Does Prednisone Cause Diarrhoea In Dogs

Does Prednisone Cause Diarrhoea In Dogs?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Prednisone does not commonly cause diarrhea, but long-term use or high doses can negatively affect the digestive system, resulting in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and GI ulcers. Depending on the dog’s weight and the condition being treated, prednisone dosage is determined. The smallest effective dose for the shortest duration is often prescribed by veterinarians to prevent complications.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Does Prednisone Cause Diarrhoea In Dogs?“.

When your dog is on Prednisone you notice he has loose stools. What could be causing this? 

Does Prednisone Cause Diarrhoea In Dogs

The cause of this may be Prednisone? 

As diarrhea is not a common side effect of Prednisone it is unlikely that the medication is causing your dogs diarrhea. 

There are however some negative effects of high doses or long-term use of Prednisone on the digestive system including vomiting diarrhea and GI ulcers. 

You should consult your veterinarian to review the prescribed dosage if your dog has diarrhea after being on Prednisone for just a few days.  

Veterinary medicine uses prednisone a steroid to treat a variety of ailments including asthma-like symptoms and pet allergies. 

In spite of its effectiveness Prednisone has a number of potential side effects.

Prednisone side effects in dogs are important to be aware of especially if your dog is taking it. 

From the right dosage to potential side effects heres everything you need to know about Prednisone. 

What is Prednisone?

As a corticosteroid medication prednisone is commonly used to treat allergies cancer skin rashes inflammation and specific autoimmune disorders in dogs.

As a result of weakening the immune system prednisone prevents substances that normally cause inflammation from entering the body. 

There are several potential side effects of Prednisone despite its effectiveness.

How is it used to treat dogs?

In addition to treating a variety of illnesses and disorders in dogs veterinarians can prescribe Prednisone and prednisolone as additional forms of care. 

There are many conditions for which prednisone is prescribed for dogs and cats. 

A variety of shocks and allergic reactions can be treated with it as can spinal cord injuries and allergic reactions.

As a replacement therapy for endocrine (hormonal) problems like Addisons disease in which a dogs adrenal glands do not produce enough naturally occurring steroid hormones this medication can help. 

During replacement therapy a substance that the body lacks is administered such as nutrients or hormones.

Prednisone is used in a variety of ways. 

Inflammatory orthopedic diseases and respiratory diseases with an inflammatory component are treated with this drug. 

Prednisone is used to treat neoplasia (abnormal cells or cancer). 

This drug is used to treat spinal cord injuries as well as anaphylactic shock which can be fatal.

Additionally prednisone is used to treat immune-mediated diseases such as hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia many CNS disorders dermatological diseases and allergic reactions such as asthma hives and itching. 

Many other conditions can also be treated with them by veterinarians including shock elevated calcium levels and problems with the central nervous system.

Does Prednisone Cause Diarrhea In Dogs?

Prednisone does not commonly cause diarrhea but long-term use or high doses can negatively affect the digestive system resulting in nausea vomiting diarrhea and GI ulcers. 

Depending on the dogs weight and the condition being treated prednisone dosage is determined. 

The smallest effective dose for the shortest duration is often prescribed by veterinarians to prevent complications. 

Your veterinarian will determine the proper dosage for your dog and advise you on how to administer it.

How long might diarrhea last?

During the treatment period your dog will experience diarrhea caused by Prednisone. 

If your dog experiences diarrhea while taking Prednisone speak to your veterinarian. 

Consider collecting a sample of feces if necessary. 

Changing your dogs medicine or lowering the dosage might be suggested by your veterinarian. 

Furthermore you should determine the cause of your dogs loose stool because Prednisone may not be the culprit. 

Check to see if your dog ate something inappropriate from the trash or if their diet has recently changed.

What are the other side effects?

Typical side effects of prednisone include increased drinking frequent urination and increased appetite. 

In addition to vomiting diarrhea moderate behavioral abnormalities and panting larger doses and prolonged use may cause these side effects.

The following are some of the most serious side effects of Prednisone:

  • Behavioral changes of a mild nature
  • Abnormally low energy
  • Black or bloody stool
  • Panting and vomiting
  • Urination and thirst are excessive
  • Skin thinning and low coat quality
  • Pot-belly and Cushing’s disease
  • Growth may be impaired in puppies

Is diarrhea a common side effect of most steroids?

