Hi there, Lyndall Pinchen from Canine Vitality back today to share with you my concerns around the use of two commonly used drugs in our dogs. For those of you dog lovers out there that have or know of a dog that has suffered from any sort of skin condition, there two words will be well known- ANTIBIOTICS AND STEROIDS These two drugs are used extensively to treat itchy skin and allergy skin problems, but of course they are also prescribed for many other conditions including infections and inflammatory autoimmune diseases. So in this two part video series, I wanted to bring to your attention the issues around the use of these drugs over the long term and how they can negatively impact on your dogs health. And in our second video, we’ll take a look at some better alternatives that you can use instead of always turning to these medications.

Now firstly, I want to make it clear that I am not against the use of these drugs in emergency or life threatening situations- both antibiotics and steroids have the capacity to save lives and this is where they can be of benefit in the SHORT term. However, what I am referring to is the use (or over use) of these drugs in the treatment of chronic health issues including those annoying skin conditions.

So, what is so damaging with these drugs and why am I so concerned for your dogs?? Let’s take a look.

We live in such a fast paced society and everyone is looking for that quick fix. And when it comes to the health of our dogs, it’s exactly the same. I get that- none of you want to see your beautiful pets suffer and when you are watching your dog in any sort of distress the first thing you really want is  to stop it as soon as possible. And this is where it can be easy to fall into the pattern of relying on these fact acting drugs to deal with the problem. Unfortunately, like anything in life, when you take shortcuts rather than doing the job properly, you are bound to end up with a half finished job. Such is the case with both these drugs. So firstly let’s look at why steroids are so problematic.

 Corticosteroids (or more commonly just steroids) are among the most commonly prescribed conventional treatment for dogs with any inflammatory issue. Corticosteroids are actually produced naturally by the body where they control the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins as well as inflammation and water regulation. Synthetic steroids however are well known as suppressing agents- they SUPPRESS symptoms and this is exactly why they appear to bring such rapid results. Have you ever been prescribed a steroid for your dog’s issue and sometimes within hours of starting the drug, the problem miraculously seems to go away??? While it may APPEAR to have resolved, at a deeper level, all that has happened is that the symptoms have simply been pushed more deeply into the body. Imagine if you put a huge cork in the top of an erupting volcano- pretty soon the pressure would build up so much that it would simply blow that cork out and there would be a massive eruption. Some of you may have seen the effect of steroids in this way when your dog has been taking a course of these drugs and then when they have finished this course, pretty soon the same symptoms return. But this time they seem much worse!! You see, what is going on underneath all of this is that the body is desperately trying to achieve balance and healing. And one of the ways it does this in ANY disease state is to try and rid itself toxins or waste products. So if we then put a drug into the body that is counterproductive to this process, you can see that this might cause a problem. When steroids are given over a long period, this can push those disease symptoms deep and deeper into the body eventually leading to a more serious diseases including cancer. So this is the BIGGEST issue around steroids.


But in addition, there are other issues with these drugs including:

 Weakens immunity

Increase symptoms of allergies

Weight gain

Increase in urination

Ulcers and other associated gastrointestinal concerns

Blood clots



Hair loss

Increases thirst and or appetite

Can shorten your dog’s life!!


So you can see that while these drugs maybe life saving in emergency situations, in chronic or ongoing problems, they simply are not the best answer and can lead to long term damage of your dogs health.



It’s well known that these drugs can be life saving- and this is where they can truly be helpful. But as we have seen with steroids, when they are prescribed for more chronic issues, they tend to have all sorts of damaging side effects and problems. Particularly if our dogs have a skin infection or rash, we are tempted to rush off to our vets for antibiotics.  But these are NOT the answer especially for our dog’s health long term.

We are often hearing about antibiotic resistant bacteria – it is not only a serious concern for humans, it is also a rapidly growing problem for our pets. The decision to use antibiotics should never be taken lightly. They should not be prescribed unless absolutely necessary (ie- life threatening situations). Aside from the ability of bacteria to mutate and develop resistance, they do immense damage to your dog’s gut and this has a negative effect on the overall immune response.

Recent research has shown that for many dogs, even just one course of antibiotics can permanently damage and alter the gut and gut flora. This means your dog will be more prone to leaky gut syndrome and allergies. If your dog has had a recurring infection, have you ever noticed that with every subsequent antibiotic that is prescribed, it seems to take longer to work and is less effective?? I have seen this many times with many dogs with various issues.

Only recently I was having this conversation with a new client who told me that her dog had been prescribed antibiotics for an ongoing eye infection. While initially the drugs appeared to work, over time they became less effective and now don’t seem to do anything. And this is a common story. Why is this happening?? Aside from antibiotic resistance, these drugs tend to damage the gut and destroy important beneficial gut bacteria and this in turn weakens the immune system. So any infection already present will be less responsive to the antibiotic because the immune defence is lowered.

So we can see that both antibiotics and steroids are a damaging duo for your dog. Even just one of these drugs alone is highly problematic. But it is not uncommon for a dog to be prescribed both at once. We have seen today that they have negative impacts on the immune system and body in general and do not build health but rather, weaken it over time.

In part two of this video blog we will be taking a look at some better natural alternatives to both steroids and antibiotics so stay tuned for that coming next week. Well I hope you have enjoyed this post on Antibiotics and steroids- a damaging duo for your dog. Don’t forget to like, comment and share this post and subscribe to my channel for the latest updates. If you would like to work with me you can see the links in the comment box below for more details. Thankyou and I’ll catch up with you in our next video. Bye for now.