jihigg avatar image

has anyone had to use prednisone for a long time? (years)

Hello, We have an 8 year old bully, Rex. we got him at 10 weeks old. since he was 6 months old he has suffered with allergies. through the years we have tried everything. allergy testing (everything on the planet), shots, baths, Atopica, diet and prednisone. he gets hives and itchiness and hair loss from his allergies. Our best treatment has been long term use of prednisone. We know all the terrible things this may cause. we had one vet that told us it was alright for him to be on the 5mg daily since it was such a small amount (he is 55 pounds). we have moved and the new vet is insistant on giving it to him every other day. i told him he is miserable on every other day. he said to increase it to 10mg every other day;  it has been 3 weeks on 10mg every other day he is miserable. he is losing his hair, he got a hot spot on his neck, his feet are all red and irrated from licking. i know every day is bad, but we just dont know what else to do for him. I started him back on 5mg every day again, yesterday. he does get an oatmeal bath every week, which does help. we give him a strict diet of things he is not allergic to. i use malAcetic wipes on his itchy feet. he is also on hydroxizine 3 times a day (they dont make him sleepy like the benadryl does). On 5mg he is a totally different dog, has hair, doesnt itch, doesnt chew his feet, is happy. Has anyone used prednisone over a course of years? If so, what was the outcome? IS there anything else we can do for him? thanks much!


Jllian and PorkChop and our beloved BullyAngel Rex <3

I would suggest you look around for a bully vet in your new area

Have you tried to work on inproveing his ammuine system.  Try vit c and look on here in the search area for what vitamins people use for their bullies.

I hope you get some responce from others on the boad.  It's the weekend so the board is slow sometimes.  Good luck


Jo Ann

2bds2010's picture


I had a weimaraner that was on it for 10 out of his 11yrs of life. He had colitis. We did a liver panel every few yrs to make sure all was well. Nothing negavitive ever showed. He was on 10 mg every day for many yrs. then the last few yrs of life we bumped him down to 10mg 3x aweek. He was a healthy, happy 85lb dog who loved life and did very well. If that is what your dog needs and there are no other options then do what you need to do to make his life comfortable. :)

LDeLeo's picture


MY 11 year old sharpei in on pred 20 mg every other day for swolllen hock syndroms.  She has no hair loss, appetite is good, no accidents, no aggression, etc.  She's doing great

Prednisone long term...

I had a boy that also had major allergies and tried all the things you listed also and nothing ever worked for Mason except the prednisone. Mason took prednisone all of his life and he died in May, he was 6 years old and died from cancer. Even up to the time he died his kidney/liver levels were normal, I figured he would end up dying from liver/kidney problems, I didn't ever dream cancer. If it were my dog I would just want to keep him comfortable which I did with my boy. Good luck with your baby, I know how hard it is to see them itch like crazy since I went through it with Mason.

I have not had to deal with anything like this, but I think you

know your bully better then anybody.  If the prednisone works...I would continue to use it.  I would do a complete blood panel  at least 1 time a yr.  My Sadie has bad arthritis.  She takes a Deramaxx daily and she has for the last 3 yrs.  I have labs done every six months.  Good Luck to you


We just started prednisone...

... for Milton and are going to have to have him on it at least until the weather here cools off, with the possibility of him being on it part of the year each year for the rest of his life.  I'm with everyone else here that has suggested either getting a second opinion or making sure your vet is used to dealing with bullies.  Our vet is at a local veterinary hospital and they have 5-6 bullies that are patients of the practice currently, and our dr. was careful to talk to us about all the possible badness of prednisone but at the end of the day, what works, works.  I'd def. at least get another opinion.


Milton's Mama -- Tinker AFB, OK

Lonna with Harley and Raven's picture

Yes, our Rocky was on daily prednisone for years.

Our Rocky had many skin issues.  He was on daily prednisone for years.  Same thing happened when we would reduce dose or try to discontinue.  He was miserable, very lethargic, and not very happy.  So we kept him on it.   Unfortunately Rocky was one of the rare cases and developed Cushing's disease as a result of the long term use of prednisone.  It is RARE, but a horrible disease that can sometimes be caused by long term use of prednisone.  I am not trying to scare you away from continuing with the prednisone as I am very aware of the positive difference it can make in the quality of life for your dog.  We were not aware of this potential side effect and honestly, considering how rare this is, and knowing how the prednisone helped him I am not sure we would have done things any differently if we had been.

Rocky was our first bulldog.  We lost him in 2009, he was almost 10. 



Lonna & Harley


Harley cube

jihigg's picture

thanks everyone!

appreciate all the input. I am thinking I might try changing his diet. Thinking about an all natural diet, although not raw. We cook every night and to add some extra is no big deal. I jsut need to educate myself on how to get him the vitamins and minerals he needs. The only protien he can have is salmon, pork and lamb. oh and eggs. he is allergic to chicken but can have eggs...bizarre. But i am not sure what veggies to give him. I probably will have to get him allergy tested before i start and ask them to test for certain veggies. he is allergic to carrots, or at least he use to be. I am hoping maybe if we go this route that i can decrease his need for the prednisone...... 


Jllian and PorkChop and our beloved BullyAngel Rex <3

judy wilson's picture

to feed a healthy diet you dont have to.....

throw raw to him.....their are many people who dont like raw or the idea of raw......what you need to do is sit back...before i threw that posion in my dog...ruined his kidney and liver...i would change his diet.....

so you dont like raw.....here are my suggestion   either boil your chicken or get a wok thats a chinese steamer....so either  boil or steam...baking and frying remove to much of the vit and minerals.....dont worry about bone...to many people get hung up on the bone aspect...foget bone...take an egg and grind the shell down...their is  calcium....

stay very basic the first month    i would do  pork....with brown rice (NOT INSTANT)...i would also add cod liver tab once a day...vit c 500mg every other day....you can add a teaspoon of yougurt....nothing else...also get rid of all those kibble cookies because thier is no cheating for the first 60 days.....

vegetables wait 30 days...let his system detox from the chemicals in his food....fresh salmon a cup once a week...also sardines are good....my crew loves sardines....

as a 20yr past vet tech...those allergy test are bs really....

be true  get him on this diet....i swear you will see a differnece in 30 days...and all the money your vet is making from all his "test" will go into your dogs health...becasue he will never have to see a vt again....i promise....and i have three sb dogs....that are as healty as miniture  ponies.....

Jewels's picture

Judy, would the Cod Liver tab

Judy, would the Cod Liver tab cause a reaction? As Bella seems allergic to salmon?

barbara and myka's picture

pred for another reason

Hi. My Josie (now 10 1/2 years old) is on a daily low dosage of prednisone. She's been on it for almost two years due to her back leg collapsing as she tries to get traction. She's had two bad disks in her spine since a baby.

Good luck trying a new diet to beat those itchies.... Both my bullies are/were raw fed for over a dozen years.




judy wilson's picture

a question

did you do any accupuncture for the disk problem.....and do you use a holistic vet ?  i  know their a few antiflamatories out their besides pred.....but i was wondering what your steps were...i have a foster that has a disk...i also feed raw....but i do alot of accupuncture  for my sb dogs.....and the results are incrediable....

so i am intrested in your steps.......