Depo-Medrol: Thoughts About Different Dosages for Different Diseases

Posted on July 30th, 2014

For many years, Depo-Medrol has been used in various amounts dictated by the disease the animal has. The medical profession knows to use smaller amounts of Depo-Medrol for allergies, but when it comes to more severe animal diseases, such as autoimmune diseases and some forms of cancer, increased amounts of Depo-Medrol are used.

Please remember, SARDS has been recognized as an autoimmune disease.

The following is a list of statements and links to prominent websites and their recommendations on the amount of Depo-Medrol to use in veterinary medicine for different medical conditions.  Also included is the manufacturer’s dosage recommendation by Pfizer.

Pfizer, the manufacturer of Depo-Medrol, gives these recommendations about the dosage:

“The dose varies with the size of the animal patient, the severity of the condition under treatment, and the animal’s response to therapy.

The average intramuscular dose for dogs is 20 mg. In accordance with the size of the dog and severity of the condition under treatment, the dose may range from 2 mg in miniature breeds to 40 mg in medium breeds, and even as high as 120 mg in extremely large breeds or dogs with severe involvement.

Injections may be made at weekly intervals or in accordance with the severity of the condition and clinical response.”

The Drug Library at reports:

"The doses of methylprednisolone used in dogs and cats depend on the condition, severity, preparation, route of administration (oral or injectable) and other factors.

Doses range from 0.5 mg per pound (1 mg/kg) to 15 mg per pound (30 mg/kg)

At, these guidelines are shared:

"The initial dosage of parenterally administered DEPO-MEDROL will vary from 4 to 120 mg depending on the specific disease entity being treated. However, in certain overwhelming, acute, life-threatening situations, administrations in dosages exceeding the usual dosages may be justified and may be in multiples of the oral doses.

 It Should Be Emphasized that Dosage Requirements are Variable and Must Be Individualized on the Basis of the Disease Under Treatment and the Response of the Patient.”

A pet education website discusses corticosteroids and how dosage amounts vary:

"Corticosteroids comprise one of the most beneficial groups of medications used in dogs, cats, and other pets. These medications have one of the widest ranges of use of any class of drugs.

From the veterinarian's point of view, an additional problem with steroid therapy is that none of the products or the disease syndromes treated have exact dosages. It varies with each condition and each animal. As with an anesthetic agent, the goal is to use only the minimum amount necessary to produce the desired effect. Two animals weighing exactly the same and having the same disorder may require very different dosages of steroids to control the condition and/or prevent side effects.

 Veterinarians are constantly doing a balancing act between these two extremes of steroid usage. When an animal is sent home under the observation of the owner, frequent communication with the veterinarian is necessary to describe how the disease is responding and how the animal is dealing with the medication."

One Final Note:

Please remember when using ongoing steroid therapy in a canine patient, including the use of Depo-Medrol, an oral thyroxin supplement should be given twice daily, to help increase the metabolism of the liver and kidneys, in order breakdown and excrete the steroid supplement in 24 hours. It does not matter whether daily oral steroid supplement or a time release supplement like Depo-Medrol are being used.

Without doing this, in a 24 hour period, a small amount of the steroid supplement may remain, and if so, after a week or two, the steroid supplement may go from a treatment dosage, to an overdose, creating many different side effects.

The veterinarian profession and the pet owners that are dealing with patients and pets that have SARDS, must realize that SARDS is a serious, autoimmune disease; and like with other autoimmune diseases, must be treated as soon as possible, with appropriate amounts of steroids.

There are no second chances if a SARDS patient is treated incorrectly.

An improperly treated SARDS patient will not only lose total vision, but may develop other autoimmune diseases, including cancer.

Hopefully this article will help you understand that low dose steroid replacement is not the answer for treating any autoimmune disease, including SARDS.


Dr. AL Plechner