Side Effects of Prednisone in Dogs

Prednisone is a prescription medication used by veterinarians. It's a synthetic corticosteroid that is often used to relieve symptoms of dog arthritis, skin problems and breathing difficulties. This anti-inflammatory medication is beneficial for many health problems, but it can cause side effects in dogs.

Excess Thirst

Prednisone often makes a dog very thirsty. The dog drinks more water than usual, and must urinate more often.

Excess Hunger

The prednisone often affects the dog's appetite, making him crave food even after he has eaten. This can make the dog gain weight.


Prednisone can upset the stomach and digestive tract. The dog may have diarrhoea or experience vomiting.


Because prednisone affects glands in the body, it can cause imbalances in those glands that result in diabetes.


Corticosteroids like prednisone often suppress the immune system. Infections, especially urinary infections, are common, but the prednisone hides the symptoms.


Prednisone can cause stomach ulcers or make gastric ulcers worse.

Hair Loss

Prednisone may cause dry, brittle hair or hair loss.

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About the Author

Phyllis Benson is a professional writer and creative artist. Her 25-year background includes work as an editor, syndicated reporter and feature writer for publications including "Journal Plus," "McClatchy Newspapers" and "Sacramento Union." Benson earned her Bachelor of Science degree at California Polytechnic University.