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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2952
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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A 40 pound polish sheep dog has been weened off steroids for

Customer Question

a 40 pound polish sheep dog has been weened off steroids for severe itching and skin sores. Now is lethargic and itching again with skin sores. Has weakness and sometimes trouble walking.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about the dog?
Customer: about 10 years old.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

1) How is the difficulty walking when on steroids? better or worse?
2) Have any other meds but steroids been tried?
3) Where are these sores?
4) When did the weaning of the steroids begin?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No difficulty walking before or when on steroids. Only after taking off.
No other meds.
Sores all over including limbs.
Weaned of prednizone over a month. Symptoms and signs started about 7 days after stopping.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 month ago.

I have to wonder if, at his age, if steroids aren't offering some benefit to underlying joint tenderness. We can also see muscle weakness on steroids, too. It might be worthwhile to consider treatment that is not a steroid since pets routinely do poorly on them long-term. If no other meds have been tried, I would highly recommend trying antihistamines to see if they help. If they do not, I would talk to your vet about using medications like atopica or apoquel which can be used long-term for itching but don't have near the major side effects that long-term steroid usage does.

My favorite antihistamine for dogs is Zyrtec as it works better than others, in my experience. This can be purchased OTC and the dosing info is here: http://cheyennewest.com/antihistamines-for-dogs-cats/

I’ll be standing by if you have other questions. Let me know if I can help further.

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