Steroids usually do not cause noticeable side effects when taken for a short period of time or in small doses. 

They can however occasionally result in negative side effects such as increased appetite changes in mood and trouble sleeping. 

Side effects associated with corticosteroid use particularly at high doses are common with long-term use. 

It is important to consider the dosage type of steroid and time of treatment when considering side effects.

The following are some of the most common side effects of steroids

  • Increased appetite and weight gain
  • Mood/behavioral changes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Unease and nervousness.
  • Sleep difficulties

The majority of patients experience these side effects. 

There are not all possible side effects of steroids listed but diarrhea is not one of them.

How long can a dog stay on Prednisone?

Short-term use of Prednisone causes very few or no side effects which is why most veterinarians only recommend it for short periods of time. 

It is more likely that your dog will experience negative side effects the longer it is given Prednisone. 

A dog may need to stay on medication for an extended period of time however if the condition is severe. 

The vet will determine how long a dog takes Prednisone and it depends on many factors. 

It is possible to use Prednisone for up to three to four months on a long-term basis. A lifetime prescription may be required for some long-term Prednisone treatments

What are its long-term effects of it?

There may be both short-term and long-term negative effects for dogs who take Prednisone. The long-term effects of medication persist even after it is discontinued.

Effects of Prednisone over the long term:

  1. Diabetes: The use of Prednisone at high doses can cause hyperglycemia in dogs when used long-term; this condition may persist for up to four months after stopping the use of Prednisone.
  2. Weak bones: cortisol can reduce the amount of calcium in bones resulting in weak and demineralized bones. After 30 days of treatment with 2 mg/kg of Prednisone dogs lost 14% of their bone mass.
  3. Aggressive behavior: Prednisolone-treated dogs act more aggressively especially during mealtimes. Their barking is also accompanied by agitation.
  4. Addison’s disease: a condition where there is insufficient hormone production by the adrenal glands. A lack of cortisol and aldosterone produced by the adrenal glands can lead to an adrenal crisis which may be fatal.

What is the correct dosage for my dog?

It depends on the dogs weight and the condition being treated to determine the appropriate dosage of Prednisone. 

0.5-1.0 mg/lb is the recommended dosage range. 

The vet will prescribe the correct dosage for your dog and will also advise on how to administer it correctly. Make sure to follow the schedule your vet prescribes. 

If extremely low doses of prednisone are required dogs are normally given it orally as a tablet or as a liquid formulation. 

Is it possible for my dog to overdose on Prednisone?

It is possible for a dog to overdose on Prednisone. 

In dogs an overdose of Prednisone is unlikely to have long-lasting negative effects due to its wide range of acceptable dosages. 

The discomfort caused by high doses of Prednisone in dogs usually subsides as the medication leaves the body. 

It is possible to experience significant bleeding and stomach ulcers when taking prednisone at high doses.

You should seek immediate guidance from a veterinarian if your dog accidentally takes too much Prednisone. 

Try contacting your local veterinarian or animal emergency clinic for help if you suspect your pet has eaten poison. 

You may be advised to induce vomiting by the veterinarian if an excessive amount was swallowed. 

To manage symptoms additional supportive care may be needed.

Is it safe to be used with puppies?

Dogs can safely use Prednisone but it does come with some risks like any medication. 

The most common form of prednisone administered to dogs is as a tablet although liquid formulations are also available for smaller dogs or for extremely low doses.

How long does it take to work on a dog?

It takes about 1 to 2 hours for prednisone to take effect and symptoms should improve within that time frame. The medication is short-acting and should stop working within 24 hours.

Is there an alternative to Prednisone?

It is unfortunate that dogs may need drugs at some point in their lives to relieve severe inflammation and allergies. There are safer alternatives to steroids but they are not always the best. 

The use of NSAIDs – or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – in animals is preferable to the use of prescription steroidal medicines. In addition to aspirin ibuprofen is also an NSAID. Rimadyl is another commonly prescribed medication for pain and inflammation. In addition to prescription-only substitutes a veterinarian may suggest other alternatives.

Nevertheless if you must administer steroids to your pet work diligently with your veterinarian to monitor and reduce any potential side effects.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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