11 January 2013

Prednisone And The Dog, Dose Rates, Side Effects.

Prednisone Prednisolone dose dog

This drug is also known as Prednisolone.

There are a number of drugs available to control inflammation and suppress the immune system of dogs, an example of this is prednisone, this is a very commonly used drug in veterinary medicine. Prednisone belongs to a class of drug known as glucocorticoids they are so called because they are related to cortisone and they contain glucose in their molecules. Prednisone is related to the steroid hormones which are naturally produced by the adrenal gland.

What is Prednisone? : Basically prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug which is used to reduce the swelling, pain and redness associated with inflammation. But also an important effect of these drugs is that at very specific doses the immune system is suppressed. These are prescription drugs and can only be obtained through a vet.

What are the uses of prednisone in the dog? :  The uses of this drug are wide and varied but here are just a few examples.

A. It is used to treat allergies and general inflammations when the underlying cause cannot be treated or prevented by other means.

B. It is an important treatment in various autoimmune related diseases in the dog.

C. It is required as a supplement in the adrenal gland disorder, Addison's disease (hypoadrenocorticism).

D. It is used as a treatment in bacterial (endotoxic) shock, and other sorts of shock.

E. It is commonly used in combination with other drugs in chemotherapy protocols.

What are the possible side effects of prednisone? : While generally safe and effective when properly prescribed by your vet side effects are sometimes possible. These may include :

A. You can commonly see increased thirst and appetite, panting, vomiting, restlessness and diarrhea, these can occur short term and are rarely a problem as they will stop when the dose of the drug is reduced or the drug stopped.

B. Given long term this drug may suppress the immune system and thus make the dog more prone to other diseases, but sometimes suppression of the immune system alone can be a significant problem. Extreme care must be taken when stopping prednisone, if an animal has been on this drug for an extended period of time then slow weaning off the drug is crucial when reducing the dose or stopping the drug.

C. Long-term use of prednisone may result in other symptoms such as loss of hair coat, weakening of the muscles, liver impairment and behavioural changes.

D. Prednisone may interact with other medications. Such drugs can include commonly used ones such as  non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Your vet will check for this.

E. Avoid the use of this drug in pregnant animals since it can cause abortion.

F. Long-term use of prednisone may result in loss of hair coat, weakening of the muscles, liver impairment and behavioural changes.

    What are reasonable dose rates for prednisone in the dog? :  Doses of this drug vary widely depending on the condition being treated. Your vet will use their experience and expertise to formulate the initial dose and the subsequent maintenance doses rates.

    A. Anti-inflammatory doses say for skin conditions or allergies can range from 0.1 to 0.3 mg per pound of your dog's bodyweight given up to twice daily.

    b. Immuno-suppressive doses for cancer treatment or autoimmune disease can range from 1 to 3 mg per pound  of your dog's bodyweight given up to three times a day.

    Whatever the reason your dog is on this drug for there are some precautions your vet can take to minimise side effects. These would include if possible dose every other day, give the drug in the morning when it will better fit in with the bodies own natural rhythm it's own steroids. And finally give the minimum effective dose.

    The above is sometimes referred to as the minimum side effect dosing protocol.

    The bottom line : Prednisone seems to sometimes have a bad name amongst dog owners and breeders who can be reluctant to have it prescribed for their pets, in fact some regard it almost as a poison which will do their dogs harm. This is not the case in fact in certain situations it is life saving and rest assured you vet would not be contemplating using it if it was not in your dog's best interests.

    Related Links

    1. Pet Allergies { Book } - An unrecognized epidemic of allergy and disease is ravaging cats and dogs. Why is it happening? What can you do to protect your pets? Buy online : LINK

    2. The Allergy Solution For Dogs { Book } When your dog is constantly scratching and uncomfortable, you need answers. If the problem is allergies, The Allergy Solution for Dogs can help you provide the best care possible for your beloved companion. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Shawn Messonnier focuses on the pros and cons of natural and conventional treatments. Buy Online : LINK

    3. Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo  : Where skin allergies are concerned secondary bacterial skin infections can make things much worse. Controlling these with a Chlorhexidine based products would be a recognised therapy which many vets would suggest. : LINK