Florinef, Prednisone and Percorten side effects

Our Addison’s dog, Shakti had been on her Addison’s meds for about six months when her hair started falling out. We since found out that it was most probably due to too much prednisone. This article lists Percorten side effects, Florinef side effects and prednisone side effects. If your pet is experiencing any of these side effects, the dosage or interval of the drugs may need to be reduced.

PERCORTEN Side Effects

  • Hypernatremia (electrolyte disturbances)
  • Hypokalemia (low blood potassium)
  • Polyuria (excessive urination)
  • Polydipsia (excessive thirst)
  • Increased blood volume
  • Edema (fluid retention) watch for excessive weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Cardiac enlargement
  • Depression
  • Anorexia (i.e. not eating)
  • Skin and coat changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Incontinence
  • Pain on injection
  • Percorten side effects can also include injection site abscess

Prednisone Side Effects and Florinef (fludrocortisone acetate) Side Effects

These drugs have similar side effects (Florinef has glucocorticoid properties and acts like prednisone). These include:

  • Hunger
  • Loss of hair
  • Muscle atrophy (wasting)
  • Panting
  • Urinating and drinking excessively
  • Poor quality coat
  • Frequent skin infections
  • Thinning skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other gastrointestinal upsets
  • Excessive weight gain
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Elevated liver enzymes
  • Lipidemia (excess fat in the blood)

Unfortunately, the side effects of these drugs can mimic other disorders that are common in Addison’s disease (i.e. hypothyroidism) and even Addison’s disease itself, so it’s vitally important to have your pet’s blood checked for electrolyte imbalances and other disorders.


Barbara Forney, VMD. Prednisone for veterinary use.Wedgewood Pharmacy.

Mike Richards, DVM. Corticosteriod side effects. Vet Info

Novartis. Percorten-V product information. Novartis.

35 thoughts on “Florinef, Prednisone and Percorten side effects

  1. Jayne Teachen

    My golden lab has been diogonsed with Addisons. She has had it as far was we know
    for 9 weeks now and the vet has just increased her Florinef to 6 a day.
    Does it get better for the dog! She used so fast and run after her ball but now she struggles to even walk sometimes??

    Thanks Jayne

    1. Randy

      Hi Jayne ,

      Just seen your post, I too have a golen lab that was diagnosed with Addisons about 5 years ago now, she was 5 at the time they found it. It took along time for the vets to fine tune the meds to get her where she needed to be , but once they did , it was almost an over night change in her. for a long time once she went on florenif she was still seeming to be tired all the time and didnt want to play , although she seemed alot better then she did before she went on meds, but then when her meds were figured, she was like the old bailey, i tire out before she did,, Now she is over 10 and slowing down naturally, but your dog will be fine. By the way bailey is currently taking 12 pills daily. I hope this helps ease your mind some.


    2. Chelsea

      Hi Jayne, my great dane pitbull mix was diagnosed with addisons 2 yrs ago. He was on 6 pills a day. I asked my vet if there was anything else i could do for him instead of all these pills. We switched him to prednisone pills every other day and he gets a shot of precorten once a month. He is his normal self for the most part as long as he gets his meds. Ask your vet about these medications, they made my life alot easier. I wish you the best of luck with your loving pet!

    3. Corrine

      Once your dog gets on the correct dosage your dog will be as good as new… I have a labradooole, she has had addisons for 4 years… she is stable for 3 years… totally normal again… sounds like u need more florinef..

  2. Henrietta

    Our lab cross has had Addisons since March/April last year, and has been really well and happy on 7 florinef daily and one quarter prednisone on alternate days, until shortly before Christmas. Was on fantastic form, then recently has had a further Addisonian crisis. Dose upped to 9 florinef and a half pred daily. Hope this will sort things.

  3. Katie Gillmor

    My dog was diagnosed In oct 2011, she is 8 yrs old and we can’t keep her down lol. She was quite sick at first but now on 8 florinef aday. She is a German shorthair which is a hyper breed but she Is def back to normal running jumping driving us crazy!! Lol but I find she is hungry most of the time and pees alot.

