Prednisone For Dogs: Usage, Effects, And Dosage

prednisone for dogs

Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid that regulates several biological processes in a dog’s body. This steroid is of great help when a dog’s body cannot generate cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone. This steroid drug helps to manage electrolyte balance in a dog’s body. As a result, it ensures the correct functioning of the dog’s metabolism and helps the body when it is under stress. So, if you have a pet dog are planning to adopt one, then invest some time in this article.

Relevance Of Prednisone For Dogs

Prednisone can be a lifesaver when your dog suffers from out-of-control inflammatory disorders. When your dog intakes prednisone, it reaches the liver of your dog and gets converted into prednisolone. This is the active form of the drug that the body can use. When the adrenal gland malfunctions, it fails to produce cortisol. In such a condition, prednisone can be the best solution to mediate immune responses and regulate blood pressure and blood glucose level. Hence, prednisone is an anti-inflammatory medication for treating shock, anemia, neoplasia, asthma, inflammatory, and orthopedic diseases.

prednisone for dogs

Moreover, this steroid is very effective to treat Addison’s disease that occurs due to malfunctioning of the adrenal gland. You can use this steroid to combat the allergic responses in your dog’s skin. You can take help of this steroid if your dog suffers from asthma or dry and itchy skin. Apart from this, prednisone is very useful to cure anaphylactic reactions on your dog’s screen. Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction where the body’s own defense mechanism becomes the bad guy. You can resort to this steroid to treat injuries especially in the spinal cord of your dog’s body.

It helps to curb inflammation in the intestine or the respiratory tract. Thrombocytopenia is a disease in which the blood platelet count is abnormally low. In turn, the blood fails to clot when there is an injury in your dog’s body. Hence, it can be fatal sometimes. So, you can use prednisone in such a situation. This medical therapy helps to boost up the liver function of your dog. Prednisone can also treat nervous system disorders in your dog.

Some Associated Benefits Of Prednisone For Dogs:

Take a look at some of the major advantages of using this drug for your beloved dog:


It is an autoimmune disease which affects the entire body of your dog.  Lupus is of two types:

Discoid lupus: This primarily occurs during summer seasons and leads to hair loss and scaly skin. Skin redness, itchiness, and bacterial infections are the symptoms of this disease.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: It can lead to swollen and painful joints and thickened footpads in your dog. Apart from this, it makes your pet extremely weak and temporarily lame. This disease is passed genetically in the dog species. Collie, Shetland Sheepdogs, Afgan Hounds, Beagles, Poodles, and Irish Setters are most vulnerable to such a disease.

Prednisone helps to treat arthritis, eye itchiness, and kidney diseases.

Here comes the use of prednisone to cure these disease permanently.


This disease mainly affects middle-aged dogs and can damage the entire skin of their body.  Your dog may suffer from severe pain as its skin becomes crusted or gets covered in pustules. This disease can spread to the skin of your dog’s paws, face, and ears. Almost all the veterinarians prescribe prednisone to treat this disease and end severe pain and discomfort.

Short-term Side Effects Of Prednisone

Though this steroid is very useful, we have observed the following side-effects in a few cases. The effects usually start after using this steroid beyond four weeks.

Repeated vomiting or loss of appetite are the primary side effects of this steroid.
Continuous use of this steroid can lead to urinary tract infection in your dog.
Since prednisone increases hunger, it can result in obesity.
Excessive use of prednisone can lead to increased thirst, constipation, and diarrhea.
Prednisone can deposit excessive calcium in the cells of your dog’s skin.
Demodectic mange is a skin infection that arises due to consumption of prednisone.
Muscle weakness is a common after-effect of prednisone.
Hair loss, fungal infections, and stomach ailments are other side effects of this steroid.

Long-term Side Effects Of Prednisone

  • The steroid results in diabetes in certain cases.
  • Joint pain, body aches, nausea, and fatigue are some common long-term effects of this steroid.
    You may notice thin or easily broken skin in your dog after using prednisone for an extended period.
    It can cause absorption in case of a pregnant dog and damage the immune system of the puppies it is carrying.

But if your veterinarian administers the use of prednisone for your dog, then you can avoid the side effects to a great extent. It is advised to discontinue the use of prednisone after a few months.

Prednisone Dosage For Dogs

If your dog is going through adrenal deficiencies, then you can give it a dose of 0.05 – 0.18 mg/lb of the dog’s body weight. If you have a 5 pound Chihuahua, then you can give .25 to 1milligram prednisone to it every day. On the other hand, if you have a 50-pound pit bull, then you can provide it with 2.5 to 10 milligrams prednisone per day. But note that you will need to reduce the dosage gradually over time only after consulting the veterinarian. Generally, .25mg/lb per day is prescribed for a dog suffering from allergies and inflammatory conditions.

prednisone for dogs

Whereas, if your dog is suffering from some serious diseases like cancer, then you can use 50 mg/lb of the dog’s weight. It’s better not to use prednisone for a dog that is less than six months old. If your dog has heart relates problems, then do not give prednisone to it.

Below is a brief classification of prednisone dosage. Check the weight class to which your dog belongs and apply the specific dosage accordingly.

  5 to 20 lbs- 1.25 to 5 mg
20 to 40 lbs- 5 to 10 mg
40 to 80 lbs- 10 to 20 mg
80 to 160 lbs- 20 to 40 mg

How Can You Avail Prednisone?

Prednisone is available in the form of chewable tablets, capsules, and liquid suspension. Make a note that the dosage of prednisone depends on your dogs’ health condition, age, weight class, and other factors irrespective of the form you use. You can get prednisone only against the prescription of your veterinarian.

We know that your dog is one of your family members and means the world to you. So, you can easily go for this steroid to treat diseases and bring back the smile on your dog’s snout. But, consider the prednisone dosage with utmost care to avoid unwanted consequences.

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