Prednisone / Prednisolone Drug Information for Dogs and Cats
By: Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc | Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Llera, B.Sc., DVM | Published by: Healthcare for Pets | May 18, 2019
- Drug name: Prednisone/Prednisolone
- Common name: Prednis-Tab, Temaril-P/Vanectyl-P, multiple generic
- Drug type: Corticosteroid
- Used for: Anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, immunosuppressive
- Species: Dog + cat
- Formulation: Injection, tablet, oral liquid
Name – Active Ingredient:
- Prednisone is converted to prednisolone by the liver, something cats may not be able to do effectively so use of prednisolone is preferred.
Name – Common Trade Names:
- Prednis-Tab, Temaril-P/Vanectyl-P, numerous generic or injectable formulations.
- Glucocorticoids have historically been used to treat almost every disease imaginable.
- The main uses at this time include the treatment of inflammation to control autoimmune disease, to treat cancers and to replace naturally produced glucocorticoids in adrenal disease.
- These conditions can affect and treat disease in almost every body system including the skin, blood, liver, lungs and nervous system.
Common Contraindications and Warnings:
- Glucocorticoids should not be used in systemic fungal infections.
- Care is needed in many cases, as if a diagnosis has not been reached its use can hide important signs of disease.
- Caution should be taken in patients with hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease), heart failure, diabetes, infection, renal disease, and intestinal disease.
- Use, especially of long-acting injectable preparations, can result in the development of diabetes in cats.
- Suddenly stopping treatment, especially long-term, high dose or daily treatment, can result in collapse and death (Addisonian crisis). Unless a very short duration treatment is given, a patient should be slowly tapered off the drug.
- Do not use if your pet is on an NSAID.
Potential Side Effects:
- An increase in appetite, thirst, and urination are all frequently seen.
- Additional more common side effects include weight gain, lethargy, panting, vomiting and diarrhea can also be seen.
- Long-term use can result in hair coat and skin thinning (or skin tearing in cats), intestinal ulceration, kidney damage, increased risk of blood clot formation, worsening of diabetes, muscle wasting and hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease).
- Oral treatment should be given with food.
- Never stop treatment suddenly unless directed by your veterinarian.
- If a dose is missed, instructions depend on the disease being treated. In general, if the due dose was due up to about 6 hours previously then administer the missed dose and continue as scheduled, otherwise give when next due.
- If your dog is being treated for a life-threatening condition then contact your vet.
- Keep at room temperature.
Speed of Action + Monitoring:
- Glucocorticoids have a rapid effect, starting to work within a couple of hours and will generally continue to work for around 12-48 hours after being discontinued.
- Monitoring depends on the disease being treated. Long-term monitoring involves watching for the development of side-effects and can also involve regular blood testing.
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Prednisone/Prednisolone Drug Information for Dogs and Cats
This resource provides drug information for dogs and cats taking prednisone/prednisolone.
Dr. Alex Avery, BVSc | Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Llera, B.Sc., DVM
Healthcare for Pets
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