Prednisone Use in Dogs

Prednisone Use in Dogs

The Use of Prednisone in Dogs
Article Courtesy of PetAlive

Dogs have proven their usefulness to humans time and again. In the Stone Age, they helped man in hunting. In the stressful lives that we lead these days, dogs help us in relieving stress by providing a fun-filled atmosphere.

But great responsibilities accompany the fun. Taking good care of your canine pal is not always easy. Reality checks happen in the form of diseases and the solution is not always as simple as giving medication. Many medicines that are administered to dogs come with their own set of complications and side effects.

Prednisone is one drug that is often used for treating autoimmune diseases in dogs. It is a synthetic inactive corticosteroid that is chemically converted by the liver into prednisolone, an active steroid. The benefits of prednisone use for treating a number of conditions in humans and animals have been established over time. The uses that prednisone has been put to are diverse.

1. Treatment of excessive itching.
2. Alleviation of asthma and other allergies.
3. Managing emergencies like injuries to the spinal chord.
4. Controlling rejections during organ transplants.
5. Treating kidney disorders.

The manner in which this drug works allows it to be extremely versatile. It suppresses the immune system and therefore can be used to treat auto-immune, inflammatory and kidney diseases.

But the side effects that it causes are taxing for the most loving pet owner. Side effects that can be caused even if the drug is used for a considerably short period of time are

1. Renal disorders.
2. Abnormal thirst levels.
3. Excessive hunger.
4. Insatiable diet.

Side effects that occur only after a considerable period of usage are

1. Ulcers in the digestive tract.
2. Pain and inflammation in pancreas.
3. Diabetes.
4. Degeneration of muscles
5. Unpredictable change in behaviors.

The most dangerous side effect that can appear while administering the drug is hyperadrenocorticism in dogs. Also known as Cushing’s disease, this condition is caused by an overdose of the drug.

Since it is a corticosteroid itself, prednisone obstructs the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. If the drug is continued for more than a week it can affect the normal functioning of the adrenal glands permanently. This results in a dependency on the drug since the body is unable to create its own natural corticosteroids.

Though prednisone seems like a wonder drug at times, indiscriminate use of the same can be very dangerous. It can lead to conditions like Cushing’s disease in dogs and Addison’s disease, both of which can prove to be fatal.

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71 Responses

  1. Barbara ODay says:

    Can anyone please give me a healthy alternative medication for a friend’s dog that is on Prednisone for itching around the anal gland!! She is on the Raw Feeding Diet and is free of worms and no anal gland problems…. their vet suggested that she must be allergic to something, maybe grass!

  2. JD says:

    My son just had to put his dog down after her being on prednisone. I would suggest that you find a holistic vet that understands how some medication can help one thing but also destroy other parts of the body. I have a 13 yr old dog that was having lots of problems and thru her care seems to be doing ok for his age. He is treated with holistic medications that are natural. I also am finding that her fees are not any higher than my regular vet whom would want to operate and at 13 I felt that his chances were not good on recovery so God answered my prayers on finding someone who could make him comfortable. I hope this helps

  3. Fran says:

    I don’t feel that you should discount Prednisone completely as my daughter had her i4yr.old Sheltie (now 16) on that and she is doing well two years later.

  4. Dawn says:

    Don’t be too sure about prednisone. My jack russell has been on this for about 4 years and is now showing side effects from being on it too long. She takes it for her addisons disease. I would appreciate it if anyone could let me know how to find a holistic vet.

    • Jason says:

      Hi Just 2 let you know….
      These Drugs are NOT Good for ANY DOG!!! I had to Put my Dog down. :'( My Fred. I MISSSS Him SOO VERY MUCH! Coushions Diesese. Fred was THE SMARTEST DOG Here in Niagara Falls Ontario. December 23-24th I got him. Fred was born on November 09th 1999 Put him down 2012 December 07th. Poor Fred.

      • Charlie says:

        Pfizer may be the manufacturer in this case. Pfizer is Pilgrims Society represented. What is the Pilgrims Society? It represents the wealth looted out of the world during centuries of the British Empire including the opium “trade” in China, in which the British had 45 million addicts—all forced to pay in silver, so England could “recover” from China hundreds of years of payments made in silver by England and Europe to China for trade goods over the Silk Road. The Pilgrims represents the “robber barons” of the 1800s in railroads, oil, timber, banking, coal, steel, copper mining, chemicals, newspapers, insurance, sugar, land, etc. The Pilgrims Society always controls the USA President, Google image search “President Pilgrims Society” and it owns the big (veterinary) drug interests like Pfizer and others. This is history’s greatest influence network and is sponsored by the world’s largest landowners—the British Royal family. They plan to force dozens of dangerous vaccines on everyone and California is where they’ve started (see “Dr. Richard Pan”).

  5. ruth brown says:

    I had to put my chow chow down because of prednisone…I will never use it again. Please try natural products.

  6. ts says:

    i am wondering if anyone knows the dosage for this stuff. my 2 year old shepherd mix weighs in at 19 kg. and was prescribed prednisone of 20 mg 2x a day. that is 40 mg of this stuff almost 1 mg per kg. i realize i am not a vet nor a doctor for that matter, but that seems like an awful lot for a dog. that’s just me.

