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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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonia May 7, 2015

I am giving my 7 pound Chihuahua 1/2 of a 5mg pill for a herniated disk. But his appetite has since decreased. Should I worry?

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Jason May 16, 2015

Sometimes a dog’s appetite will decrease due to discomfort. Although most pills for that will cause an increase in water intake, it is hard to fully know without knowing your dog’s age and the type of medication your pup is on.

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Janice February 24, 2015

My vet just prescribed 5mg Prednisone for my 10 year old 13 pound Chihuahua for a heart murmur. He has had one pill and is drinking and peeing constantly. Does anyone have any suggestions for what else he can take? I don’t like the idea of this drug.

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Mert Miller February 25, 2015

Prednisone typically makes dogs drink more and pee more. However, I think your dosage is too high for an older, small dog. I gave one 10mg split in half, twice a day to a 90 pound Lab for about ten days for a temporary condition. Heart murmur is probably permanent and long term, but treatable. Try cutting back and/or spread over 2 doses. I think 5mg is a lot for a little peanut. Good Luck!

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Jill February 19, 2015

My 3.5 pound Maltese was put on Prednisone for possible meningitis. He is eating like crazy. They are going to lower his dose to just a minimal therapeutic amount. Does anyone know if this will decrease his appetite? He has gained a pound and is getting fat.

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Lolita November 30, 2014

Within a week Prednisone made my dog worse and more sedated. It is a medicine that just helps the pain or inflammation but not the underlining issue. I got her off of it and started to use milk thistle, apple cider vinegar and Reiki. Then she was up and moving. I hope that helps.

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Clare November 11, 2014

Our White Boxer has been on Prednisone (therapeutic 2.5mg) since the big itch started 3 years ago. She’s had blood tests, skin scrapings; the whole lot came up with no allergies. Just yesterday she had hives and was given 2.5mg of steroids, but then when evening came they were up again. To make things worse, her vet is away. Hubby has just gone for the Piriton, she’s has been on it before. I didn’t think the Prednisone took pain away. It does take the itching away but I wouldn’t have thought it was for pain relief! Isn’t something like Metacam more for pain?

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Janet December 13, 2014

I was told by a vet to never to give Metacam while taking Prednisone. She also said there should be a 5-day interval before starting the other drug. Metacam does contain pain inhibitors and takes inflammation down. Prednisone is a steroid and we have given it to our Labradoodle for his chronic ear infections. It seems to work for a time, but his allergies always come back.

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Judy January 19, 2015

Just saw your post and wanted to pass this along. Our dogs were suffering just as yours. As a last resort we stopped all commercial dog foods and home cooked dog foods, and started feeding them only raw meats, eggs, poultry, fish, etc. It was a miracle turnaround for both of them. No more itching, sores, scratching and they are having the best lives ever. Best of luck to you.

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