If your dog suffers from intense bouts of itchy skin due to a dermatological condition, your veterinarian may recommend an injection of Depo-Medrol to provide quick and lasting relief. Depo-Medrol is a brand name for methylprednisolone, a glucocorticoid drug, and it is used for its anti-inflammatory properties to treat skin allergies and some autoimmune diseases. As with any corticosteroid drug, Depo-Medrol must be used sparingly to avoid adverse long-term effects.
The primary benefit of an injection of Depo-Medrol is that a concentration of the drug peaks in the bloodstream within 24 hours of administration, providing relief for your itchy dog by the following day. The concentration then continues its efficacy as it slowly recedes over a period of three weeks. If your canine companion is afflicted with only seasonal skin allergies, a single injection of Depo-Medrol given once or twice annually may be all that he needs to keep his itchiness at bay.
It is hard to watch your dog scratching in misery, and it is tempting to appeal to your veterinarian for a repeat injection of the quick fix. Prolonged or repeated use of corticosteroids can have lasting adverse effects on your dog's health. Your veterinarian will consider your dog’s unique circumstances, including age, overall health history, the severity of his discomfort and the frequency of his flare-ups. If your dog requires relief more frequently than twice a year, your veterinarian may recommend alternative remedies or refer you to a specialist to seek out safer treatment options.
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