  7. Lynnie says:

    My 13 year old Golden was on Prednisone for a skin allergy and infection. It cleared up the itching and her skin and while she was on it totally changed her personality AND jeopardized her health. Panting is a side effect, but she would breathe so fast and shallow that we honestly thought she was going to die. She would pace the yard, only stopping long enough to drink more water and then pace again. She started snatching food away from the kids. I made a vow that she would NEVER take them again. We still dont’ know what she is allergic to, but now we are trying fatty acids and baths to control the itching and sores on her skin. She has lost so much hair on that beautiful face! We are at our wits end, but NO MORE PREDNISONE!

    • ruth griffith says:

      iam trying diets i make at home
      brown rice , green beans . and fresh chicken
      i went to and got alot of info
      also beans are great for your dog too
      i will not give my dog prednisone it has to many side effects and can cause death it also doesnot heal your dog it only works for just a little while
      do research your dog has a yeast infection i bet and antibotic u buy from a vet does not cure your dog either
      hope i helped you

  8. Nena says:

    My little chihuahua had been on Predisone for allergies. She then developed anal itching which was driving her crazy. Vet said it was probably her anal glands and should probably think about having them removed. What I did, instead, was take her off Predisone, and the anal itching disappeared after about 3 days. Doing fine now.

  9. Tina says:

    My daughter’s 4 yr old pit bull named Diamond passed away yesterday(Monday) morning unexpectedly. She had started having some strange symptoms ie.. sudden extreme weakness and then a little while later she was fine. She wouldn’t drink water, but would drink milk. Her appetite had decreased and literally within 48 hours you could see a noticable difference in her stomach size (getting smaller). She was on prednisone for itching. The vet had given her a shot in Oct. and she was fine, but he gave us pills to give her if it came back and it did. I was very careful to give them to her like instructed. She didn’t seem to have any problems prior to the pills. Vet claimed her itchiness and rash was due to fleas, but their were no fleas when it all started up again. When I called the office I was told to continue as discussed. My daughter is 22 and this dog was her baby. She is totally devestated. She had made an appointment to see the vet monday afternoon but Diamond never made it. Could our beloved Diamond died because of the Prednisone? Oh, also, she had been spade 2 years ago, but her teets by her hind quarters were very swollen as well as her female parts.

    • ruth griffith says:

      never give prednisone to your dog it is very harmful and iam sorry 4 your loss .
      your dog probly had a yeast infection
      green beans, brown rice and either real chicken , liver , beef or tuirkey for meats make your own foods veges can be carrots, kale ,celery
      hope it helps

      • greg says:

        You need to do two things Ruth,First,stop telling people that a drug is harmful to an animal because you are not a vet and should not be giving advice.Two,learn how to spell,because its hard to take the advice of someone with no spelling or vocabulary skills in the first place.

      • erin says:

        I was recently watching my friends dog. 8 lb yorkie He was on 5mg predisone for eye infection for a week. The last 3 days got really sick. Worse by the 3rd day. He passed last night. He is 14 years old. He was healthy when he came. The vet swears prednisone wouldn’t do that to a dog and would never ever kill a dog. hmm. He said the age . Why was he fine then he got all the side effects almost listed and vomiting was the worse. He was shaking.

  10. bubbas mom says:

    My french bulldog has been on prednisone for almost 3 years and is now showing severe side effects. He has a muscle inflamatory disease called gme and that’s why the vet prescribe it. For awhile it was fine and no one ever warned us of the dangerous side effects. He now has developed a skin disorder from the drug where his skin will develope hot spots and then start to callus until it eventually falls off and is very painful. I have been in the process of taking him to a holistic vet that will do an isogenics test. That is where they take a sample of the dogs blood for test and it shows what the dogs are lacking and what they need to balance out their body. Hopefully this can get rid of the prednisone.

  11. nancy says:

    If your pet has a medical condition that requires medication, you need to followup with your vet until the pet is well. You need to understand what the diagnosis is, what the prognosis is and what the treatment is. You need to talk to your vet and ask as many questions as is necessary. You also need to followup with the vet if the animal doesn’t get better or has any new symptoms. Animals instinctively hide illness and unfortunately it’s often too late by the time the owner realizes how sick the animal is. You also need to get a second opinion if your vet isn’t helping you to understand what the situation is. It’s not unlike your own healthcare. Prednisone is a very useful drug for many chronic conditions, however, it’s not without side effects, both short term and long term. Holistic care is wonderful but it doesn’t work for many illnesses. Self-diagnosis and delayed treatment often results in a very ill pet, making successful treatment more difficult. The key to healthy pets is having a solid relationship with a regular vet and active participation in your pet’s healthcare.

    • Rori says:

      My little malti-poo dog finally got diagnosed with SARDS when she suddenly went blind after 2 months chasing down her other terrible symptoms, including seizures, from vet to vet (most holistic). I found Dr. Plechner in Culver City, he used cortisone shots right off, and in 24 hours she had her vision back – and all the side effects, too. Now we’re on oral medrol, 2mg/day, side effects are less than they were, she’s always hungry (so am I…must be something changes in your metabolism with auto-immune disease). I believe the idea of Dr. Plechner’s treatment is to only replace the cortisol my dog isn’t making – so that there aren’t any side effects, and to use holistic treatments instead when she’s stable.

