What You Need to Know About Prednisone for DogsFeb 02, 2023
Prednisone is a prescription medication used to treat many conditions in humans. But did you know veterinarians also use this medication to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms associated with autoimmune disorders, allergies, and cancer in dogs?
In fact, the FDA has approved Prednisone for treating multiple conditions in our four-legged friends, like canine lymphoma, asthma, skin irritations, lupus, arthritis, and more.
When considering Prednisone for your dog, it's important to understand how it works, its side effects, and the proper dosage. We put together this guide to help you decide if this could be the appropriate medication for your pup!
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How does Prednisone work?
Prednisone is a steroid that decreases inflammation in the body (which is why it's sometimes called an anti-inflammatory). It does this by reducing the chemicals released by cells responsible for inflammation. As a result, Prednisone reduces redness, swelling, and pain associated with inflammation.
It also has other effects on the body, including suppressing your dog's immune system to prevent further damage from autoimmune disorders.
Side effects of Prednisone in dogs
When taken as prescribed, Prednisone can be an effective treatment for many conditions in dogs. However, since it suppresses the immune system, some potential side effects include:
Gastrointestinal issues (vomiting or diarrhea)
Changes in behavior, such as aggression or lethargy
Additionally, long-term use of Prednisone can weaken bones, so if you're considering using this medication over an extended period of time, you should discuss this with your vet.
The right dosage
When giving Prednisone to your dog, getting the dose right is essential. Too little won't have any effect, while too much could cause severe problems like organ damage or even death.
For dogs, Prednisone is typically prescribed at 2.5 mg per 10 lbs. The medication is given by mouth in either liquid or tablet form, and the average daily dosages are:
5 to 20 lb = 1.25 to 5 mg
20 to 40 lb = 5 to 10 mg
40 to 80 lb body weight = 10 to 20 mg
80 to 160 lb body weight = 20 to 40 mg
The best way to ensure you get the dosage right is to follow your vet's instructions closely and only give what is recommended after consulting them first. Your vet will also provide instructions on how often you should give the medication—typically only once or twice a day—and advise you on any dietary restrictions necessary while giving Prednisone to your dog.
Prednisone can be an effective treatment option for many conditions in dogs. Still, it's crucial that you understand how it works, its possible side effects, and the proper dosage before giving it to your pet.
If you have questions about using Prednisone for your dog, make sure to consult your veterinarian before starting treatment. With their guidance, you can ensure that your beloved four-legged friend receives the best care possible.
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This guide is meant to be informative only and should not be used in place of professional veterinary advice.