Can I Give My Dog Prednisone?

Can I Give My Dog Prednisone?Prednisone is a strong synthetic corticosteroid steroid used to treat a variety of issues not exclusive to us humans. It turns out that vets prescribe this drug to treat many different conditions in dogs.

If your four-legged friend has been recommended for a prescription dose of Prednisone it could very well save their life. Veterinarians will use this effective treatment when a dog is suffering from a systemic disease or condition.

It’s true that Prednisone often works wonders. Your job is to know more about this powerful drug which could one day save your pet dog’s life.

Can I Give My Dog Prednisone? Answer: Yes, as prescribed by a vet

Prednisone comes in topical, injectable and most popularly oral tablet form as a prescription but only from your vet.

It will affect every organ in your dog’s body because of it’s strong properties. This steroid acts by suppressing the immune system and blocking certain responses produced in the body. Allergies resulting in inflammation, Addison’s disease, nervous system disorders, Cushing’s disease, certain autoimmune diseases, brain swelling, spinal cord trauma and some cancers are problems some dogs face which are often treated with Prednisone.

Know What to Expect

Expect your dog to show some negative effects as a result of this drug. The most obvious is that they’ll tend to drink more water because it dehydrates them. This will get your attention when they have to urinate frequently. It’s normal. Many people also report stomachs problems in their pets. Ask your vet if you should give it to your dog in their food in order to avoid a stomachache.

Other side effects can occur when your dog is being treated with Prednisone. Monitor your canine for abnormal behavior or adverse reactions. Fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, weight gain, vomiting and possibly a change in behavior including slight increased aggression are all possible.

If you think a particular symptom could be very serious then take your dog back to the veterinarian for close observation.

When Not to Take Prednisone

There are certain drugs that cannot interact well with Prednisone. They are listed below so you can be sure not to make a fatal mistake:

All other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory meds, Rifampin, Phenobarbital, Salicylate, Mitotane, Phenytoin, Diuretics, Anticholinesterase, Amphotericin B, Erythromycin and some vaccines.

The above is not an extensive list. Inform your vet of any drugs that you are giving to your dog to avoid complications. Also, if your canine is diabetic or pregnant tell your veterinarian before they prescribe this glucocorticoid. Inform them if you know that your dog has a bad or weak liver because this organ plays a key role in the use of Prednisone.

Prednisone Dosage & Duration

Allow your vet to determine the proper dose when it comes to such a powerful drug. The generally accepted dosage is 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams per pound of your dog’s body weight. Please confirm that with your vet beforehand.

There’s some confusion about the duration of Prednisone treatment. It really depends on what condition is being treated and because there are so many uses for the drug it’s difficult to speculate. Depending on the response to the drug and the treatment objective, duration can vary significantly. Your veterinarian may have you administer the drug by starting with a high dose and gradually reducing it over time.

In any case, follow their instructions closely for your dog’s sake. Do not miss a dose and even the time of day, pill time, should be closely adhered to for the best results. Long term use can cause serious problems in the immune system, as well as metabolic and hormonal disturbances. Trust that your vet knows when to take your dog off Prednisone.

Conclusion on Prednisone

While Prednisone work wonders you must understand that this is a controlled substance for good reason. Never attempt to administer the drug without consulting with a qualified vet. If this drug is abused there are usually some very serious negative side effects. Your dog is prone to accidental death from powerful medications such as this one. Never confuse an over-the-counter medicine with a prescription drug. This cannot be emphasized enough!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelsey August 30, 2015

I’m concerned about my Pomeranian’s weight gain on prednisone. I started giving him 1.5ml of it a year ago when he was diagnosed with chronic colitis (inflammation of the colon). I’ve taken him off several times but he just regresses back to bloody stool, lack of appetite, etc. My vet said he may be on it for the rest of his life. Throughout the year I’ve managed to get him on a very low effective dosage of .05ml a night. Just enough to work, but if I give him any less his body digresses. Even at this dosage he’s still gaining weight. He’s gained 2 pounds in the last year. I’m not sure how to keep his weight off. Any suggestions?

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Charlotte August 15, 2015

My Pomeranian, a little bigger 16 pounds, had white tongue and gums. It started very fast. He was not playing and looking so tired. The vet found a very low red blood cell count. He also had a low grade fever of 102 degrees. The doctor did some testing to make sure there were no internal injuries but I was never told what caused this. In the end, I was given pills for Lyme disease and also Prednisone.

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Irene August 14, 2015

A family member has an 8 year old Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix that’s around 13 pounds. The vet prescribed a tapered dose of Prednisone which was inadvertently given incorrectly as the same dose everyday day until it was gone, two weeks later. When the last pill was given, they noticed the tapered dosage instructions.

By that time, the dog had been vomiting and wouldn’t eat. The vet was contacted again and informed of the circumstances. He called in more prednisone! Should we be worried? The dog won’t take any now due to being ill. Please help! The vet will be called again soon but I just wanted some possible help now.

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Marian August 4, 2015

My dog has been prescribed Prednisone by my vet. It’s for rectal itching. The dose is 5mg twice daily for 5 days, with 2.5mg for the balance. A total of 20 5mg pills were prescribed. I have noticed that he is lethargic, has a great appetite and looks larger. I am concerned for him. I don’t feel comfortable continuing this medication. He has 19 2.5mg tablets remaining. Can you tell me if it’s okay to discontinue this drug at once, or should it be gradual? I will also let my vet know this.

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Barb August 7, 2015

Your dog must be weaned of it. If you just stop suddenly, it can cause liver and kidney damage.

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Geraldine July 25, 2015

My vet put my 13 pound 7 year old Pekingese on 2.5mg of Prednisone for a herniated disc. I’m in the process of cutting back every other day util it’s gone. I’ve worried about picking her up, afraid it will hurt her. She wears a harness and we’ve used that to pick her up.

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