      I am SO not into Western medicine for any creature, and yet the holistic vets I started with (Dr. Plechner IS holistic – we’re using krill oil and betonite clay, too…) all had their mouths open when I told them my dog had gone suddenly blind from SARDS and then recovered her vision, saying “That doesn’t happen…” so…sometimes you have to go “House” (from the TV series where he’s always using powerful Western drugs…) and then work backwards.

      About the Addisons…I’d love to know how the holistic vets treat that, since it’s such a specific thing. good luck to you….

      • Rori says:

        ohh…giving her tons of probiotics to try to prevent yeast…and preparing to do more to keep that from happening….

  12. cheska says:

    would dogs also gain weight after taking prednisone? my mother has gained some weight… she’s taking it because of her lupus and it has been a big help…

  13. Diana says:

    I just lost my dog due to prednisone. I would caution everyone to thoroughly research this and any drug your animals take. Prednisone can be a wonder drug in some circumstances. It’s not uncommon to read about dogs that have been on it for years with no problem. However, the long-term effects of taking this drug can be devastating. And by long-term I mean ONE MONTH. What’s worse is that without warning you can go from a simple side effect to a fatal complication. We usually don’t equate ‘side effects’ with ‘death’ but you should with this drug. In our case, my boy developed intestinal ulcers after only four months on prednisone. The ulcer ruptured and the contents of his intestines spilled into his body cavity. This caused a complete systemic shut-down. Even the best veterinary facility in the state couldn’t save him, and he was gone in less than two hours. I won’t deny that there are some useful applications of this drug. However, I implore everyone to do their research, ask questions, and DEMAND answers as well as alternative treatment options from your vet. And if the preds are the only way to go, regularly monitor your dog’s blood levels… and look for natural ways to counteract the side effects. Something as simple as a daily spoonful of Pepto-Bismol might have saved my boy. Instead I’ve lost him, forever.

    • Cathy says:

      Pepto bismal should NEVER be given to a dog on prednisone. It contains aspirin which combined with prednisone CAUSES gastric ulcers. You were thinking of pepcid ac perhaps.

      • Charlie says:

        I dispute this, very strenuously! Prednisone is clearly more potent that PB and bad reports from PB are scarce by comparison. No, it was solely the prednisone that is to blame. Are you a Pfizer shareholder or what?

  14. Michelle says:

    We have been battling our dogs allergy problems since she was probably a year old (she is 5 now). We have taken her to a dermatoligist to diagnose what allergens effect her. She is on an immunothearpy shot, as well as prednisone. We are looking for an alternative for the prednisone, because we know she can’t be on it forever due to the side effects (we just found out she has elevated liver levels), but that is the ONLY thing that we have tried that has stopped her from gnawing herself raw and loosing her hair and being miserable. Any advice would be appreciated.

  15. Nicole says:

    My Golden is 5 years old. As a pup and a teen/young adult dog, he was a dream come true. He didn’t beg, steal food, or get in the trash at all and he never had accidents. When he was 3, we decided to have him neutered because he has hip dysplasia. He developed a lick granuloma from the i.v. after surgery and while fighting that he also started scratching like crazy and ripping his hair out. He was put on amitriptyline and prednisone. During the short period of time, my dog acted like a starving camel. I had to put the water dish up except for small drinks occassionally or he would pee everywhere. He also started stealing food, getting into the trash, and even eating things like cans. I was assured that when the prednisone stopped so would these behaviors. The vet tells me that Argos is allergic to fleas and has food allergies. Ever since he was neutered, we have to limit his food quantities or he gets too heavy and it is hard on his hips. To this day, I cannot step away from any food or he will steal it. If the kids have something near his level, he will try to steal it. I have to keep my trash can up on the dishwasher or the table to keep him out of it or he eats the trash and the trash can. He begs all the time like we never feed him too. Regardless of using expensive flea treatments and special dog foods, my dog still scratches alot and rips out hair or chews himself raw. One vet told me that it’s a nervous thing because everytime someone walks in the door, he scratches. I love my dog. He’s part of my family, but my husband and kids all say that ever since he was on prednisone that he is broken. Is it possible that just a couple of weeks on the medicine changed him permanently? Some days, I honestly don’t want to ever get another dog because I get tired of fighting with him over food.

  16. While I cannot comment on specific cases without all of the medical facts, I can offer my general opinion on the use of coriticosteroids in animals. This group of medications has several properties that make them very useful for treating a variety of problems. Like most medications, there are positives and negatives and both have to be considered in each individual case.

    First of all, any animal on long term medication or undergoing treatment for any chronic condition needs regular recheck examinations by the veterinarian and blood work to make sure that there are no adverse affects. Think of a person with a chronic condition such as high blood pressure. They don’t pick up a prescription and then just take the medication for years on end, or at least they shouldn’t. Neither should your dog.

    Second, doses and forms of steroids vary. You should work with your veterinarian to use commplimnetary therapies to minimize the dose of medications that you need to use. This might involve things such as diet manipulation, supplements, topical medication and other oral systemic medications that can help reduce the side effects of steroids. Dogs that have problems with drinking too much water on prednisone can sometimes do better on a different drug such as methylprednisilone.

    It is a rare allergic dog in our practice that is on chronic, year round steroids for allergies. There are other conditions where high doses of steroids along with the expected side effects are necessary to prolong the life of a pet. Sometimes there are diseases that just do not respond to “safer” medications. There are certainly worse diseases that require medications or treatments with far more serious and frequent complications than we see with coricosteroids.

