Can I Give My Dog Prednisone And CBD Oil

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When something is wrong with your doggo, pet owners often find themselves quickly spiraling into a panic. A timely trip to the veterinarian will often leave dog owners feelings more calm in one sense, per say, but potentially more concerned in other aspects. What are these medications? Are they all really necessary? Prednisone may be used on dogs to help relieve shock or asthma, but with caution as the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved it yet for vet use.

Can I Give My Dog Prednisone And CBD Oil

When something is wrong with your doggo, pet owners often find themselves quickly spiraling into a panic. A timely trip to the veterinarian will often leave dog owners feelings more calm in one sense, per say, but potentially more concerned in other aspects.

What are these medications? Are they all really necessary? Why is there a laundry list of associated side effects?

Again, we understand what a worrisome time this can be for you. First, your four-legged love pup is sick, which is bad even on its own. But to add to that, you now have to make difficult choices regarding which medication is the right one for your pup.

The fine print may read that your dog’s allergy drug may also have negative, long-term side effects. Unfortunately, many drugs that we use to help our dogs feel better may have some serious side effects. This might not make sense, but it is the reality of many conventional medications.

I n this article, we are breaking down the popular steroid drug – prednisone. We hope we can answer all of your questions and concerns regarding prednisone. We want to help our readers become better educated on the medication so that they can make the best decisions as possible in terms of their pup’s health.

What is Prednisone

Prednisone is a synthetic steroid that is commonly prescribed to treat a wide variety of illnesses. In fact, you may have heard of this steroid before as it’s commonly prescribed to humans.

Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory drug and plays a key role in reducing inflammation in dogs and humans alike.

For instance, prednisone is often prescribed to treat inflammation and inflammatory conditions like neoplasia, asthma, arthritis, Addison’s disease, and anaphylactic shock.

What are Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are often referred to as steroids. Cortisone, a corticosteroid, for example, is a steroidal hormone that is produced in the adrenal cortex of vertebrates.Corticosteroids are involved in many activities in your dog’s body, such as:

  • Stress response
  • Nutrient metabolism
  • Control of inflammation
  • Immune system response

These steroid hormones can too be produced synthetically, often in the form of prednisone.

Prednisone is very similar to cortisol (a naturally-produced adrenal hormone), but more potent. Cortisol is released in response to a stress occurrence. This release is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). Essentially what happens is this: when the body senses stress, the hypothalamus starts a chain reaction that leads to a release of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

When a dog has an illness that lowers natural and healthy levels of cortisol, a synthetic form of cortisol (like prednisone) is often required.

What is a Steroid

Steroids are synthetic drugs that are formulated to resemble the naturally produced cortisol and are used typically for medicinal purposes.

But aren’t steroids what people use illegally in sports or competition? These steroids are anabolic steroids, formulated to resemble testosterone.

However, steroids are also important in Western medicine to treat individuals suffering from a wide range of conditions.

Prednisolone Who

Prednisone and prednisolone are corticosteroids that are used in treating inflammation and autoimmune diseases. They can help regulate the immune system.

Once a pet parent administers the prednisone, the dog’s liver metabolizes the medication into prednisolone.

If your pup has a pre-existing live condition, or any form of liver dysfunction for that manner, or even high liver enzymes, then your vet will likely prescribe prednisolone instead of prednisone.

By prescribing prednisolone, the vet can ensure that your pup is able to absorb and process the drug safely and effectively.

Typical Prednisone Use

Prednisone is typically used in the treatment of the following ailments:

  • Lupus
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Skin diseases (eczema, itchy skin, dermatitis)
  • Autoimmune disease
  • CNS disorders
  • Cancer
  • Liver conditions
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Arthritis-associated joint pain
  • Inflammatory orthopedic conditions

Prednisone Dog Side Effects

Common side effects of prednisone include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin infections
  • Increased hunger/thirst
  • Skin infections
  • Panting
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Prednisone Side Effects: The Long Term

If your vet prescribes prednisone for a long duration ( > 4 months), make sure that you are regularly taking your pup to see the vet to monitor long-term effects, like liver and kidney dysfunction.

Here’s a list of potential adverse effects of long-term prednisone and prednisolone usage:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Muscle weakness
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Development or worsening of diabetes

Administering Prednisone to Your Dog

Most vet medical experts state that the use of prednisolone and prednisone should be used only for a short term and more so even at small doses to reduce the possibility of potential adverse reactions.

You may not notice one specific side effect of prednisone. However, that one little symptom can turn into multiple overnight. This is why it’s extremely important for dog parents to be aware of the potential side effects to be able to know what to look for.

Common doses of prednisone and prednisolone are:

  • 1 mg/lb to suppress the immune system
  • 0.5 mg/lb for anti-inflammation

Your vet will take into consideration your dog’s specific condition and needs to determine the exact dose your pup will need.

Furthermore, it’s extremely important that pet owners do not miss a dose when administering the steroid.

Prednisone for dogs must be given at the same time of the day (or as close as possible to the same time) and at even time intervals (i.e. every 12 hours).

