Using Prednisone for Dogs with Cancer

Prednisone for dogs is a beneficial drug that has a wide array of different uses. Your pet may benefit from using this medicine if he's suffering from allergies, an immune system flare up, or various other problems. One of the specific uses of prednisone is to help moderate and address certain types of cancer in dogs. Used in combination with other treatments, prednisone can help to reduce your pet's cancer's rate of spreading, thereby helping to contain the disease and keeping your dog healthy. Read on for an overview of how prednisone can be used to help fight cancer.

Prednisone Overview

Prednisone functions as a glucocorticoid. These types of drugs will work to prevent inflammation and swelling in your pet's body. Given in certain high doses, they can also help to suppress a body's immune system function as well. It is this type of effect that veterinarians aim for when they use prednisone to help treat cancer. Because cancerous growths are caused by an influx of new cells from an existing part of the body and are related to an immune system flare up, preventing the immune system from functioning as it should can help to slow down the spread and reproduction of those cells, thereby keeping your pet's cancer better in check.

This drug is approved for use in both humans and animals. It comes in a wide variety of different brand name formulations, with some of the most popular being:

  • Delta-Cortef
  • Sterisol
  • Prednis-Tab
  • Cortisate-20
  • Meticorten

Using Prednisone for Dogs

Although when it is being used as a basic anti inflammatory drug or to help treat an allergic reaction, this medicine is typically given in a dose of about .1 to .3 milligrams per pound per dose, prednisone is given in much higher quantities when provided as a treatment for cancer. Usually, your vet will recommend that you give your pet somewhere between 1 and 3 milligrams per pound, about 3 times daily. Most commonly, you'll give your pet the medicine in its tablet form. This means that it can be given along with a treat or ground up and provided with a meal. It's important to follow your vet's instructions for dose size and administration schedule as closely as possible in order to reach the highest level of effectiveness.

Side Effects of Prednisone

Prednisone is not without its share of potential side effects. Of the more mild types of side effects that may occur, the most common are panting, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst and appetite, and stomach ulcers. It's also possible that prednisone may interact with other medicines in your pet's system as well, so it's a good idea to inform your vet of any other medicines that you're already giving your dog before he begins treatment. Finally, it's crucial that you wean your pet off of the medicine slowly in order to prevent withdrawal and other potentially serious problems.

Ask your vet for additional information about using prednisone as a way of treating your pet's cancer.