    Before any pet is started on a long course of steroids, a specific diagnosis should be obtained. Then a prognosis and treatment plan with a risk/benefit analysis can be formulated. Without a specific diagnosis, you and your vet are just guessing at the best therapy.

    It is unlikely that a dog that took a short course of oral steroids would have lasting side effects once the medication was discontinued.

    The thing that you have to remember is that you should be involved in the total health care of your pet. You should demand a complete work up and a specific diagnosis when possible and then discuss the pros and cons of any therapy that is recommended.

    For many of my patients, steroids have been miracle drugs that have saved their lives an provided a high quality alternative to euthanasia. They certainly are not the best drug for every disease, and as with all medications should be used with care.

    • dave says:

      Well spoken, thank you very thank you very much.

    • Charlie says:

      Prednisone killed my dog. One of your peers caused this. He was barraged with veterinary vaccines at an early age. That caused his immune system to fail in regards to recurring skin infections. He was always put on the same drugs, including cephalexin. Prednisone was used to “overcome” the side effects. Veterinary “medications” are another gouging conspiracy against the public, and veterinarians who dispense these are intellectual prostitutes to Big Pharma. A review of the new York Times index, 1851 to 1910, consistently showed that domestic dogs averaged longer lives before the “onset” of veterinary “medicine.” Dogs like people need nutrients—not pharmaceuticals. But of course Pharma lobbies state and national lawmakers to force the public to be piggy banks they can break open at will. Who owns Pharma? The descendants of the “robber barons” of the 1800s—who never went away. I had another dog who was promptly turned into a corpse via ill-advised splenectomy—in order to get at my bank account. I HATE veterinarians. People should absolutely boycott them for two years to see how many can last—it would be a worthy experiment.

  17. Pat Durlak says:

    My Pekingese has been on Predisone for 10 days and her last pill will be tomorrow.She became paralyzed in her hind legs and the Vet ordered this treatment along with crate rest.I hate the fact she is on these pills and contacted a Holistic Vet and my girl is now going 2x a wk for Acupunture treatments.I always read up on meds before I give them to my dogs and many have very bad side effects that I end up not giving at all.I say do your homework and if you can affors alternative treatment all the better.I already see improvements in my girl and have hope that she will again walk and play with the rest..

  18. Peggy Rose says:

    For all you people who have lost dogs to predisone or have dogs with itchy skin problems, especially at the base of the tail: One vet gave me prednisone for my dog to use,I didn’t feel it was a good thing to do,as I know the bad side effects in humans. I went to another vet who gave me a bottle of pills similar to the healthful Omega pills humans take and they worked wonderful. I gave her all the pills in the bottle (90) and 6 months later, still no itching. They are called “Omega EFA Capsules XS. Distributed by Butler Animal Health Supply. please try them before putting your pet on medicine.

  19. Prince Mommie says:

    So-I have taken the time to read everyone’s comments, and I’m shocked and disappointed! My baby has been on prednisone, and I promise today is the last pill. I’m searching like crazy to find an alternative solution, and researching a new vet. I wish there was more we could do for our kids. His symptoms are back already. This is so devastating. I couldnt imagine being without him, andhe is only 2 yrs old (pitbull). And the saddest part is they cant talk n tell us so we have to really do our part as parents. I really hope we all can find a remedy!

  20. Lisa says:

    I’m sorry, but you folks who advise “NEVER TAKE/STOP PREDNISONE” are wrong. I agree with the vet above. Every medication (including aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen) have side effects – if you read the labels, you wouldn’t take those either. And prednisone should NOT be stopped without a taper unless your vet approves it. There can be SEVERE withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening if you do this… so if you stop it on your own without the taper, don’t come back later and say prednisone killed your pet. My 145-pound Great Dane had severe weakness in his rear to the point he could barely push himself to stand; after two doses of prednisone (one day) he was virtually back to normal. He unfortunately has the (rare) side effect of incontinence, but when his taper is finished that should resolve. For now we’re dealing with it with puppy pads, towels, lots of laundry, etc.

    You have to trust your vet; if you think your vet is giving your pet something without thinking about the possible consequences, you should find a new one, because without trust you aren’t going to do what he/she prescribes, but rather go off on your own, read other people’s comments about their individual experiences – not thinking about the literally millions of people who use the drug as prescribed with positive results – and jeopardize your pet’s health and life. I’m not blind to problems with any medication, but nothing in life is all good or all bad.

    • lou says:

      I agree. my sheltie has been on it for about 5 months and was tapered off slowly. she has poly arthritis immune desease. and she seems to be doing fine. very important to be weaned off that drug. can cause complications and death in some cases. did alot of research on her desease and drug. important to get some what educated!

