Prednicare for dogs and cats


Oral tablets

Active ingredient




What is Prednicare?

Prednicare is a brand name for the steroidal anti-inflammatory drug called Prednisolone. It comes in tablet form and is commonly used to treat inflammation in cats and dogs associated with conditions such as skin allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. It has several other uses. Prednicare is a Prescription Only Medicine (POM-V), so you will need your vet to prescribe Prednicare.

What does Prednicare do?

The active ingredient in Prednicare is prednisolone. Prednisolone is a glucocorticoid steroid drug, which works in several ways to treat allergies, inflammation, and autoimmune disorders, such as skin allergies, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Prednisolone treats inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory substances, such as prostaglandins and cytokines. Prednisolone helps to treat autoimmune disorders by suppressing the immune system. This stops your pet’s immune system from attacking its body parts. Prednisolone acts on many different parts of the body, hence the wide range of effects and side effects associated with the drug. 

What is Prednicare prescribed for?

Prednicare is frequently given to dogs and cats for a large variety of reasons. Pets that are struggling with inflammation, allergies, and immune diseases are recommended Prednicare.

Here are the common reasons why Prednicare is recommended for pets:

  • Allergic reactions (such as Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs)
  • Inflammation or swelling where no infection is present
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Asthma
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Some types of cancer

There are several other situations where your veterinarian may think that it is suitable to give Prednicare to your pet. Remember, Prednicare should always be given under veterinary guidance, ensure to consult your vet so that you can do what’s best for your pet.

What are the side effects of Prednicare?

Single high doses of Prednicare are generally well tolerated by pets, but it is common for most pets to experience at least one mild side effect whilst on Prednicare. Long-term use of Prednicare should be kept to a minimum to control side effects. The risk of your pet developing side effects will greatly depend on the dose of Prednicare your pet is on.

Here are the common side effects that you should be aware of:

  • Increased appetite and weight gain – it is important to monitor weight gain so that your pet does not become obese.
  • Increased drinking and urinating – it may be helpful to measure and monitor how much water your pet is drinking each day.  
  • Panting – some pets will pant more whilst on Prednicare.
  • Changes in behaviour – your pet may seem more tired or more restless.
  • Weak muscles – this is common with long-term use of Prednicare.
  • Bloated appearance – this is due to several things, Prednicare causes fat redistribution, water retention, weaker stomach muscles, and increased appetite. These all contribute to a pot-bellied appearance.
  • Poor coat condition or hair loss – this side effect will take a few months to go back to normal once treatment has stopped.
  • Digestive issues – these may include vomiting, diarrhoea, or stomach ulcers
  • Increased risk of infection – Prednicare suppresses the immune system, meaning your pet will find it harder to fight off infections.
  • Delayed wound healing – if your pet develops a new wound whilst on Prednicare, you should inform your vet.
  • Skin thinning – this may make your pet more vulnerable to skin disease.

Remember, the benefits of using Prednicare often outweigh these risks, especially in pets with serious health conditions. However, you should still monitor for side effects and let your vet know if you spot any. They will be able to provide you with guidance and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. This will help to ensure your pet’s safety and put your mind at ease. Your vet will also report side effects to the manufacturer, which helps to keep other pets safe. It may be useful to keep a diary of your pet’s side effects and any changes in their behaviour, so you can show it to your vet.

Side effects from stopping Prednicare suddenly

There are also certain side effects associated with suddenly stopping Prednicare. These may include shaking, vomiting, diarrhoea, and collapse. This is because your pet’s body will stop producing normal ‘endogenous’ steroid. If you suddenly stop giving steroids, the body won’t respond in time and your pet will have none available. This side-effect of stopping steroids suddenly is called an ‘iatrogenic Addisonian crisis’ and can be an emergency. Your vet will advise you on how to slowly decrease the dose of Prednicare your pet receives, to allow your pet’s body to make its own again and prevent these side effects from happening.

Which pets is Prednicare not suitable for?

There are a few situations where Prednicare should be avoided, and alternatives should be discussed with your vet.

  • Prednicare should not be used in pets with Diabetes, Cushing’s, or Osteoporosis.
  • Prednicare should not be used in pets with heart failure or poor kidney function.
  • Prednicare should not be used in pets with glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes)
  • Prednicare should not be used in pets with stomach ulcers.
  • Prednicare should not be given if your pet has a corneal ulcer (this is an ulcer found on the surface of the eye).
  • Prednicare should be used with caution in pets with increased blood pressure and epilepsy.
  • If your pet has an uncontrolled viral or parasitic infection, Prednicare should not be given.
  • Prednicare should not be given at the same time as certain vaccines, these include live attenuated vaccines. Your vet should know what type of vaccine is being given to your pet.
  • Do not use Prednicare in pregnant or lactating animals.
  • Do not use Prednicare if your pet has a known allergy to any of the ingredients in the product.
  • The effects of certain drugs may be reduced if used alongside Prednicare, including some barbiturates, phenytoin, and rifampicin.

