Corticosteroid drugs, called "steroids" for short, are potent chemical substances that can reduce swelling and inflammation quickly.
Common corticosteroid drugs used to treat skin issues in dogs include cortisone, hydrocortisone, prednisolone and prednisone. These compounds reduce itching by reducing inflammation. In other words, these drugs treat the symptom of itching, but can do nothing about the underlying cause of the itch.
Unfortunately, they also affect every organ in the body.
Prednisone is the most potent anti - inflammatory and anti-itch steroid and is often used for treating allergies in dogs. It is usually reserved for dogs with moderate to severe skin allergies, or skin diseases that are difficult to diagnose.
Unfortunately, these medications are often over-prescribed without a positive diagnosis and without careful monitoring, and the pet owner can be unaware of the potential seriousness of the side-effects.
Whether a dog has hot spots or mange or allergies, often it’s the secondary infections that cause the worst itching. If steroids are given to treat the symptoms of itching, the bacterial or fungal secondary infections will be given a boost, and will get much worse very quickly. The reason for this is that cortisones depress lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, making it easier for bacterial infections to occur and then to proliferate unchecked.
In other words, steroids can compromise, or crash, your pet’s natural immune system.
When this happens, your dog will lose hair and his skin will become black with a terrible odor and insane itching. Traditional medicine can no longer help him when the disease reaches this stage, and your vet is likely to recommend euthanasia.
Even holistic, naturopathic veterinarians may recommend treatment with small amounts of corticosteroids to give some affected pets relief during the flea season. However, these treatments may be dangerous to your pet if prolonged and only offer temporary relief of symptoms at best.
DERMagic is safe, free from corticosteroids and is immediately effective at relieving itch, fighting fungal and bacterial infestations and promoting healing of affected areas.