  21. Lorena says:

    I’m devastated after putting my yorkie-poodle down this past Thursday. Scruffy had been on prednisone since August after being diagnosed with Meningitis and a birth defect that may have needed at least a low dose of the drug. He was doing fine and we kept up with the vets followups with hopes of decreasing the drug more and more. He started urinating and left a sticky residue about a couple wks ago and were waiting to see his vet for his monthly followup when suddenly he got very uncomfortable Wednesday night while he was panting and breathing hard. I took him in and he never came back home after being diagnosed with Anemia, liver enlarged high white blood cell count, PNEUMONIA 🙁 and Diabetes all which to my belief caused by Prednisone. He had been perfectly fine from his organs and blood before but Prednisone help his condition for a while but broke down his little body. I was devasted especially since that evening and for the past month he had been more active and looked promising after months of unconditional care for him.. he left us suddenly. We had to take a very hard decision to let him go because he had a lifetime of suffering to come and nothing was promising from his treatments to come. Felt horrible.. but he was on oxygen already not being able to breathe on his own. I wished for another way of managing his condition and wished his outcome would’ve been different. I miss him.

  22. jody says:

    Stay away from prednisone. One of my dogs had to have surgery from his muscle deterioration from being on pred. too long, two other dogs had severe reactions including no bladder control and mood changes. I will never put any of my dogs on pred. again

  23. Maria says:

    my pekingese has been on prednisone for 5 years now. she has AIHA,the only thing is she is fat,always out of breath BUT SHE IS WITH ME & SEEMS TO BE VERY HAPPY !!! she has had 2 blood transfusions,& hospital stays but for 3 years on the meds she is stable.her gums are nice & pink & she is HAPPY & ALERT so prednisone SAVED my little girl,with no complications !!! She takes it twice a day & its keeping her alive,happy & with me

    • Melinda says:

      How old is your pekignese that’s on prednisone I recently had to put my 15 year old pekignese on prednisone for a mast tumor hopefully to shrink it

  24. celeste says:

    My dog is on prednisone because her retinas detached from inflammation and she suddenly went blind. The prednisone helped the retinas to reattach. I took her off it slowly and they detached again! Put her back on the prednisone and they reattached. Now I’m afraid to take her off the prednisone in case the retinas detach. Don’t want her on it long term, but I don’t know what to do.

  25. Sharon says:

    My dog has severe inflammatory Bowel disease and has had it for 5 years now. For 2 years I was able to keep him stable with homepathy and herbal remedies but IBD is a disease that tends to only ever get worse. No cure either. So 3 years ago I had to start my dog on Prednisone at a low dose – slowly increasing as the years go on.
    His coat isnt great and we have had some hiccups along the way but he is still happy and enjoying life. If he wasnt on Pred he would be in agony and possibly dead by now due to the nature of the disease affecting liver and white blood count etc as well as his intestines. So as long as I keep getting him checked i have no option but to keep him on Pred. He is allergic to everything foodwise, cannot tolerate vegatables (believe me I have tried them all over the last 5 years) At the mo is on a turkey and bone diet, supplemented with Shelled hemp seeds.

  26. luke says:

    this is to TS comment number 6, i’m not a vet either but i do know that dogs physiology differs quite a bit from human, they have a much shorter digestive track than humans which allows them to tolerate drug at a higher dosage because they absorb less than we do, so don’t be startled when the vet give what seems to be a lot for humans. Trust your vet they know animals.

  27. Susannah says:

    My 11 year old yellow lab has hip dysplasia, ruptured/herniated discs and probably a host of other muscle/skeletal issues (she hasn’t aged well). She’s been on TCM and acupuncture for over a year to help keep her as mobile as long as possible. The last couple of months she really started to deteriorate mobility-wise and a couple weeks ago we thought we were going to have to put her down because she could no longer walk at all. My vet, who practices both conventional and natural medicine, put her on prednisone as a last ditch effort. It has literally worked a miracle. She is now able to walk (although of course she’s stll very crippled but she can at least get herself to and from outside to go potty), looks more relaxed and comfortable. I know this drug is very powerful with a lot of side effects, but at this point we want her as comfortable as she can be for as long as she can. If prednisone can give us a few more months (?) with our beloved girl, I am a big believer.

  28. Carmel says:

    My dog was diagnosed with lung cancer. He is 13.5 years old. He has a horrible cough. We recently learned about the raw food diet for dogs, so we started him on it. He has a large tumor in his lungs. We put him on prednisone and it really seemed to help him breath. My husband is telling me not to give him any more and that is what is going to kill him. I stopped for 5 days and rocky was really having a hard time coughing and breathing. I give him 10Mg every 3 days. And when I do he seems to feel a lot better and hardly coughs. But my husband thinks we can cure him the diet and I just want him comfortable. I wish I could convince him that a raw food diet this late in the game isn’t going to save him. I wish it would, but I can’t watch him suffer his last days. So I have to sneak it and it makes me feel horrible and what if he is right?? Does anybody have any advice for me? He says I am going to kill him if I give him the drugs. And it’s making him go backwards with his healing…. The vet said it would be a miracle…. But I can get him to see it…

  29. Carole says:

    Carmel- Your husband is wrong. Your vet is right. My 13 year old dog also has lung cancer. One of the tumors is pushing against her left lung and is very large. She struggled to breath because of severe coughing. Now on Prednisone, she can rest and breath without coughing. There are side affects to Prednisone which can be alleviated with bronchodilators and other meds if needed. Please do not let your dog suffer. Give him the medication he needs and please take your husband with you to speak with your vet together. The diet will not solve the problem but should be used in conjunction with meds to compliment the treatment plan.

