Thursday, April 4, 2019

Everything You Need To Know About Prednisone for Pets

If your vet has recently prescribed prednisone for your dog or your cat, you may have
questions regarding its uses, dosage information and side effects. If prednisone
sounds familiar to you in a setting outside of the vet’s office, it may be because
it's a treatment recommended for humans too! However, we'll be breaking down this
medication and its uses in dogs and cats.


Prednisone for Dogs and Cats




Prednisone is a synthetic steroid with significant anti-inflammatory activity. It's used to
treat a variety of conditions because it affects the inflammatory process at different
levels. It belongs to a group of drugs called corticosteroids, which all manage
inflammation in diseases or medical conditions involving the immune system. Our
bodies and the bodies of our pets produce a natural corticosteroid called cortisol.
However, certain diseases, which we'll outline below, can exacerbate the body's need
for anti-inflammation relief, and prednisone’s overall anti-inflammatory activity is about
four times that of cortisol. It may be administered in a variety of ways, including orally,
topically or via injection.


What Is Prednisone for Dogs and Cats Used For?

Prednisone for pets is used to treat inflammation, autoimmune diseases and even regulate the immune
system of your dog or cat. It can also be used in emergency reactions like
anaphylactic reactions, spinal cord trauma and other forms of shock. The most typical
reasons veterinarians prescribe it are to treat the following:


- Allergies
- Addison's disease
- Anaphylactic shock
- Arthritis
- Asthma
- Autoimmune disease
- Central nervous system disorders
- Cushing's disease
- Dermatitis
- Eczema
- Hormonal disorders
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Liver conditions
- Lupus
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Orthopedic disease


As with any prescription medication, special care has to be taken to follow dosing
instructions. This is especially the case with prednisone, since chronic or inappropriate
use of a corticosteroid can have long-term effects on a pet, such as life-threatening
hormonal and metabolic changes.


Prednisone Side Effects in Dogs



Short-term use of prednisone usually does not cause negative side effects. Some
short-term side effects, however, can include panting, vomiting, diarrhea, increased
appetite and thirst, poor haircoat, loss of energy, weight gain or skin infections.


More serious side effects may occur when prednisone is used for longer periods of
time, especially when high dosages are used. Adverse effects are also much more
common in pets that are on immunosuppressive doses. These side effects may include
the following:


- Diabetes mellitus
- Elevated liver enzymes
- GI disturbance
- GI ulceration
- Lipidemia
- Muscle wasting
- Pancreatitis
- Polyuria
- Polydipsia
- Polyphagia
- Possible behavioral changes


Polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia may be seen in dogs even on short-term therapy.


Prednisone Side Effects in Cats




Cats actually may require higher doses of prednisone to have a clinical response to
the medication, and they are also less likely to develop side effects.


However, the following side effects may still occur in cats:


- Behavioral changes
- GI disturbances
- Polyuria
- Polydipsia
- Weight gain
- Polyphagia
- Diabetes mellitus


Prednisone Dosage Recommendations for Dogs


As mentioned above, cats often require a higher dosage of the medication to reach a
vet's desired effects - much higher than a dog - so dosage instructions will depend
greatly on the vet's recommendations. Please refer to the specific dosing directions in
reference to any prescription drug.


Average oral doses for dogs are based on a recommendation of 2.5 mg per 10 pounds
(4.5 kg) body weight per day:


5 to 20 pounds (2 to 9 kg) body weight - 1.25 to 5 mg


20 to 40 pounds (9 to 18 kg) body weight -  5 to 10 mg


40 to 80 pounds (18 to 36 kg) body weight - 10 to 20 mg


80 to 160 pounds (36 to 73 kg) body weight - 20 to 40 mg


The total daily dose of prednisone should be given in divided doses, six to 10 hours
apart.


Drug Interactions and Overdosing


If your pet is on other medications or supplements, it's important to review them
thoroughly with your vet since there are multiple drug interactions that can have
adverse effects or inhibit the effectiveness of prednisone. Here are some drug
interactions to be aware of:


Amphotericin B or diuretics may cause an increased risk of electrolyte imbalance.


Estrogen may potentiate the effects of corticosteroids.


Vaccination immune response may be reduced.


Prednisone may increase the requirements of insulin in pets with diabetes.


Stomach and GI ulcers may occur when a corticosteroid is administered with a
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prone to causing ulcers.


Aspirin and other salicylates, phenytoin, phenobarbital, rifampin, cyclosporin,
erythromycin, mitotane and anticholinesterase drugs such as neostigmine and
pyridostigmine may all cause drug interactions.


Overdosing on prednisone is unlikely in short-term administration because of adrenal
suppression. Long-term administration can cause problems that relate to the
suppression of normal adrenal functions, metabolic crisis because of abrupt
withdrawal of prednisone or iatrogenic Cushing's disease.




At Medi-Vet, we supply you with the right medications and supplies to keep or get your
pet healthy. Be sure to check out our detailed product description to learn more about
prednisone in a variety of milligram strengths, including 1 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg.

Prescription medications like prednisone can only be purchased on Medi-Vet by
licensed veterinarians and pharmacies. A current license must be on file prior to
shipping.

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