Prednisone for cats can treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Prednisone and prednisolone are steroids that are used to reduce inflammation, treat some cancers, suppress the immune system, and act as artificial glucocorticoid replacements when the cat’s body isn’t producing enough.
The drug works in the same way as cortisol, a naturally occurring hormone made by the adrenal glands of cats. Prednisone has amazing anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal treatment for certain cat diseases.
It comes in many forms, such as syrups, liquids, and tablets, and it can be given orally or as an injection. You need to ask your veterinarian and follow their dosage instructions before giving these medications to your cat.
Prednisone and prednisolone are much stronger than the cortisol your cat’s body naturally produces, so there are potential side effects from using this drug. Here’s what you should know.
Use of prednisone in cats
Your veterinarian may recommend prednisone or prednisolone to your cat for certain ailments, especially as anti-inflammatories.
The main uses of the drug in cats include:
- Reduction of swelling from allergies, from skin irritation to anaphylactic shock from insect bites
- Cat asthma
- To reduce internal swelling, e.g. B. an upper respiratory infection
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney-related diseases
- Endocrine disorders
- Autoimmune diseases
Prednisone doses for cats
The following is a guideline for typical use of the drug in cats. It should not replace the advice of your veterinarian on your individual pet.
Veterinarians can give prednisone by mouth or by injection. How much to give depends on the condition of the cat and how the cat reacts to the steroid.
For example, a cat being treated for an autoimmune disease may require up to 3 mg of prednisone per pound of cat weight per day. Typically, however, it is administered at 1 mg per pound.
Cats should generally not receive long-term treatment with prednisone, as it can have dangerous side effects over the long term.
Prednisone is not recommended if your cat has inflammation of the liver, whether from cancer or for other reasons. Your cat’s liver converts prednisone to prednisolone, and a cat with a strained liver has limited conversion capabilities.
For cats with liver problems, prednisolone is the recommended steroid, but it is still in small and monitored doses.
Side effects of prednisone and prednisolone in cats
If your cat is prescribed prednisone or prednisolone, be aware that both short-term and long-term side effects can occur.
Here are some of the possible side effects of short-term use of prednisone or prednisolone in cats:
- Increased thirst (polydipsia)
- Kidney disease and excessive urination (due to polydipsia)
- Increased appetite (polyphagia)
- Weight gain and fluid retention
- Coat / hair loss
- Behavioral differences, such as B. An increase in anxiety, paranoia, or depression in your cat
Here are some of the side effects that cats may experience with long-term use of prednisone or prednisolone:
- Inhibited growth in young pets, so prednisone is not recommended for pregnant cats or kittens
- Cushing’s disease
- Vomiting & diarrhea
- Increased risk of infection, both from bacteria and fungi
- Ulcers in the digestive tract
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Wounds are slow to heal
- Bad or thin fur
If any of these side effects become worrisome during treatment with prednisone, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet can then recommend changing the dosage or looking for a new form of treatment.
Like any other drug, prednisolone or prednisone can cause a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. Call your veterinarian right away if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction in your cat such as itching, hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling.
Has your cat ever been given prednisone? Was it effective? Has your cat had any side effects? Let us know in the comments.