How to give Prednicare safely:

  1. Follow vet instructions: Always use Prednicare exactly as your vet has prescribed. This includes the right dose and frequency. Never adjust the dose on your own, even if your dog or cat seems to be feeling better or worse. If you aren’t sure of the dose prescribed, please call your vet to confirm.
  2. Tablet form: Prednicare tablets can be given directly into your dog’s mouth or can be hidden in a piece of food such as a strawberry or some cream cheese. If you are struggling to give your dog their tablets, it may be worth considering a different formulation of prednisolone or a different drug.
  3. Give AM in dogs and PM in cats: It is best to give Prednicare when your pet’s cortisol levels are at their highest. For dogs, this is usually in the morning. In cats, this is usually in the evening.
  4. Check with your vet if giving anything else: Your vet should be aware of other drugs your pet is on, but it’s always worth double-checking in case there’s been a miscommunication somewhere. If your dog is on supplements or non-prescription treatments you should also tell your vet when they prescribe Prednicare, as they may not be suitable to be given together.
  5. Storage: Store Prednicare according to the instructions on the label, usually in a cool and dry place. Make sure it’s out of reach of children and other pets.
  6. Handling: Make sure to wear non-absorbable gloves whilst handling Prednicare tablets. Wash your hands after handling these tablets.
  7. Do not suddenly stop Prednicare: The dose of Prednicare must be slowly reduced. If you are unhappy with your dog’s response to Prednicare do not suddenly stop treatment, contact your vet. Take care not to run out of tablets.
  8. Report any accidental overdose to your vet immediately: If you have mistakenly given too much Prednicare, report it to your vet as soon as you realise the error. They may recommend blood tests and monitoring for side effects.

Prednicare alternatives:

There are some different steroid alternatives to prednisolone you should be aware of. The formulation your vet may suggest will depend on the distribution of your pet’s condition e.g. skin, ears, or bowels. For example, your vet may want to try a steroid cream for inflammation of your pet’s skin, or steroid ear-drops for ear infections.

If your dog needs systemic (non-topical) prednisolone, but you are struggling to get your pet to take the Prednicare tablets, it may be best to go for a different drug that has a different formulation available. Some options are:

  • Dexamethasone – available as a chewable tablet (Dexacortone) or injection (Rapidexon).
  • Methylprednisolone – available as a long-acting injection (Depo-Medrone) as well as tablets

If your pet is suffering from severe side effects on Prednicare or is allergic to the product, your vet may suggest another alternative, depending on the condition being treated.

It is important to remember that you will not be able to buy any pain relief medication for your pet over a non-veterinary counter! You will have to go back to your vet to discuss the other options, where you can both decide what is the next best thing for your pet to keep them happy and comfortable.

How much monitoring do pets need on Prednicare?

  • Medium


    Dogs on Prednicare may need some monitoring, depending on the condition it’s being prescribed for.

The amount of monitoring dogs on Prednicare need depends on their condition. Unlike some medications, there aren’t specific things that need checking regularly, but your vet may want to monitor your dog’s response to Prednicare, and check they aren’t getting too many side effects. Mostly this can be done with a clinical exam, although blood tests may sometimes be necessary.

What does Prednicare cost?

  • pound

    £ – Inexpensive

    Prednicare tablets are relatively cheap, costing £8-60 per month, depending on the dose and where you buy them from.

Prednicare tablets are one of the cheaper medications out there. A 10kg dose on a low dose rate might cost as little as £5 per month, although there will be prescription and/or dispensing charges to consider as well. On the other hand, a 25kg dog on a high dose might cost up to £60 per month, not including prescription/dispensing charges, but dogs are unlikely to be on doses this high for more than a week or two.

Prednicare FAQs

Is Prednicare the same as prednisolone for dogs?

Prednicare is the same thing as prednisolone. Prednicare is a brand name for the steroidal anti-inflammatory prednisolone. The active ingredient prednisolone is used to treat inflammation in dogs and cats. Other brands of prednisolone are Pred-X, Prednidale, and Prednicortone.

Why do you have to wear gloves with Prednicare?

You must wear gloves with Prednicare to stop your skin from absorbing the drug. Repeated absorption of the drug through your skin could lead to some steroid-related side effects. Wearing gloves will also stop Prednicare from causing any skin irritation, such as itching or redness.

Is it better to give dogs prednisolone at night?

Ideally, prednisolone tablets should be given at the same time as the pet’s body is naturally producing steroid hormones. For dogs, that’s in the morning. For cats, that’s in the evening. This reduces side effects as your dog’s body will be ‘expecting’ to receive steroid hormones.

Does prednisolone make a dog sleepy?

Though it is not a very common side effect, Prednisolone can make some dogs sleepy. If you are worried about your pet’s lack of energy, get in touch with your vet.

Why does prednisolone make dogs pee?

Prednisolone makes dogs pee for several reasons. Prednisolone suppresses a hormone called ADH, which is normally responsible for reducing the amount of urine produced. Prednisolone also increases thirst, so water intake and urine production also increase. Lastly, prednisolone affects kidney function, ultimately leading to increased urine production. All of this means presnisolone makes dogs pee more. Make sure you’re letting your dog out more often or giving them a safe space to urinate to avoid any accidents.

How quickly does Prednicare work in dogs and cats?

How quickly prednisolone works in dogs can vary depending on the severity of their condition and the dose of prednisolone they’re being given. For inflammatory conditions with a sudden onset, prednisolone works relatively quickly. The onset should be between a few hours and a day, though this may vary on the dose your pet is receiving.

It may take a bit longer for ongoing conditions to resolve with prednisolone, but if you aren’t seeing any difference after a week you should talk to your vet. Remember, it is important to reduce your pet’s prednisolone dose slowly, so do not suddenly stop their medication if you feel it isn’t working.

Prednicare Datasheet

All drugs have a manufacturer’s datasheet, which gives information about the drug’s use and possible side effects. There is usually one in your Metacam box, but if you have lost it you can click on the button below to be taken on an online version.

Courses related to Prednicare

We don’t currently have any courses related to Prednicare. However, we’ll be bringing our Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs course live soon. Like our other courses, this has been designed by a vet to help you understand your dog’s condition and manage it at home. If you’d like to be alerted when courses goes live, you can sign up to our mailing list below.

Please note that the information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only. Although it has been written by a vet, we cannot consider the individual nature of your pet’s problems so it does not constitute veterinary advice. If you have questions about your pet’s medication or their health you should contact a vet, who will be able to help.