Prednisone and Vomiting in Cats

After giving him a pill, make sure he eats something.

After giving him a pill, make sure he eats something.

Prednisone is a steroid medication that your veterinarian might prescribe for your furry chum if he seems to have an inflammatory disorder. This medication comes in several forms -- injection, topical and oral. Oral formulas are the ones most likely to cause Tom to vomit.

Why It's Prescribed

Prednisone suppresses an overactive immune system, which is beneficial for a slew of feline ailments. One common use of prednisone is to help relieve allergy symptoms. If Tom seems allergic to absolutely everything -- even his own fur sometimes -- prednisone makes his immune system settle down so his flare-ups aren’t as severe. Prednisone can also relive joint pain, treat hormonal disorders, minimize side effects of certain cancers, improve inflammatory bowel disease issues, reduce breathing difficulty from asthma, and help with several other conditions.

Cause of Vomiting

Prednisone can be tough for a feline’s sensitive tummy, so you’ll need to make sure Tom eats something when you give him his pill. If he doesn’t eat with his dose of prednisone, he might wind up throwing it right back up. Wrap the tablet in a treat specifically designed to hold pills for cats, or roll up a meatball with wet kitty food and shove the pill inside. If you wind up having to give Tom his medication by slipping it directly in his mouth, offer him a few treats or moist food immediately afterward. These foods are more enticing than kibble and they encourage him to eat. As long as he gets a little food in his belly, he should be able to hold the tablet down.

Special Considerations

You need to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully when giving Tom his prednisone medication. Giving too much or forgetting a dose can be devastating to his health, especially if his body has been used to getting a certain amount every day for a long period of time. Vomiting could be the first warning sign that his dosage is off. In severe cases, incorrect or missed doses are life-threatening.

Other Side Effects

Vomiting isn’t the only possible side effect of prednisone. The drug can also give Tom diarrhea, act sluggish, make him drink more, pant, or stunt his growth if he’s young. In severe cases, prolonged prednisone use can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes. If you notice any behavioral changes in Tom, or if you see blood in his vomit, or if he isn’t eating or drinking, or if he hasn’t used the litter box in days, take him back to the vet. The dosage might be too high for your cuddly pal, or his body might not be responding well to the drug.

 

About the Author

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

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