The world of drugs and medications is confusing enough for humans. You have to consider the benefits and side effects each drug may have on your body. Plus, you need to know about any interactions that could be dangerous when you are taking more than one drug. The same is true when giving your cat drugs, but he can’t tell you when something is wrong or feels off. That’s why it is extremely important for you to be familiar with various drugs and understand what they are used for, the benefits of one medication over another, and the potential side effects.
All that said, you should never give your cat any medication without consulting your vet. Your veterinarian is trained to understand the intricacies of these medications and can give you guidance on what to expect from your cat while taking a specific drug.
What is Prednisolone for Cats?
Prednisolone is a corticosteroid which is used to treat inflammation, allergies, and a variety of other conditions in both cats and dogs. By suppressing the inflammatory response, Prednisolone is able to decrease the body’s reaction to a variety of agents. Prednisolone is the generic name for the drug and it is a prescription medication, meaning you can only obtain it with a valid prescription from your veterinarian.
What is the Difference Between Prednisone and Prednisolone?
It is important to note that there are two versions of this synthetic catabolic steroid: Prednisone and Prednisolone. While they both have very similar effects on the body and uses, there is one distinct difference between the two.
Prednisolone is the metabolized form of Prednisone. When administered, a cat’s liver processes Prednisone – turning it into Prednisolone. Why then are there two versions? Well, Prednisolone is prescribed to cats with weak or compromised livers so it is easier for their body to process.
Uses of Prednisolone
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Prednisolone is a dynamic drug and your vet may choose to prescribe it for a variety of reasons which are not limited to what is listed in this guide. As an anti-inflammatory, Prednisolone is effective in treating endocrine disorders, arthritis, and allergic reactions – including swelling and itchy skin in cats.
Prednisolone may also be used as an immunosuppressant for organ transplants which helps decrease the risk of rejection. Additionally, it can be used to treat adrenal insufficiency which may develop as a result of Addison’s disease.
Administering Prednisolone to Cats
If your vet prescribes Prednisolone for your cat, be sure to ask for explicit instructions on how he wants you to use and administer it. It is important that you give no more or less of the medication than directed by your vet. If you do not understand the instructions, ask your veterinarian or pharmacist to explain in more detail.
It is important that you try not to miss any doses of this drug. It should be given at about the same time of day and at even intervals. If you do happen to miss a dose, give your cat the dose as soon as you can. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with the regular schedule. Never give your cat two doses at once.
Prednisolone should be given with food to help lessen the likelihood of stomach upset. You will also want to have plenty of water available for your cat while on the medication. And finally, Prednisolone should not be stopped suddenly. Rather, there should be a gradual reduction in dosage before stopping. Your veterinarian can help you throughout this process.
Side Effects & Cautions of Prednisolone for Cats
As with any drug, there are certain side effects and cautions that should be noted when your cat is taking Prednisolone. Side effects may be short-term, long-term or potentially life threatening and require immediate medical attention.
This drug will weaken your cat’s immune response and ability to fight infections. So tell your veterinarian if your cat has kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, stomach ulcers, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, or any other medical conditions. In addition, inform your veterinarian if your pet is pregnant or lactating. Once Prednisolone has been prescribed and your cat has begun taking it, keep an eye out for the following side effects and let your vet know of any side effect that seems unusual or particularly bothersome to your cat.
Short-Term Side Effects of Prednisolone for Cats
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Increased appetite
- Increased risk of infection
Any short-term side effect exhibited by your cat should dissipate after he stops taking Prednisolone. If they do not, contact your veterinarian.
Long-Term Side Effects of Prednisolone for Cats
If your cat has been taking Prednisolone at a high dosage or for an extended period of time, there is an increased risk of more significant side effects such as:
- Increased risk of infection
- Altered behavior such as aggression
- Inhibited growth, particularly for young cats
- Development or worsening of diabetes
- Ulcers in the digestive tract
- Slow healing of wounds
- Development of Cushing’s Disease
Potentially Life Threatening Side Effects
Other more serious side effects can occur at any time while taking Prednisolone. If your cat experiences the following symptoms, stop giving prednisolone and seek emergency veterinary medical attention:
- An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; swelling of the lips, tongue or face; hives)
- Increased blood pressure
- Sudden weight gain