  30. Sara says:

    My 12 month old rotti cross German shepherd was put on prednisolone on 7/8/2012 she was prescribed them for an allergy in her ears, prescribed 5mg twice a day for first five days, then wean her off with 2 every other day..well she has been in my vets since 12/8/2012 with severe diahorrea and vomitting hasn’t eaten since 11/8/2012. She’s on iv fluids, iv antibiotics, anti sickness jabs and pain relief. She is supposedly being treated for HGE! But ive queried that the only change in her diet was the start of the tablets, the vet said not the cause, I’m thinking otherwise. They have not continued giving her the medication since I took her in on sunday, but I informed them that she had been having 2 a day and was due to be weaned down.. They have NOT given her any whilst with them because of the vomiting but this worries me as they have abruptly stopped her treatment. Can anyone help I’m at my wits end, she is not improving just stable and still on full support, I’m going to raise this concern today again with vet but I feel they are not even willing to consider this as a possible cause for her sudden deteriotion in health.

  31. Leen says:

    My 4 year old labradoodle hurt her back on August 9, 2012. I was given prednisone 5 mg to cure her. 4 days later she started having bloody diareah. It got so bad it was uncontrollable. She was dehydrated and couldn’t control her bowel movement. She is now on I’ve fluids and I’ve antibiotics. It has to be from the prednisone. She was always healthy.

  32. Jan says:

    My 5 pound Yorkies has been on Pred. 1/2 a 5mg. tablet 2X a
    day for 3 months fo severe allergies.He started to show hair
    thinning and hair loss after 2 months on said meds
    were not the reason,tested him for Thyroid,it was in the low
    area so now,he’s also on Thyroid 2X a day also. Prior to
    taking Pred. he never had any coat problems,he is 7 years old.Allergy season is almost over so he can come off the Pred…could hair loss be a factor with this low a dose
    of Preds? Also, he had blood workup 1 month prior to going
    on Prednisone,NO Thyroida problems found at that time…

  33. Paula says:

    For bad skin problems which causes itching and scratching their skin raw on dogs, I have been applying organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar undiluted directly to the dogs skin 2-3 times daily.. She has improved greatly and it helps stop the itching and also heals them. It will not hurt them as they say you can even put small amount in their water bowl and it helps with many things. So if they lick it, all the better! Google it.

  34. eric says:

    3 weeks ago we put our 10 year old Dojo Argentino on prednisone, he has lost 9 pounds of muscle mass, has horrible gastrointestinal problems, clearly his body has been devastated by this drug. These side effects are more concerning than the reason we put him on it, inflammatory disk issue. The terrible thing is, as it seems this drug is killing him, we have to keep giving it to him in order to ween him off because stopping it cold could kill him. If I go back in time I would never give this to him. I guess not all dogs react this way, but I’ll be happy if he makes it through this drug.

  35. Gary says:

    It started when my beautiful 85 lb German Shepherd, Bo was licking his butt. The vet thought it may be Inflammatory Bowel Disease and put him on prednisone 20 mg, 2x day for a few days, then one a day for a few and then a half. A total of 18 pills. This was Oct 9, 2012. He was peeing buckets of water, muscle tissue, etc, He died of kidney failure November 3rd.

    • Cindy says:

      I have a german sheperd 11years old. Brought him to the Doctor for sore on foot. She put him on prednisone and an antibiotic. He started breathing real hard. This must be a side effect from the drug. He was very uncomfortable. Called the Doctor and he said the antibiotic should not be causing this. I took him off the prednisone and after a day he is still panting. Hopefully this will pass. I don’t think this drug is agreeing with him. I am so sorry to hear about Bo. Cindy

      • jennifer says:

        Don’t Mix Antibiotics and Prednisone. It is recommended everywhere not to mix the two! Also, Prednisone should not be stopped suddenly. There should be a gradual reduction in dosage before stopping. Prednisone should be taken with food to lessen stomach upset. Do not give Prednisone to your pet if the pet has a serious bacterial, viral or fungal infection. Prednisone weakens the pet’s immune response and its ability to fight infections.

        • Charles says:

          Gradual reduction is what I was told, but it pushed him over the edge into DEATH. He needed to be off it immediately and given milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid, colostrum, astaxanthin and glutathione to save his kidneys—things vets won’t mention because they make no income from best health practices.

      • Beverly Hoyt says:

        Wow, I’m surprised your vet had you stop without weaning off slowing. My dog is on it now for severe allergies and is having a issue with it. Peeing buckets without her knowing. She has never peed in house. So once I did side affect research knew it was med. I called my vet as I wanted to take her off it as it was driving me insane plus I was worried about my dog with the panting so hard. She was on it twice a day I went down once a day til I could contact vet on Monday. They said I cannot stop it without weaning as it would affect her kidneys and cause her harm. So I had to give it to for another day then every other day for 3 days. She is 89lbs. My dog so far is still peeing like crazy. But I’m still on the weaning. I’m glad it didn’t to any harm to your animal, but wanted people to be careful on just stopping it.

