Prednisone And Prednisolone For Dogs: Uses, Dosage, And Side Effects

Prednisolone and Prednisone for dogs are glucocorticoids commonly prescribed for the treatment of Addison’s disease, neoplasia, and cancer, and as immune suppressants or anti-inflammatory drugs for canines.

Prednisone for dogs is a steroid that is quickly converted into Prednisolone in the dog’s liver, which makes the two drugs (Prednisone and Prednisolone) considered equally absorbed and bioequivalent. Prednisolone can be prescribed to dogs with liver issues to avoid this conversion altogether. The two drugs have the same basic functions.

These glucocorticoids are stronger than the natural steroid stress hormone cortisol produced by the dog’s body.

Since, in many cases, these drugs are prescribed extra-label or off-label by vets, you should strictly follow the instructions for the correct dosage and administration of Prednisolone and Prednisone for dogs provided by your veterinarian.

Prednisone for dogs can be purchased with a prescription by a veterinarian online here.

But before giving your dog Prednisone or Prednisolone, here is some more information about the usage, dosage, and possible side effects of Prednisolone and Prednisone for dogs to keep in mind.

Prednisolone and Prednisone for dogs – usage


Prednisolone and Prednisone are both glucocorticoids that are widely used for treating or as a supplemental treatment for different illnesses and health problems in dogs and other animals.

Prednisone for dogs is commonly prescribed by veterinarians as a hormonal replacement treatment for Addison’s disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism. This is a disease that prevents the dog’s adrenal glands from producing the essential steroids – cortisol and aldosterone. This is a serious condition, as the lack of these two essential steroids alters the proper functioning and regulation of the vital organs and all other parts of the pup’s body. Needless to say, without treatment, this condition can lead to a severe deterioration of health, a life-threatening Addisonian crisis, and eventually the death of the dog.

Prednisone for dogs is often used for the treatment of canine autoimmune diseases, such as AHA (autoimmune hemolytic anemia), lupus, and others. Prednisone and Prednisolone can successfully suppress the responses of the immune system of an affected dog which causes these debilitating and, in some cases, life-threatening autoimmune diseases.

Thanks to this immune-suppressing effect, Prednisone for dogs is often prescribed to alleviate allergic reactions in canines.

Being efficient anti-inflammatory drugs makes Prednisone and Prednisolone a common choice for the treatment of other conditions affecting dogs, including arthritis, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), asthma, skin disease, bowel disease, and some types of cancer.

Your veterinarian may also prescribe Prednisone for your dog if it is suffering from shock, a central nervous system disorder, or has abnormally high calcium levels in the blood.

Prednisolone and Prednisone for dogs – dosage

You should never give your dog Prednisolone, Prednisone, or other prescription drugs to your dog without them being prescribed specifically for your pet for a specific condition.

You should follow the dosage and administration instructions by the vet very strictly.

These drugs should never be stopped abruptly or given to a dog that will be undergoing allergy testing within the next month.

Since the dosage prescribed for each condition and the specific dog is different and depends on the illness treated, the weight and age of the dog, its overall health, and others, it is difficult to specify the exact dosage of Prednisone for dogs.

Still, here are some basic guidelines for the dosage prescribed for Prednisone for dogs for the different health conditions treated by this drug.

For Addison’s disease, the usual dosage is 0.05-0.18mg per pound of the body weight, and it should be given to the dog until the underproduction of natural steroids is under control. When the disease becomes manageable, the dosage will usually be lowered for the regular steroid level maintenance – with daily dosages as low as 0.009mg.

When Prednisolone or Prednisone is given for allergies in dogs, the usual dosage is about 0.25mg per pound of body weight. But your veterinarian will decide whether this dosage needs to be increased or decreased depending on your dog’s condition, weight, age, and reaction to the drug.

In some cases, the daily dosage for suppressing allergic reactions can reach up to 1mg per day. Still, your veterinarian is the person who will calculate the dosage, which is the most efficient and safest for your pup.

The dosage of Prednisone for dogs can vary depending on the specific condition and from one individual dog to another.

The form of Prednisolone or Prednisone for dogs can vary as well. It is available in tablet and liquid form, but also in injectable form for acute crises and issues, and in topical form for skin conditions.

Usually, the Prednisone will need to be taken with food and will start working in about 1-2 hours.

If you already have a prescription from your vet for it, you can buy Prednisone for dogs online here.

But remember to follow the guidelines for the proper application and dosage of Prednisone for your dog strictly.

Prednisolone and Prednisone for dogs – potential side effects

In small doses, and when used short-term, the risk of side effects from Prednisone and Prednisolone in dogs is minimal.

The most common side effects of short-term use of Prednisone for dogs include:

  • Increased water drinking and urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Behavioral changes, including aggression and other non-typical behavior
  • Slow healing of wounds from surgery or injuries
  • Allergic reactions (some of which can be severe and require emergency care)

The possible side effects of long-term use of Prednisone for dogs can be more severe and include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Addison’s disease
  • Ulcers of the digestive tract
  • Heart disease or heart attack
  • Distension of the abdomen
  • Hair loss, hair dryness

To prevent severe effects from Prednisone, you shouldn’t use this drug for dogs with allergies to it, with viral infections, Cushing’s disease, diabetes, tuberculosis, ulcers, or fungal infections, unless advised by the veterinarian.

You shouldn’t give the drug to pregnant dogs and puppies.

It should not be stopped abruptly to avoid complications. Instead, wane it off slowly, as instructed by your vet.

Overdosing with Prednisolone or Prednisone by dogs can lead to weakness, depression, anxiety, seizures, itching, hypertension, heart issues, hearing loss, and others.

If you suspect that your pup has overdosed, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice.

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