Skin issues with long-term prednisone usage
I've always said that prednisone has been a miracle drug for Riley and I'll take the good with the bad. Well, now I'm just starting to see some of the side effects. She's been on it now for over 4 years since her SM decompression surgery and it's been the only medication that has made any difference in her quality of life. She was on 5 mg a day up until 6 months ago when we were able to cut her back to 2.5 mg a day.
About three years ago, she lost all of her belly and tail fur. I started her on pure salmon oil and her belly fur mostly grew back, but not her tail fur. I could live with that. Just recently though she started with a rash with huge flakes of dry skin. Her vet put her on 2 rounds of antibiotics which didn't touch it, so it was off to see a veterinary dermatologist. She was scraped and prodded and pricked today. She never once yelped, cried or even flinched. She has yeast in her ears and probably several different types of bacteria from different types of rashes and growths on her skin. Cultures are being sent off to the University of Pennsylvania. She had no mites! In the meantime, I am to bathe her weekly in medicated shampoo and conditioner which gets left on her skin for ten minutes, mostly as a soothing agent, she's on a different antibiotic for a month, she's getting her ears cleaned twice a week, and several sebaceous cysts have to be cleaned daily.
All of this is from the prednisone. Her neurologist was not happy when he saw her skin today. He wants me to try to wean her even further off the prednisone - 1 mg one day, 2.5 mg the next and alternate for one month and if she does fine then try to just give her 1 mg. Wish her (us) luck. I love this girl more than I could ever begin to say.