View Full Version : Steroid Question--

Denise G.
21st February 2007, 06:26 PM
This is with regard to Wrigley, my Golden--hope you don't mind, but I respect all your opinions/experience. Last Friday Wrigley woke up with an extremely infected ear--he was running fever, the ear was oozing and it was so red and swollen (including the ear flap) that the ear cartilage was protruding a little from his ear :yikes It looked like he had a cabbage in his ear--for lack of a better word picture--ha! I rushed him to the vet that morning before work and the vet even said it was the worst infection he'd seen in a long time. I had taken him to Petsmart for a bath the weekend before and my guess is that he must have gotten quite a bit of water in that ear.

Anyway, the vet did a deep cleaning of the ear (ouch!) and put ointment in it and gave him a steroid shot. Today, five days later, it's much better but still a little red and swollen--but he's definitely on the mend.

The vet wants me to bring him back in on Saturday for another cleaning(wish me luck in trying to wrangle him into the vet's office after his last visit) and I'm sure they'll put more ointment in the ear which is good. I'm anticipating that they may want to give him another steroid shot and I'm a little unsure about that. I know steroids aren't good given on a regular basis, but should I be concerned about his getting another shot so soon?

Any thoughts/opinions??

21st February 2007, 07:16 PM
Hi Denise...I an not an expert, but I wouldn't think that 2 shots would be harmful, and is probably much needed with an ear infection that bad. My Lhasa suffered with severe ear infections her whole life. It took many years of taking steroids for it to affect her immune system. I feel for you and Wrigley. Those ear infections are so nasty for the poor babies.

21st February 2007, 07:21 PM
Steroids are a great anti-inflammatory.

I'd let the vet use them to clear up such a severe ear infection.

Hopefully, your doggie won't have any hearing loss. :flwr: :flwr:

Denise G.
21st February 2007, 07:55 PM
Thanks Shay and Zippy. I've just heard such horror stories about steroids, but, like Shay mentioned, I think it's the over-use of steroids that causes big problems. I guess I shouldn't be so concerned--I know we need to get rid of the infection before it causes any permanent damage...

21st February 2007, 08:53 PM
Steroids are important tools for vets and bring enormous relief quickly. Thus they are often rightly a first choice to relieve severe pain. Same as with humans. The problems come from long term use when they can gradually damage internal organs. However sometimes there is little choice but to try to keep an animal -- or person -- on long term low dosage. Often this causes bloating and so on. These are not really 'horror stories' -- just the unfortunate side effects of a treatment that is sometimes the last and only possible choice for pain relief and controlling symtpoms. The weight gain bothers us more than it will an animal who only really notices it is hungry all the time. Most people, and I would guess animals, if they had a choice -- would rather be alive and on low dose steroids than not around at all.

Short term use is usually very helpful and few vets use steroids without having a good reason and knowing it will really help. :thmbsup:

Denise G.
21st February 2007, 09:07 PM
Thanks, Karlin. You're right, I can tell the shot worked pretty quickly on the infection and gave him some pain relief. The important thing is to get the infection cleared up asap. My vet is pretty conservative, which I like. So, I'm sure he'll do only what's necessary...

Thanks for the input! :flwr:

22nd February 2007, 08:02 PM
How long would be considered long term? Wesley is on steriods now because of the major infection he got from Flea dermatitis. His leg is looking a thousand times better, and I am so thankful. The steroids are being used in conjunction with antibiotics.

The vet recomended one tablet for 5 days, then one every other day for a grand total of 21 days. He also mentioned that if I noticed that the leg was completely healed and that Wesley wasn't itching anymore, that I could stop giving them to him and save the remainder for future use. Is 21 days considered long term?

Denise G.
22nd February 2007, 08:27 PM
I'm no expert--but I don't think 21 days would be considered long term. Chronic allergies, illnesses, etc. are sometimes prescribed steroids and dogs can be on them for months or years at a time. That's what I would think would be considered "long term".

Barbara Nixon
24th February 2007, 12:03 PM
Monty had steroids for about 2 months, when only 6 months old, and he's a healthy 11 year old, now.