Prednisone is a drug that is used for various medical conditions; this is useful for both humans and animals. The drug is prescribed for the reduction of swelling and to decrease the immune response of the body. It belongs to the class of drugs that is called the synthetic corticosteroid. It is administered in dogs for the treatment of some emergency medical conditions like anaphylactic reactions, the trauma of the spinal cords as well as other forms of shocks. It is used generally for treating auto-immune health conditions in dogs-the canine autoimmune disease. This disease condition happens when the immune system of the body creates its own antibodies against the body tissues that are present in the body for no particular reason. This health condition has not only been discovered in humans, it has also been discovered to be common in animals like horses, cats, and dogs. In dogs, prednisone is used in the treatment of different health conditions like a dermatologic disease, neoplasia; allergic reactions like itching, hives, and asthma. Other conditions for which the use of the drug has been found useful is the cure for inflammatory bowel disease -canine IBD and the inflammatory orthopedic diseases.
Before the administration of prednisone dosage for dogs, it is necessary that you consult a vet. Prescription for the prednisone dosage for dogs can be taken from a veterinarian; or else the medication should be at least received from the vet. The prednisone dosage for dogs in the treatment of anti-inflammatory medicine is between the ranges of 0.1 to 0.3mg for each pound up taken two times a day. As for immunosuppressive prednisone dosage for dogs; it should be restricted to a range of 1 to 3mg for each pound administered three times daily. For various diseases, other than those already mentioned; the dose should be the same as that administered for the anti-inflammatory conditions. The duration of the prednisone dosage for dogs largely depends on the type of medical condition of the dog as well as the response to the medication. While the medication is administered to the dog, any unusual effects or behaviors should be noted and a vet should be consulted about these unusual changes. The dosage of prednisone should be completed as the doctor recommends even if there is a great improvement in the health of the dog.
The dosage rate of the prednisone should never be used without the advice of the vet; indeed no medication should be administered without consulting a medical expert. The doses usually vary as already stated above. Dogs suffering from spontaneous hypoadrenocorticism-the Addison’s disease- the glucocorticoid supplement should be given every day. It does not make sense to give alternative day steroids in an attempt to prevent adrenal suppression in dogs. This is due to the fact that the adrenals are already atrophied permanently or destroyed in the dogs suffering from Addison’s diseases. If the dose of prednisone is given to the dog on an alternate day, glucocorticoid reserve will be depleted.
One should keep in mind that the dosage of the medication may have to be changed if any side effects are noticed. For example, if polyuria or polydipsia is developed by the dogs; or if there are any other visible signs of iatrogenic conditions that cause Cushing’s syndrome, then you should lower the dose as required. It is not a good idea to give a dose higher than 5mg per day to a dog. The dose is the average maintenance quantity for humans; at least there are very few dogs that weigh over 70kg.
Some of the prednisone side effects arise from overdosage of the drug. If you notice any of the uncommon conditions it is advised to contact a vet at once. Get the attention of the vet if you observe the following side effects in your dog:
- Excess dosage of prednisone in dogs in an unchecked amount may lead to excessive panting by the dog. There is an evident labored breathing of the dog; a condition that the veterinarian can bring under control by reducing the dosage or completely changing to another medication that has less respiratory effects. It is however not recommended to administer prednisone with diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or any other medication without the advice of the veterinarian
- Excess thirst and appetite is another side effect. Prednisone induces unusual thirst; it also raises the appetite in dogs. This consequently leads to frequent urination as well as abnormal increase in weight of the dog. It is interesting to note that the prednisone side effects in canines is similar to those in humans.
- Obvious changes in the dog’s behavior: there can be a sudden change in the behavior of the dog which is shown in aggressiveness, excessive restlessness and anxiety. This condition is the result of excess administration of prednisone in dogs. it is necessary to monitor any unusual behavior in the dog for proper and early attention and treatment.
- Loss of Hair coat resulting to skin infections: an adverse side effect of prednisone includes the thinning of dog’s skin and the loss of hair coat. There may also be loss of luster of the hair coat. The dog at such conditions becomes prone to various skin infections that may be difficult to heal.
- Muscular waste, fatigue and general weakness: the use of prednisone in canines may lead to various unpleasant side effects like fatigue, and unusual weakness. This is the reason the drug should not be used excessively.
- Infection in the dog’s eye: when administered to dogs, prednisone may cause disease conditions related to the eye. The dog could develop such conditions like poor vision, cataracts and glaucoma. These conditions should be examined by the veterinarian.
If prednisone use in canines is prolonged unduly, it could cause inflammation in joints leading to severe pain and even making it uneasy for the dog to walk. If the negative effects of prednisone are intense in the dog, it may become necessary to withdraw the medication of this drug from the dog but that is to be done slowly and gradually.
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