The prednisone is a kind of synthetic corticosteroid which is used for many cases in both- humans and dogs. It has an anti inflammatory activity which is four times better than the one of hydrocortisone. The prednisone for dogs can be given topically or oral injection can also be given. The drug can be used for dogs to cure different types of shocks, trauma, spinal chord and anaphylactic reactions. It is used to treat immune related diseases; such as
- hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia
- CNS disorders
- Dermatologic diseases
- allergic reaction like itching, asthma and hives.
It can also be used to treat inflammatory orthopedic diseases like endocrine disorders which sometime include:
- the Addison’s diseases
- respiratory diseases
- inflammatory bowel diseases
- And other conditions.
To determine the fact whether the dog can develop the side effects or not, it can be measured by the time span for how long the dosage of prednisone had been given to the dog. If the prednisone is given for a shorter time span, there are more chances that dog will not undergo the side effects. The side effects are more obvious if the medicine has been used as an immunosuppressive dose for a long time. The dogs can develop the following side effects:
- GI disturbance
- Poor haircoat,
- Weight gain
- Diabetes mellitus
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Behavior change
- Muscle wasting
- First of all, you should never use the corticosteroids such as prednisone for long or in an inappropriate way; since it can cause serious metabolic changes and life threatening hormonal changes. The side effects normally develop if the dog has been kept under treatment conditions for a long time or if there was a use of a high dosage. This is why, the methods used are the alternate day therapy or short time therapy is the best choice.
- In case there was a need to give a long term therapy to the dog, then the prednisone has to be withdrawn slowly, this can be done by reducing the dosages gradually and by prolonging intervals between consecutive dosages.
The prednisone for dogs suppresses the immune response which means that the dog which is taking the medicine can begin to develop different viral or bacterial infections. There are a few other important points that should be kept in mind while using prednisone for dogs. These are as following:
- The infections caused by the prednisone bring high fever.
- The prednisone should not be used for the dogs that have fungal infection. Only the treatment of the Addison’s disease is an exception.
- Since the prednisone has to be converted in the liver, then the dog with hepatic failure should not be given the prednisone.
- The drug should be used with precaution in the puppies since they can increase their immune suppression and they are also at a risk of developing the GI.
There is also a problem related to the drugs that happen to occur because of the use of the prednisone for dogs. If the dog takes the medicine together with the amphotericin B or any diuretic drug like furosemide, there is a danger of electrolyte imbalances because of the potassium and calcium loss. The dog which is taking the drug should be monitored closely and the potassium and digitalis levels should be assessed well. The drug can also increase the insulin level more than that is required and the estrogen can enhance the impact of corticosteroids. The drug that are known to cause the interactions are the erythromycin, cyclosporine, rifampin, Phenobarbital, phenytoin, salicylate or mitotane. The anticholinesterase medicines like the pyridostigmine and neostigmine also can interact with this drug. When the drug is given at the same time as the vaccination, then the immune system reactions can be reduced to the vaccination. The dog which is on this drug should not be given any vaccination especially the modified virus vaccines. The risk for dogs to develop the GI increases in case the drug is given with the NSAIDs medicines. The drug should not be given intravenous with the drugs which have the calcium.
If the prednisone for dogs is given for a shorter time span; no matter large doses are given, the dogs are unlikely to develop any side effect. Some side effects begin to develop when the drug has been given over a longer period of time.