    • Bella's Human says:

      I so sorry.that is horrible

  36. Lilrose says:

    MY imperial shiz zu had a very severe anemia he almost passed away
    I brought him to the vet they had to give him a blood transfusion and then put on the
    pred 5 mg and he gained weight and is always hungry. He is alive I was not sure he would make it
    he makes these grunting noises all the time. He is a different dog I have been search for alternative
    I am grateful he is alive an will continue to search he is being tappered off the pred

  37. dan says:

    While I do not want to advise anyone that the use of prednisone on their animal is good or bad (only you and your vet can decide that), I just wanted to share my experience. I have a 7 1/2 year old pit/mastiff mix who has had severe allergies ever since we adopted him from the spca 6 1/2 years ago. At first it started seasonal and then progressed to year round crazy allergies which required a prednisone dosing daily (adjusting as per our vet’s recommendation as his allergies worsened or slightly eased). He had been on prednisone long term (over 3 years as he was not responding to any other treatments), when our vet clinic made an error on his dosing and give us 50 mg pills instead of 5 mg. We noticed the difference in size but after a communication error where we were assured it was the right pill. We ended up dosing a 75 lb dog at 100 mg a day for the better part of a month. He developed Cushings Symptoms, a level 5 heart murmur, and multiple tumors over his feet and body. Since the overdose we have had to switch him to Atopica (much better so far for his allergies if you can afford the hefty price tag). The tumors ended up benign (potentially histiocytomas or fungus, the biopsies were inconclusive from pathology). However, his heart murmur has been tragic, after his overdose (and the tumors!!!!) he ended up in congestive heart failure. Thousands of dollars later and multiple trips to a cardiologist we know he has mitral valve degeneration. My regular vet swore up and down it was not due to the pred overdose. My cardiologist is not so sure, although she is sure at some point in old age he would have developed a heart condition she believes the pred overdose brought it on faster. There is new research coming out of Colarado State University that may support this theory. When I called the drug manufacturer they advised me that although prednisone is approved for use in dogs there is very little clinic study done in animals. They did advise me that prednisone is discouraged for use in human patients with heart murmurs or heart disease (although not based in clinical trial but rather in theoretical scientific study). Be extra careful of your dosing (as per your doctors recommendation) as there is no clinic trials in humans or dogs that studying the effects of overdosing in animals or humans long term. A typical prednisone overdose in humans or dogs comes from a high one time dose from a doctor administered to treat anaphylactic shock. Mistakes are made at clinics I understand that, they are only human. However, please double check all your medications and talk frankly with your vet about all the possible side effects in your animals particular case.

  38. Ruth says:

    What is the right dose- by pounds- for this medication for trauma use?

  39. Michael Nigro says:

    My black lab Tess 13 1/2 yrs old has been on prednison for a rew months. She takes a ten mg pill every other day. Yes her appitite has gone ballisyic, and she drinks tons of water. But with severe hip dyplasia and cataracts shes still with us. She has now developed a couph. All a side effect of taking prednisone. But we feel that her pain and ability to walk at her age has somewhat improved. Im afraid to take her off the drug and our vet advises against it. I realize the invetible will happen, but as long as she shows her love and does her best to relieve herself outside im OK. ive had many dogs in my life but our Tes is truly something special, i cant imagine life without her. So each day is a blessing and all these 13 1/2 years have been invredibly happy with our girl in our life.

    • Laura says:

      My 14 year old jack Russell has been taking steroids since she was little because of itching and allergies to the point of bleeding legs feet ect. A newer vet took her off the steroids because of heart murmur. And put on a heart pill. My dog was doing well on 1/2 pill every other day with reactine. The doctor called to do a follow up on her heart next thing after $ 600 dollars my dog was going nuts biting and itching herself, her face even got swollen. So I took her off the heart pill and got her settled down with the steroids. I will calling doctor to tell her leave my dog be she was happy and comfortable before she called.

    • Kathleen Anthony says:

      In the ’80’s I had a male Dobie/Dane x wt. 90 lbs, & a female Dobie Shepherd X 85 lbs. The male had wobblers, a very painful problem in the neck & the female had horrific skin problems. Both of them were on a very low dose of 5mg of prednisone every other day from the time they were about 2 yrs old until they died at about 12 to 13 yrs of age. The pred handled both problems perfectly w/no visible side effects. The male died @ about 12 yrs from stomach torsion. And the female died at 11 yrs of age of cancer. Possibly the cancer could have been caused by the pred, but I doubt the stomach torsion was. I feel the key is a very low dose, the lowest possible.

  40. James Allen says:

    I regret deeply giving prednisone to my 10 year old dog. 2 weeks ago she was perfect with mild arthritis that for sure could have been treated with something else. She was a happy playful dog with sharp eye sight. 3 days after administrating 20mg daily I notice a difference in her behavior. not going to the garden, standing up still, not focusing on my hand when giving her a treat. She is depressed. Now one week after my dog is partially blind. I am devastated. Searching the web I found several cases of dog becoming blind because of prednisone.
    DON’T GIVE THIS TO YOUR DOG! Prednisone seems a miracle at first sight but what comes after is a disaster.

    • Gretchen F. Miller says:

      Thank you so much for your comments. Our five-year-old Basset Hound has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. I have been really struggling with making a decision about the Prednisone, since I feel that I do not know enough about it. I don’t want to seem uncaring for not wanting to use this, but I am thankful to read about your experience. I hope that she will be able to go peacefully on her own without medications.
      I’m so sorry that you had to go through what you did. I will not choose to use Prednisone. Thank you for your help.
      Best Wishes,

    • Charles says:

      The vet I was trusting dispensed prednisone like it was Halloween candy. I’d gone elsewhere and bounced back over there and showed him the dose the other vet had Buddy on, and he said “that’s not very much,” and as the dose was increased Buddy went into kidney failure and delirium and died, the vet’s wife, also a vet, told me she’d call the police if I came back—all I asked for was copies of the dog’s bloodwork!