Again, prednisone is used when the body is not sufficiently making enough cortisol on its own. However, do note, prednisone is not intended for permanent use for the deficiency.

Natural Alternatives for Dogs

Luckily, there are other options. As dog parents we are fortunate enough to be living in a time where we have natural alternatives available.

Everyday, more holistic options are making way in the world of natural remedies (hashtag grateful).

1. CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a wonderful, natural, non-toxic option for your four-legged friend. Here, at Petly CBD, we’ve got what you need. CBD Treats? Yep. Hemp CBD Oil? Yep.

Although CBD is our favorite all-natural remedy, we want to provide you pet parents with information on other supplemental herbs that can benefit your doggo.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is a great herbal solution for a wide array of inflammatory conditions. It has an anti-inflammatory effect without the potential toxic adverse effects. Turmeric is also great for pet owners (aka you)!

3. Yucca Root

This herbal supplement is definitely one you want to look into. Yucca root contains beneficial levels of the following:

  • Niacin
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Beta-carotene

Furthermore, studies have shown that yucca root alleviates allergies and arthritis and joint pain. Also, yucca root has been shown to boost your pup’s appetite.

However, do note that you should not give your pup yucca root on a daily basis. Too much yucca root may potentially irritate their digestive tract.

4. Echinacea

This natural herb is a great way to give your pup’s immune system a boost. It’s best to use echinacea on and off for optimal results.

5. Licorice Root

Have you heard of this incredible root? Well, get ready to be amazed. Licorice root contains glycyrrhizin (which functions as a natural corticosteroid). The herb stimulates the secretion of hormones in the adrenal gland. Aka, it aids in the production of the same hormones that prednisone aims to produce, except licorice root is all-naturale. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces swelling. WIN. It helps ease skin conditions and common skin allergy symptoms.

6. Ginger

Another excellent way to reduce inflammation and the associated pain and swelling? Ginger, my friends. The herbal solution blocks the body from producing chemicals.

7. Comfrey

This herb can reduce bone inflammation in an effective, healthy, and you guessed it – in a natural way.

8. Diet

I t’s easy to forget the importance of a healthy diet (in both us humans and our fur babies). We should think of food as a means of healing. Raw food diets have the necessary nutrients for your doggo to live their best life. Consult with your vet to devise a raw food diet that is best for your pup.

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Prednisone for Dogs: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, we understand your needs to ensure that your pup is living their best life possible. For this to be possible, as paw parents, we have to know as much as possible about what we are giving our fur babies.

Understanding the dangers of conventional medications is not an effort to concern or scare you, but rather to educate you on what’s going on out there. So all in all, don’t forget to consider a holistic, natural source of healing for your pup. You won’t regret it one bit

Natural Alternatives to Prednisone for Dogs – August 2022

Prednisone is a corticosteroid used in alleviating symptoms of skin conditions, breathing disorders, arthritis, auto-immune and allergic reactions like hives (13 ) . It suppresses the immune system and inhibits the release of inflammation-causing substances in the body.

Patients’ immune response to Prednisone is positive. It treats auto-immune diseases like ulcerative colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), lupus, and psoriasis.

This corticosteroid also treats central nervous system disorders and hormonal disorders such as Addison’s disease, a rare disorder where the sufferer’s adrenal gland is unable to produce ample amounts of cortisol and aldosterone hormones (14 ) .

Prednisone vs. Prednisolone

Prednisone and prednisolone are both synthetic glucocorticoids (steroid hormones). They can treat the same auto-immune, skin, central nervous system, and hormonal conditions. However, Prednisone still needs to be converted by liver enzymes before it can take effect (15 ) .

Doctors are more likely to prescribe prednisolone to patients who have severe liver diseases or cats as they lack the enzyme needed to break prednisone to prednisolone.

Can Prednisone be Used on Dogs?

Prednisone may be used on dogs but must be administered with caution (16 ) .

It is often used to treat Addison’s disease by supplementing dogs with glucocorticoids that their own body is unable to produce.

Prednisone can also treat dogs for the following conditions (17 ) :

  • Asthma
  • Some cancer forms
  • High blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia)
  • Central nervous system disorders
  • Skin disease
  • Arthritis
  • Shock

An article by Dr. Tammy Hunter, DVM and Dr. Ernest Ward, DVM reveals that even if Prednisone and Prednisolone are synthetic or human-made corticosteroids, they are more potent than those that are naturally found in the body. Their effects last longer, too (18 ) .

Dogs on Prednisone should be monitored carefully for side effects. According to Hunter and Ward, the benefits outweigh the risks when using Prednisone on pets (19 ) .

Few side effects will occur when the medication is used correctly.

Similar to many drugs in veterinary medicine, despite Prednisone’s benefits, its use in animals has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (20 ) .

Prednisone Dosage for Dogs

If Prednisone is administered for its anti-inflammatory effects, the standard dosage for Prednisone in dogs is 0.5mg per kilogram. If it is used to treat immune system disorders in dogs, the dosage is 1mg per kilogram (21 ) .

