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Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid that vets prescribe to dogs for various illnesses.
Sometimes this drug is a life saver. Dogs with certain systemic diseases or other chronic conditions may greatly benefit from taking Prednisone.
That said, administering this strong pharmaceutical is a big responsibility. Misuse can be deadly.
Keep reading to learn more…
Prednisone Has Uses For Dogs
But it should never be provided without your veterinarian’s guidance.
Make no mistake:
It is too dangerous to give your dog leftover Prednisone.
When used correctly, this steroid suppresses the immune system and blocks certain responses.
In particular, Prednisone helps with:
- Addison’s disease
- Nervous system disorders
- Cushing’s disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Brain swelling
- Spinal cord trauma
Side Effects Are Common
Don’t be surprised if your dog experiences some side effects from taking Prednisone.
For one, pets tend to drink more water because the drug has a dehydrating effect. Fido may also urinate frequently which would be normal.
Unfortunately, stomach problems are also commonplace.
For this reason, a specialist may advise mixing Prednisone in with your dog’s food as a way to avoid a stomachache.
Unfortunately hair loss, fatigue, diarrhea, weight gain, vomiting and even behavioral changes (including aggression) are possible as well.
Closely watch for adverse reactions. And do not hesitate to return to your vet if a symptom seems serious.
Prednisone Pet Precautions
The fact is some drugs do not interact well with Prednisone.
The following is not an extensive list:
- All other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
- Amphotericin B
- Some vaccines
To avoid complications, make your vet aware of any drugs that your dog is currently taking.
Diabetic or pregnant pups probably should not take this glucocorticoid.
Prednisone For The Liver
Prednisone is metabolized in the liver. Extra care must be taken for dogs with existing liver problems.
The good news is that Prednisone can help to limit fibrosis, improve blood’s ability to coagulate and reduce inflammation.
Head over to the retrospective study of 36 prednisolone-treated dogs for more information.
Dog Dosing And Duration
A professional must determine a correct Prednisone dose for your dog.
Looking for a general guideline?
A typical amount is 0.1 to 0.3 milligrams per pound of body weight, but your veterinarian must sign off.
There is confusion about treatment duration when it comes to dogs. It really depends on the condition being treated. With many uses for the drug, it is difficult to say.
The vet may have you administer Prednisone by starting with a high dose and gradually reduce it over time.
FYI: This steroid comes in topical, injectable and oral form. They all require a prescription.
Trust Your Veterinarian
Follow the instructions to the tee.
Do not miss a dose!
Even the time of day should be consistent for best results. Your dog is depending on you!
Long term use can cause serious problems for the immune system. Metabolic and hormonal disturbances are possible.
Trust that your vet knows when to take your dog off Prednisone.
The Bottom Line
Prednisone is a treatment option for dogs for several different medical problems.
But this corticosteroid cannot be given without a professional’s help.
Do not go it alone. Quite serious side effects can occur and your dog would be prone to all sorts of dangers, including accidental death.