    • Charles says:

      The vet who dispensed prednisone to the dog we had, May 1994 to July 2007, handed it out like it was Halloween candy. I had taken the dog elsewhere and another vet gave him a fairly small dose, on taking him back to the first vet, he said “that’s not very much!” And proceeded to put the poor dog on what ended up being a FATAL dose. If a dog has skin issues, try Vitamin-E topical and Aloe Vera lotion. If arthritis, try boswellia with another good botanical such as aronia powder. Prednisone is a conspiracy of Big Pharma and their hideous prostitute veterinarians abusing your pets and bilking the public.

    • Charlie says:

      If it’s the cornea thickening or becoming opaque, try NAC eye drops (N-Acetyl Cysteine) If this is the problem two months treatment might do wonders.

  41. Bella's Human says:

    All of my pets allergies stopped when I started feeding them a high quality Grain Free Food. My cat was on injections constantly and it one point I had to have a feeding tube inserted because she was so itchy she stopped eating. My dogs sneezed and itched. They are all healthy and happy now. No more injections or pills. Look at your food, it could help. I feed them Taste of the Wild, buffalo Blue Freedom, Origins or Acana. They are all good food. Beniful, Purina, Iams and most all commercial dog food yours buy at Target,Petsmart etc are full of grains (and very little meat) that are known to cause allergies. You can get the ones I mentioned through Amazon or other specialty stores. The cost difference is nothing when you consider your vet bills.

    • Elan says:

      I tried the best quality grain free kibble but it made no difference to my dog’ itch.

    • Dvd says:

      My german shepherd is currently on prednisone. She is developing arthritis in her back which was causing her to lose some of her back-leg function. She has also had allergies all her life (currently 10yrs old). For those of you with allergy issues…PLEASE have you dogs tested for what they are allergic to. There is a blood test that can be done or spot tests…not all vets do it but it is worth it. I did the blood test and they then created a shot that over time reduced her immune systems over reaction to the allergens. It did not cure her though (she was literally chewing up her legs before the shots) but reduced it to licking. Tried various meds to help with remaining reactions (especially in spring & fall)…finally tried Hydroxizine…it WORKED : ) When she developed the back issues I made the hard decision to put on pred (she had been on short-term a couple of times prior with only slight increase in water intake). She is doing great, mobility has greatly improved and no additional allergy meds needed. I am concerned with the potential long-term effects, but it has been a positive thing so far. We have her down from 40 mg a day to 10 mg 2X a day (weights 98 lbs) Plan to try on just the 10mg 1x a day. Don’t tell people not to use a drug that could save / extend their dogs lives! BUT other options should be considered first, because you have to be realistic about the possible side effects. You must have them regularly checked for changes. If any symptoms beyond slight changes…take them in! Better to error on the safe side. Side effect for my dog after being on treatment for 3 weeks is mildly increased thirst (means a 2am potty break but still fine all day inside) and “feels” hungry. Started breaking into trash…got a locking trashcan (by SimpleHuman on Amazon) which works great…just have to remember to lock it. Got an auto feeder so can provide her a mid-day snack and provide additional chewing items (kong, rawhide, etc) which seems to satisfy some of her cravings. Hope to find something that might either counteract the hungry feeling somewhat or else food item that she can busy herself knawing on for extended period without stuffing her full of rawhide. She can crack through any bone and chew up Kongs.

      Best luck to all…if one vet doesn’t have the answer don’t be afraid to try another. Most are trying their best to help, but some will have more experience in certain areas than others. I had been through 3 before hit the one that suggested the Hydroxizine for the allergies. You just never know which might have the answer.

  42. Isabella Antell says:

    Is this normal?? On January 1, 2021found a lump under her jaw bone.
    I’d taken my 12 yr old female Dalmatian to emergency VET hospital. She had a lump under her jaw bone. Was diagnosed with lymphoma. Was prescribed prednisone 20mg.. For 7 days she would be taking 2 tablets every 12 hours which would be 40mg, next 7 days only 1 tablet every 24 hours..followed up when done.. Follow up assessment results..Doing better clinically, submanibular nodes had shrunken considerably..Then was prescribed 40 mg be taken every day for 30 days. That was on 17th January. On the 21st she had her heat session..she had side effects of drinking alot of water, loss of appetite, no energy, slept all day and night and urinating frequently.. On the 22nd I noticed she was bleeding excessive not normal discharge so I took her back.. Was told she had a yeast infection, her immune system was extremely low and no white cells and was anemic..prognosis for SURVIVAL was very poor. I was shocked!! Questioned what happened to her?? She was fine on the 17th? Was going to take her to the cancer specialist. Veterinary doctor said it wouldn’t help her nothing could be done!! I was furious! Called back that evening to advise she’d taken a turn for the worst.. Then was told bring her in so she could be euthanized.. What???? Was trying to make another vet appt for a second opinion.. Nothing available.. She passed on the 23rd at home with me!!! Now I’m in. FUBAR STATE OF MIND add to that is shocked, in a daze, crying non stop and in a state of despair…

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