Prednisone is a strong synthetic corticosteroid steroid used to treat a wide variety of issues not exclusive to humans. Vets prescribe this drug to treat lots of different conditions found in pets including dogs. If you’ve heard about this drug and want to know more about it in regards to your dog, you have come to the right place.
If your K9 has been recommended for a prescription dose of Prednisone it could very well save their life. Often times a veterinarian will suggest this treatment if your dog is suffering from a systemic disease or condition which is could be quite serious in nature. The good news is Prednisone often works wonders. Your job is to simply know more about this powerful drug which could save your dog’s life.
Can I Give My Dog Prednisone ? Answer: Yes, But Only If Prescribed By Your Vet
Prednisone comes in topical, injectable and most popularly oral tablet form as a prescription 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. Serious 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 just a few problems dogs face which are often treated with Prednisone.
What to Really Expect
You can expect your dog to show negative effects as a result of this drug. The most obvious may be that dogs tend to drink more water because it dehydrates them. This will get your attention when they have to urinate frequently. It is normal. Many people report stomachs problems in their pets so ask your vet if you should give it to your dog in their food in order to avoid an upset stomach.
There are sometimes other side effects you should know about when your dog is being treated with this drug. We won’t list all possible symptoms here, for the sake of easy reading, but be sure to monitor your dog for abnormal behavior or adverse reactions. In general expect fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, weight gain, vomiting and possibly a change in behavior including slight increased aggression. If you think a symptom is very serious then definitely take your dog back to the veterinarian for close observation.
When Not to Take Prednisone
Communication with your vet is critical since only you can represent your dog at the clinic. There are certain drugs that cannot interact well with Prednisone and 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. Keep in mind this is not an extensive list. Inform your vet of any drugs that you are giving your dog to avoid complications.
If your dog is diabetic or pregnant tell your veterinarian before they prescribe this glucocorticoid. Also, inform the vet if you know that your dog has a bad or weak liver because this organ plays a key role in the use of Prednisone.
Proper Prednisone Dosage & Duration
Always allow your vet to determine the proper dose when it comes to such a powerful drug. In case you are curious the generally accepted dosage is 1 to 3 milligrams per pound of your dog’s body weight. If your dog is prescribed a stronger dose please post your experience in the comment section further down the page.
There is some confusion about the normal duration of Prednisone treatment. It really depends on what condition is being treated and because there are so many uses for the drug it is 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.
Be sure to follow their instructions closely for your dog’s sake. It is important not to miss a dose and even the time of day, pill time, should be closely adhered to for the best results.
It is true that long term use can cause serious problems in the immune system, as well as the metabolic and hormonal disturbances. Trust that your vet knows when to take your dog off Prednisone.
Final Word on Prednisone
While Prednisone really does work wonders you must understand 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 very prone to accidental death from powerful medications such as this one. Never confuse an over-the-counter medicine with a prescription drug and this cannot be emphasized enough here.