  4. Jeanine

    We had a 32# lab mix who was diagnosed with Addison’s disease almost 1 year ago. She was prescribed .1 mg of Florinef 2x per day and she started acting like her active self again. Our dog recently passed away due to complications with, what is believed to be, her distemper shot (this is a “live” shot). She lost her eyesight, developed arthritis and died within 3 weeks of this shot. The vet sent a warning about this to, I assume, the pharmaceutical company. Please be aware that all Addison’s dogs react to medications differently.

    1. Jeanine

      I should also note that she was being treated with high doses of Prednisolone (20 mg) per day to treat the arthritis and eyes(along with steroid drops for the eyes). Her final day of life she was panting heavily and then died. Panting, thirst & hunger are all common side effects from Pred.

  5. Mark R. Towne

    When our English Pointer (Zena) became ill with signs of not eating and drinking she was identified with “Addison’s Disease” through a ACTH test. (Marshfield Lab) She was placed on a IV to get some fluids in her and given a Dexamethazone shot with Prednisone (5mg). She became stable and was placed on Florinef (.05 mg) & Prednisone (5 mg) aprrox. One month later.

    Zena’s health improved with some issue’s of vomiting, loose stools and bladder control. Several CBC and electrolyte panel test were conducted with a change in her Florinef from 0.5 to 0.6 mg and 1/4 tspn. Of salt (twice daily).

    She was removed off Prednisone completely due to increased side effects of bladder control, and emotional side effects (continuous licking the air, biting at what she thought were flies, licking body parts to the extreme, extreme thirst etc…) We tried different amounts of Prednisone after activity with continued side effects lasting up to 3 days.

    Zena was placed on Proin 50 mg twice daily to assist with her bladder control issues. This has helped with her normal activites, but any physical activities like short runs she continues to have bladder control issues and literally has flush out episodes.

    Our goal was to hopefully stabilize Zena to the point where she could still hunt for short periods without suffering for 3-4 days after this physical activity, but her present side effects from Prednisone make it impossible at this time. So it seems we are left with a decision to have her suffer from the activity if not given Prednisone or we have to deal with her side effects from Prednisone which are not a good life for her or our family.

    We truly appreciate any advice you could give on this manner.


    Mark R. Towne
    Rhinelander, WI

  6. laurie myers

    Our Whippet was diagnosed Oct 2012. Since then we’ve had several Addisonian crises as we’ve tried to figure out what his medication needs are and how much to increase in times of stress. several times we’ve gone out of town for the weekend and he’s fine while we’re gone but when we return he starts with diarrhea and begins to spiral downhill – no amount of Endosorb or special food works and he usually ends up in the vet for a day or two getting IV fluids. Then he’s fine.
    He seems to have a very sensitive stomach too. It’s much better since we started him on Probios (I highly recommend this – it’s been a miracle drug for him – just a tsp on his food in the morning has changed his life). But I was wondering if the Florinef causes stomach problems? or if it’s common among Addisions dogs.
    any other suggestions regarding stress would be appreciated – opinions about whether the stress is even causing these periodic episodes.
    Fortunately I don’t work outside the home so I’m available to care for him, but it is labor intensive and as so many have said … so expensive.

    1. kenrosellc


      It does sound like the stress from the weekend trips is the problem. I’m not sure if this will help, but whenever I leave Shakti at home for a few days, I have the same routine.

      If I leave for a few hours I say “I’ll be back” before I shut the front door.

      If I leave for a few days, I put the suitcase on the couch, leave it there for a few hours. Then, when I leave I tell her “Susan will be here to take care of you.” Then, I make sure someone checks on her in the morning and in the evening. I also give everyone instructions to give her extra prednisone if she shows signs of stress (shaking/depression). So far, she hasn’t needed it, which makes me think the routine works.

      She’s a smart dog — I do everything I can to make her aware of what’s going on, so she doesn’t sit there waiting for me to come home when I’m not for a while.

      Have you tried giving her a little extra prednisone?