When it comes to dosing Prednisone, use as much as is required to treat the symptoms but as little as possible to reduce the chances of the dog experiencing severe side effects (22 ) .

As soon as the dog’s condition improves, the slow tapering of the pet off Prednisone is suggested (23 ) .

According to Dr. Rania Gollakner, BS, DVM, in about 1 to 2 hours, Prednisone should take effect, and significant improvements in the dog should follow (24 ) .

Best combined with pet food, Prednisone comes in tablet, injectable, or liquid form (25 ) .

Dr. Barbara Forney recommends that Prednisone be given to dogs once daily, preferably in the morning (26 ) .

Side Effects of Prednisone on Dogs

Potential short-term side effects of Prednisone on dogs, especially on those who are taking it for its immunosuppressive properties are as follows (27 ) :

  • Increased thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Increased appetite

When Prednisone is given at higher doses or for long periods of time, more severe and long-term side effects may be observed (28 ) .

  • Increased risk of infection
  • Altered behavior including aggression
  • Inhibited growth especially in young dogs
  • Development or worsening of diabetes
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulceration of the digestive tract
  • Lethargy
  • Delayed wound healing

A study conducted in 2015 revealed that dogs under corticosteroid treatment had shown adverse behavioral changes (29 ) .

It is also important to note that Dogs who are suffering from infections like fungal infections should not be given Prednisone. Corticosteroids will bring these out, even latent infections (30 ) .

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Prednisone should also not be taken with drugs prone to causing ulcers, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as doing so can result in stomach ulcers.

Natural Alternatives to Prednisone for Dogs

Because of Prednisone’s side effects on a dog’s body, some pet owners are turning to natural alternatives for their pet’s medical conditions.

Yucca Schidigera and Dogs

For joint pain and inflammation, Yucca Schidigera is a recommended natural alternative. Its extracts have anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effects (31 ) .

Yucca is a medicinal plant from Mexico. It is available in tablet form.

Turmeric and Dogs

Instead of treating dogs with anti-inflammatory drugs, turmeric is a good alternative. A 2009 study shows that turmeric, particularly its curcumin compound, can be used to treat inflammation (32 ) .

Aside from being anti-inflammatory, turmeric also has antibacterial, antitumor, and antioxidant properties (33 ) .

CBD Oil and Dogs

Another natural alternative to Prednisone for dogs is CBD (Cannabidiol) oil, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.

Most CBD benefits are reported on humans, especially its positive effects on epilepsy, anxiety, and different types of chronic pain (34 ) . However, it is suggested that the system that regulates the functions of cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), is the same for all animal species except insects (35 ) .

If the ECS of a human and a dog work the same way, it is suggested that CBD oil can be given to dogs as well.

According to a 2017 article (36 ) , CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs. Thus, it can help alleviate the inflammatory conditions Prednisone treats.

A 2018 study concluded that dogs suffering from osteoarthritis experienced a significant decrease in pain when they were administered with CBD oil. They were also perceived to be more comfortable and active (37 ) , with no adverse effects when they were observed short-term.

Prednisone treats shock in dogs because of its ability to improve circulation. Similarly, studies have shown that CBD reduces high blood pressure and heart rate in stressful situations (38 ) .

The 2017 study also revealed that CBD increases cerebral blood flow (39 ) .

CBD can also help treat a dog’s itchy skin. Its protective role of the ECS could help reduce allergy in the skin (40 ) .

A study also discusses CBD’s role as a potent inhibitor of cancer growth and spread. The research also suggests that CBD can be combined with classical chemotherapeutic agents (41 ) .

Once CBD is used alongside chemotherapeutic agents, their dose and toxicity are reduced while the efficacy is maintained.

While Prednisone alleviates asthma symptoms, CBD could also be as effective.

A study in 2015 states that CBD’s immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties could help in the treatment of asthma (42 ) .

Despite these benefits, CBD also has side effects like dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness (43 ) .

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD use, so a dosing chart for dogs is not available.

Dog owners should administer small amounts of CBD at first and then monitor its effects. CBD can be given orally, combined with pet food, or used in massages.

Before including CBD in the dog’s regimen, it is recommended that pet parents inform their veterinarian first.

CBD and Prednisone

CBD and Prednisone should not be taken together. The liver enzyme cytochrome P450 metabolizes Prednisone for it to take effect on the body.

A study shows that CBD inhibits the enzyme system, thereby raising risks like amplifying Prednisone’s side effects (44 ) .

Conclusion

Prednisone can be used on dogs. Short-term use already presents side effects, but the more concerning ones come from large doses and long-term use of the drug.

For inflammation in dogs, the dosage of Prednisone is 0.5mg per pound. For immune system disorders, the dosage is 1mg per pound.

Using Prednisone on pets for an extended period of time could bring about adverse effects; hence, natural alternatives like CBD oil are recommended.

CBD oil helps treat the symptoms Prednisone is used for sans the adverse effects. These symptoms include inflammatory conditions, arthritis, shock, skin conditions, cancer, and asthma.

Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian before giving CBD to their dogs.

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