The correct dosage of prednisone and prednisolone depends on the condition being treated and how the patient responds to the medication. A rule of thumb for dosing prednisone and prednisolone is to use as much as is required but as little as possible to achieve the desired effect. Pets should also be weaned off of prednisone as soon as their condition allows. When dogs and cats have to be on prednisone for an extended period of time, giving the medication every other day or even less frequently if possible can reduce the chances of serious side effects. Common dosages for prednisone and prednisolone in dogs in cats are
If a positive response occurs to a diet change, the cat can be maintained on the new diet for the rest of its life, provided the diet is appropriately balanced. If the cat responds to medication for stomach bacteria, a good prognosis is justified. If response occurs to corticosteroids, the long-term prognosis is also good if administration of the drug is feasible. However, if there is no response to diet or corticosteroids, the prognosis is more guarded. In these cases, further testing is suggested to see if an underlying disease can be identified.
Other side effects which your vet will be on the lookout for include the increased risk of infection (due to suppression of the immune system), stomach ulcers, blood clots and diabetes (particularly in cats). In some dogs and cats, determining the appropriate dosage of steroids can be challenging, and it can be difficult to ensure that the right amount of medication is given to control the disease without having significant side effects. Sometimes we need to use other drugs to compliment the use of steroids, allowing us to reduce the steroid dose whilst still controlling the disease.