prednisone (sometimes used in some chronic diseases). In addition, certain lung cancers and other tumors outside the pituitary gland may produce corticotropins. Other causes include benign or cancerous tumors on the adrenal glands. Rarely, Cushing syndrome can be an inherited endocrine disorder. 

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