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Bark n Wag 15 Minute Vet Talk

Dec 18, 2017

Dr. Susan McMillan, owner of Vet to Pet Mobile Veterinary Service discusses prednisone. This episode is sponsored by MoleKule. Molekule is offering $75.00 off your first order by mentioning vettalk. 

What is prednisolone?

Well, when prednisone enters the kidneys, it is activated as prednisolone. If there is weak or compromised liver function, prednisolone for dogs may be administered instead for the same effects. Both prednisone and prednisolone are catabolic steroids. Their primary function in dogs is to relieve swelling and inflammation that arise due to any number of medical conditions. Let’s learn more about prednisone for dogs, its uses, and its potentially dangerous side effects!

What is prednisone used for in dogs?

Prednisone has a wide range of applications for medical treatment in dogs. Usually, it is deployed in treating severe allergies, or other conditions that involve a great deal of swelling and inflammation. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Breathing problems, such as asthma or respiratory infection
  • Joint pain associated with arthritis
  • Skin irritations or itching due to allergic reactions, eczema, or dermatitis
  • Severe allergic reactions, like anaphylactic shock
  • Addison’s disease, in which adrenal function is compromised
  • Cancer, including lymphoma
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Prednisone and prednisolone for dogs are very useful steroids, but very strong, twice as powerful or more than the cortisol naturally produced by their own adrenal glands. It should be administered with great care and precision.

What is the proper dosage of prednisone for dogs?

Is there a standard prednisone dosage for dogs? Not really. For humans, typical prednisone dosages include 20mg, 10mg, and 5mg. Dogs come in so many shapes and sizes that standard human dosages are far too high for them to tolerate. A dog’s veterinarian will take size, age, weight, and overall health condition, as well as the state of the dog’s liver to process steroids, into account before prescribing a dosage that is individually tailored to them.



How is prednisone administered?

Prednisone and prednisolone are versatile steroids, and are available in a number of formats. Prednisone can be given orally, topically, or by direct injection. It can be prescribed for dogs as tablets, pills, eye drops, liquid, syrup, injection, or topical ointment. A dog’s veterinarian will determine which form and what prednisone dosage are best for a given dog, based on the dog’s condition and particular needs.

Side effects of prednisone in dogs

Side effects of prednisone for dogs are not mild, and can affect multiple internal and external systems, and yield a number of behavioral changes. Unless the situation is dire indeed, prednisone and prednisolone should be avoided when it comes to treating puppies, very young dogs, and dogs that have diabetes or are pregnant. It is particularly dangerous for young dogs and puppies, since long-term use of prednisone can slow or inhibit their normal patterns of growth and restrict their progress toward physical maturity.