      Best of luck,

      1. laurie myers

        thanks, so much. Your web site has been very helpful. Whippets are known to be especially attached to their owners and prone to anxiety so that makes him even more challenging to control. In fact when the emergency vet ER initially diagnosed him with Addisions (without an ACTH) our vet wasn’t convinced – thought it might be related to his anxiety over our leaving (typical of Whippets) resulting in diarrhea and dehydration and then severe electrolyte imbalance. So we didn’t start medicines. Another crisis a couple of weeks later and an ACTH told us otherwise. So we have been feeling our way ever since.
        My heart breaks for these owners who struggle to provide the medicines.
        Thanks again.
        PS again I’ll put in a plug for the Probios – once we started him on that, the diarrhea stopped – now diarrhea only comes with stress.

  7. Jill Williams

    Wish someone could advise – my little cavalier has been diagnosed with Addisons. I originally took him to vets with loss of fur from prednisone he was on for colitis. After the various tests he is supposed to have Addisons. he recently had some teeth removed and at the moment seems so well I am reluctant to start the very low Medication. Any ideas anyone?

    1. kenrosellc

      I’m assuming he had an ACTH test?

      Even if he seems well, his electrolytes may not be 100%, and if he isn’t given medication — you could end up with an Addisonian crash. I’m assuming the low meds you’re referring to is Florinef. If so, and his ACTH test was positive for Addisons — start the meds.

      Good luck!


    2. Norma

      Your dog should be just fine once you get the florinef going. Mine too, was diagnosed last May and he is really doing well. I double the dose during any stressful situations – such as thunderstorms, grooming etc. It’s all about stress management and medication. These addisonian dogs will live a long life with the meds and requires an alert owner.

  8. Norma

    My 5 yr. old min. schnawzer has Addison’s disease. He improved on florinef 0.5mg per day. He recently has started licking and biting the sides of his docked tail. Anals were done, rectal and fecal exam showed nothing. No fleas. No parasites. The fur on his tail trimmed and there are no hotspots or skin eruptions. He gets quite unhappy as if something is bothering that area. Blood work showed nothing. I’m lost. I’ve checked into everything and there is no reason that can be found. He’ll also sniff around himself or bedding during one of his licking episodes. He is not licking his rectum just the sides of his tail. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m getting discouraged! I love my pet so much.

    1. kenrosellc


      I’m not a vet, but if there’s no medical reason for the chewing (it’s probably unrelated to Addison’s disease), it could be a case of compulsive chewing.


      1. Norma

        Thanks for your suggestion although he is exhibiting distressful behaviour as well as turning suddenly and checking his rear now, panting and makes sudden movements, sits with his head hanging. The vet told me to give him some prednisone (as well he’s on florinef .1mg) But his condition hasn’t improved. He has also had antibiotics as his liver enzymes were up.
        He weighs about 24lbs. He’s eating and all bodily functions appear to be in working order. I am lost completely and getting discouraged.

        1. kenrosellc

          Hi, Norma,

          What kind of distressful behavior? If it’s shaking or depression — that could be a sign of Addison’s. Checking his rear indicates a separate problem (which could be neurotic behavior)


          1. Norma

            Thanks for your comments. The problem seems to be resolving. I have been treating him for colitis although the usual symptoms of colitis are not apparent. Thought maybe he was having some cramps or something. I’m so relieved his condition seems better and he’s back to himself.

  9. Rachel

    My dog zoey is a 4 year old lab/pittbull mix. She was diagnosed with Addison’s almost 2 years ago. Everything seems fine up untill about a month ago she started loseing her hair around her neck and I also noticed her legs and inside of her legs!!! The hair is not completely gone but is very thin!!! She takes procorten and prednisone! They started decreasing the procorten about 3 months ago. She used to take 2.2 mg every month and 5 mg of pred Everyday! The vet has her down to 2.0 mg and this month they will try to lower her to 1.9 mg of the porcorten! Please help my doggie is goning bald!!!!

    1. kenrosellc


      I’d be patient with the vet — it sounds like he’s doing the right thing by lowering the meds gradually. Pred can cause hair loss (it happened to my Shakti, but ceased after I decreased her pred).

      Good luck!

      1. Rachel

        I cut the pred to 2.5 like the vet said to do so we shall see if this improves thanks for the response !!!!! Rachel

    2. Norma

      I think the hair loss is from the prednisone.
      My dog is on Florinef only for his Addisons and I’ve had no apparent side effects.
      You can get a prescription for florinef from your vet for a pharmacy as it is cheaper.
      Good luck.

