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Author Topic: Steroid doses and Frustrations (part 1)  (Read 845 times)


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Steroid doses and Frustrations (part 1)
« on: April 17, 2017, 07:20:51 PM »

One thing that I am always learning about and also getting so frustrated about is the way in which these drugs are no difference to the 'fine-tuning' of a car (a horrible analogy I know).     

Frustrated, because when you reduce the meds (even gradually it seems) and are doing well at a particular level - then, you drop the dose and you have a relapse.     These A.I. diseases are really THE most difficult things to get on top with - you just don't know all the time, what you are dealing with and as it is the most intricate parts of the dogs body that come into play - things that are not obvious, you are really using trial and error means.

Over the past few days I have been going through the reams of records I have kept since Harley was diagnosed six years ago - hoping that I could find a common factor.   Perhaps, I thought, it is a seasonal 'thing'  as I have to admit a few of the relapses have occured during the latter part of the year/very early spring  but not always.    Could it be the inter-action of drugs at various doses - it certainly seems that when we take Aza's away, we do see a change in his platelets and certainly, on a couple of occasions when relapses have occured, it has been when we have stopped the Aza's.
Perhaps he has an absolute minimum dose of Preds he needs to keep him stable -  records have shown that problems seem to occur when we reduce beyond 15mg but then, he was on 10mg EOD at one stage and seemed to be stable for a while.
After this last relapse, which followed a very brief period (6 weeks) when we were off  steroids and Aza's but kept the Melatonin going, we thought we had cracked it.....the Melatonin had worked and though expensive, had far less side-effects than the other drugs.      No, that wasn't to be and the relapse was very sudden -  from mid-300's to  25 !!!!

So, we are back again, very gradually reducing the Preds.    Even now though, we had a slight hic-cup when his platelets started to drop a bit and the Preds had to go back up.  I have chosen to re-introduce the Melatonin, as it seems (only guesswork at this stage) that the combination of Melatonin with the other drugs, help.    Every reduction we make now, makes me much more nervous than ever before and I am now almost thinking, that if we reach a stage when Harley seems to be better and the side-effects are at a minimum, then that is the dose we will remain on until blood tests tell us otherwise.

I wondered if there would be any merit, in inventing a questionnaire-type form, asking a few questions, that those of us who have dogs with Immune issues, can complete and maybe, just maybe, we may pick up one or two commonalities that could give us some food for thought?
A  simple questionnaire, asking about Age, Historical info on breeding lines, Food, Water, Environment, Exercise, Vaccinations, Wormers, Drugs etc.
I'd be happy to draw up a format but have no idea at all how I would transfer to this site !!!   I spoke to the AHT recently,  as I had heard they may be looking into A.I. disorders as a whole but unfortunately that isn't the case, they are looking at one particular disease (I think it may be SRM) but I suppose the cost of research has to come into play as well.

Just a thought