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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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare November, 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, 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, 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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Linda June, 2015

I agree with Judy on this one. My parent’s dog suffered with allergies for years, until they took him off regular dog food. He now eats the refrigerated tubes of raw food and with the addition of fish oil to every meal. No more allergies!

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Alex November, 2014

I have recently started my 15 year old Lab/Collie cross on Prednisone. It’s given her a new lease of life. She gets up without crying in pain. I’ve decided at 15 it’s worth risking the side effects for her to be pain free and really enjoying life with our 16 week old puppy and us, her family.

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Wanda May, 2015

What dosage do you give your Lab/Collie? I have a mixed but mostly lab, 12 years old and around 75 pounds. I’m sure there are heart worms and, from research, I gather pieces travel to the lungs resulting in bronchitis. Her cough and breathing were so bad so I tried .5mg Prednisone twice per day. After 2 days I saw a remarkable improvement. But I don’t know how long to treat and if following maintenance with low dosage is possible? Thanks for any input.

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Suzanne October, 2014

Is Prednisone effective in dogs for pain?

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James December, 2014

Hi Suzanne. It’s not typically used to treat pain directly. Of course, its effective use for some of the conditions mentioned in this article, such as inflammation, can reduce pain overall. I hope that helps.

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Elaine August, 2014

I have had my dog since she was nine; she is 12 now. Most of her life she’s suffered from dermatitis. Sometimes her skin is raw. I cannot afford a vet’s services at the present time so my friend gave me 5mg of Prednisone that she gives to her dog for the same problem. My dog weighs about 8kg. My friend suggested 1/2 a tablet every second night but I’m not sure. I bathe her weekly in a quality medicated canine shampoo.

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Terence March, 2014

There are a number of synthetically produced glucocoticoids available. They typically have names ending in “-sone” – names like Prednisone. The downside of synthetic steroid hormones is they can have a very long list of side effects which can create more serious health problems than the problem they were prescribed to treat.

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