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Ask the Veterinarian/Question on prednisone


I am a pet sitter and I will be watching a dog suffering from pano for a couple of weeks in the owner's home. This dog has flare ups every now and then. The owner will be leaving me some tramadol and prednisone and asked me to use my best judgement  and give as needed. I am OK giving the tramadol as needed for pain, but am worried about the pred, not sure how you give it as needed as I always followed directions on the bottle. I know it needs to be tapered off gradually. The owner said the vet told him it can be tapered up and tapered down as needed. I am not sure about the tapered up part. I usually have no problems giving meds to dogs per the label's directions, but not too sure on how to give pred as needed. Can you provide me some advice? Thanks!

Well pred isn't something you mess with, so you are correct to give "as directed" on the bottle.
If the dog needs 20 mg to start, then you give that twice a day for two or more days, then start tapering it down after two or three days. I don't know about tapering it UP however. It's usually a "blast" at the start then tapered off slowly over a week or so.

The only way I can see to taper up is if the dog is on a maintenance dose of say, 10 mg a day, or every other day, then he gets worse or is in more pain. In that case you would taper UP to 15 mg a day, then after a day or so give 20 etc.

But as I said, usually it's a blast to take down the pain/inflammation, then slowly tapered off.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

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Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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