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Prednisone for Dogs

Posted: 10/05/2022 | BY: Erin Cain | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Are you wondering if prednisone is a good treatment for your dog’s illness? This potent medication can be helpful for many conditions. Still, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons before giving it to your pet. This article will discuss prednisone, how it works, and when its use might be appropriate. We’ll also look at the potential side effects of this drug and how to monitor your dog while he’s taking it. So read on to learn more about this vital medication.

What is prednisone, and what does it do for dogs?

Prednisone is a synthetic steroid used to treat a variety of conditions in dogs. It acts like cortisol and works by reducing inflammation and suppressing the immune system. These actions can help treat conditions like allergies, arthritis, and even cancer. Prednisone is available as an oral tablet, injection, or topical ointment. To be effective, prednisone must be given regularly.

How does prednisone for dogs work?

Prednisone works by binding to receptors in the body that reduce inflammation. It also suppresses the immune system and can treat autoimmune disorders like allergies or arthritis. When appropriately used, prednisone is a safe and effective medication for dogs. However, it’s essential to understand the potential side effects before giving it to your pup.

When is prednisone prescribed for dogs?

Prednisone is most commonly prescribed for dogs suffering from allergies, arthritis, or cancer. It can also treat other conditions, such as:

  • autoimmune diseases 
  • skin conditions
  • stomach ulcers
  • respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis
  • lupus
  • autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Addison’s disease

If your dog has been prescribed prednisone, it’s essential to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully. 

How to administer prednisone for dogs

Prednisone is usually given orally as a tablet but can also be given as an injection or topical ointment. The dosage and length of treatment will vary depending on the dog’s condition.

Prednisone is typically given to dogs in the form of tablets or liquid. The pills come in 10 mg-20mg capsules, while liquids range from 10mL to 60 mL. The dosage is determined by the dog’s body weight. Liquid prednisone can either be given with food or a veterinarian can directly inject the drug into the dog’s bloodstream.

What are the potential side effects of prednisone for dogs?

The most common side effects of prednisone in dogs are increased thirst, urination, panting, and hunger. Less common side effects include: 

  • weight gain
  • behavioral changes
  • gastrointestinal upset
  • difficulty sleeping
  • high blood pressure
  • high blood sugar
  • swelling from fluid buildup
  • muscle weakness
  • increased thirst or appetite.
  • lethargy
  • nausea 
  • vomiting
  • development or worsening of infections

If your dog exhibits urinary tract infections, poor wound healing ability, fever, thin skin and coat, and adult mange, take your dog to a veterinary clinic for immediate treatment.

Precautions to take when giving your dog prednisone

Prednisone is a safe and effective medication when used as directed by a veterinarian. However, there are some precautions you should take when giving this medication to your dog. First, prednisone can make your dog more susceptible to infections. If your dog takes prednisone, monitor him closely for any illness.

Additionally, this medication can interact with other medications your dog is taking. Prednisone should not be taken with any NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) or budesonide. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about all your dog’s medications before starting treatment with prednisone.

Also, watch for any changes in your pup’s behavior or appetite. If you notice any of these changes, contact your veterinarian right away.

Is prednisone the same as prednisolone?

Prednisone and prednisolone are similar medications with different impacts on the body. Both synthetic steroids can be used to treat various conditions in dogs. Prednisolone belongs to a class of drugs that includes its more powerful cousin, prednisone. Vets use steroids in many short-term medical situations, like treating nausea or a respiratory flare-up. However, they can also prescribe them for long-term use to treat chronic health conditions, such as an overactive immune system.

After a dog takes prednisone, it is activated in the liver and starts to work. Prednisone is a prodrug because chemical changes happen when this medication enters the body. Those chemical changes result in its active form, prednisolone. 

Whereas prednisone must be converted once it enters the body, prednisolone does not. Prednisolone is already an active drug that is ready to work once taken.

Cover prednisone costs with a pet insurance plan.

The cost of short-term and long-term medication like prednisone can add up fast. Save yourself some stress with a dog insurance plan, which can reimburse you for up to 90% of your bill. Get a free quote from Pet Insurance Review, and start planning for your dog’s medical future today.


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  2. Keenan, J. (2022). The Most Common Autoimmune Diseases in Dogs. Retrieved from
  3. Cain, E. (2022). Pet Cancer: What Does Pet Insurance Cover? Retrieved from
  4. Cain, E. (2022). How to Treat a Dog’s Upset Stomach: Home Remedies and Tips. Retrieved from
  5. Brooks, W. (2021). Prednisolone/Prednisone. Retrieved from



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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