Prednisolone For Dogs and Cats
Pets, like humans, can suffer from a variety of different inflammatory conditions, some of which will be considered serious, and others of which will be considered minor. But for pet owners, even minor cases of inflammation can cause their pet to be in enough discomfort to warrant a visit to the veterinarian. Depending on your pet’s diagnosis, the veterinarian may prescribe prednisolone to help manage the inflammation.
Why Prednisolone Is Prescribed in Veterinary Medicine
Prednisolone is most commonly prescribed in veterinary medicine to help relieve inflammation and joint pain, and decrease swelling, redness, and itching often associated with allergic reactions. It works by mimicking the effects of hormones naturally produced in the adrenal glands, which help suppress inflammation.
Other Uses for Prednisolone in Veterinary Medicine
In addition to being used to manage inflammation, prednisolone is also used by veterinarians as part of treatment protocols for Addison’s disease, certain types of cancers (especially mast cell tumors and lymphoma), hypoadrenocorticism, and some nervous system disorders.
Glucocorticoids like prednisolone can produce a wide range of effects on the body, including reducing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, inhibiting healing, altering mood, stimulating appetite, increasing the secretion of gastric acid, and more.
Dosage and Administration of Prednisolone
Prednisolone can be formulated into oral tablets, capsules, chewables, and liquids and in an injectable form. When it is administered at home, the drug is given orally, and it should be administered exactly as prescribed by your veterinarian. The dosage and frequency are determined by many factors, including the size and weight of the pet being treated, the severity of the condition, and more. It is recommended to give this medication with food or after meal.
If the prescription’s directions are for once-a-day administration, then it should be given to dogs in the morning and to cats in the evening at approximately the same time every day, as this best matches each species’ natural hormone cycle.
If you miss a dose of prednisolone, then give the next dose as soon as you remember or, if it is close to the next scheduled dose, wait and resume with the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not administer a double dose to try and catch up on a missed dose.
Special Precautions for Using Prednisolone
Prednisolone is only to be administered to the pet it is prescribed for. The medication should be kept well out of reach of children and pets.
Prednisolone should be used with caution in pets that have been diagnosed with diabetes. It should also be used with extreme caution in pets that are pregnant, and puppies and kittens because prednisolone can inhibit growth and cause other problems.
Once your pet is on prednisolone, you should not abruptly stop giving the medication to your pet, as this can have life-threatening consequences. The pet will need to be carefully weaned off the drug in the event the veterinarian chooses to stop the treatment.
Possible Side Effects of Prednisolone
Prednisolone can cause both short-term and long-term side effects. The most common side effects associated with short-term use include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, panting, and possible allergic reaction.
The side effects most seen with long-term use of this drug include GI ulcers, dry hair, hair loss, distended abdomen, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, and heart problems or heart attack.
Known Drug Interactions With Prednisolone
If your pet is taking other medications, vitamins, herbal therapies, or supplements, you should let the veterinarian know about them to help avoid any potential risk of interaction with prednisolone. This includes the drug dosages and administration schedules.