      1. Rachel

        How much is this for a dog that weighs 56 lbs!!! Right now for procorton and pred it’s about 130 a month!!!!

        1. Norma

          Flornef is generally given 0.1mg per 20lbs.
          In Canada it works out to 23 cents per pill.
          There is a Canadian website for pet medication at http://www.petpharm.org.
          My dog gets one pill a day as weighs about 23lbs. Good luck. I got a prescription from the vet to get the florinef at our pharmacy as it is cheaper there. I don’t know what your cost would be. I’m in Canada so it may be less than what you are paying.

  10. Jordan

    My dog got diagnosed with Addison’s on Thursday and was immediately put on the drip and stayed there till Saturday, so I went to pick up my boy and the nurse who didn’t even no what Addison’s was, was discharging him and I asked to see Avnet because I was worried about his meds and what to look out for, for a crisis but she just said there was no vets and that the notes say to just take one tablet each day of macrolone and I said that’s it….. She said yep. So I went home and he was great for the first day (sunday) but he still was tired and not 100% so I thought ok maybe it will take a while for the meds to kick in now I’m sitting here (Monday night) with my partner and looking over the receipt that the vet have me and I noticed that it says 1 bottle florinef 0.1mg (100′s) Sony called the vet and they said oh don’t you have them… He needs them.. So I’m like no I don’t the nurse didn’t give them to me and she said well I can’t get into the chemist at this time so your going to have to wait till tomorrow.. Do you think he will be ok I’m stressing so much,
    Thank you

    1. kenrosellc


      I would love to be able to reassure you, but unfortunately your pet needs to be on that medication.Keep as close an eye on him as you can. If he seems VERY lethargic, is throwing up, shaking, staggering etc. then that is a sign of a full-blow Addisonian crisis and you must seek emergency veterinary help. Otherwise, you can probably wait until the morning for the Florinef. My guess is the vet already had him on Florinef (and so there’s still a little in his system), so going a few more hours *should* be oky, but get him back on those meds as soon as you can.


      1. Jordan

        Thanks stephanie we got the meds this morning just in time as he didn’t eat all his food this morning and that’s how he started last time! I just could t believe how careless the nurse was tey were very concerned at the vet as they should be because he could have had an Addison crisis thank god we got the right meds now

  11. Julie

    My dog, an 11 year old Chow/Rott mix was just diagnosed with Addison’s. The vet is going to run some additional tests to be sure.

    I have read all the comments about the drugs used, none of which particularl thrill me.

    Has there been any discussion on a more natural or homeopathic route?

    I personally do not like anything that has prednisone.


    1. kenrosellc


      There are some natural supplements…but if your dog has Addison’s, they MUST have replacement hormones, either DOCP or Florinef and Pred.


      1. Julie

        Thank you Stephanie. I would not take hormones for
        Myself. Possibly giving it to my dogs does not thrill me.

        1. kenrosellc

          If you had Addison’s, you would have to take replacement hormones, or you would die. It’s not like hormone therapy for something like mid-life, which is optional.

      2. Norma

        You have to realize that the body produces naturally hormones that perform and regulate vital organ function and in particular with addisons, stress and heart regulation to mention only a couple. Without proper medication and control this disease is fatal.
        My dog is on florinef with remarkable positive results. I manage and am very mindful of any stressful situation which may require an additional florinef i.e. grooming, thunderstorms. This disease requires a great commitment but is easily managed with the proper medication.

  12. Melissa Cushman

    We have a 2 year Great Dane that was diagnosed with Addison’s about amonth and a half ago. She lost 25 lbs and almost died before she was put in the hospital for IV fluids and steroids. Our vet put her on 0.5 mg Florinef and 10 mg of predisone. She is doing so much better now! We get the Florinef compounded at a human pharmacy, everyone may want to check into to seeing if you have any pharmacy’s in your area that compound medicines. She takes the florinef 1 0.5 mg pill twice a day and we only pay $80.00 for a 2 month supply. Hope this might help someone out, I know it can be a pain to have to give your dog a ton of pills a day.

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