Prednisone is commonly prescribed for pain relief. A corticosteroid that suppresses your cat's inflammatory and immune response, it can help your kitty feel better, but it can also have serious adverse and long-term effects. Give your cat prednisone if -- and exactly as -- it was prescribed by your veterinarian.
Prednisone is often used to reduce pain. In particular, it treats your kitty's pain if it's associated with an inflammatory or autoimmune condition. Arthritis, bursitis, hip dysplasia, inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, orthopedic trauma, allergies, asthma, lupus, certain cancers and Addison's disease are some conditions often treated with prednisone or other corticosteroids.
Prednisone is available in a variety of forms, including oral tablets, liquid suspension, syrup, topical applications and injectable solutions. The form used depends in large part on what condition your kitty has. Typically, your cat is prescribed a "loading dose," or a high initial dose, followed by subsequent lower doses. Doses are usually gradually reduced, as this medication shouldn't be stopped cold turkey. You'll likely give your kitty one or two doses daily. Administer prednisone to your cat exactly as prescribed by your vet.
This medication can cause serious side effects, especially at high doses or with long-term use. Prednisone suppresses your kitty's immune system, leaving her more susceptible to infections. Other side effects include increased thirst and urination, increased appetite and weight gain, lethargy, thinning skin, hair loss, diarrhea, vomiting, gastrointestinal upset or ulcers, unusual aggression or fearfulness, other behavioral changes, stunted growth in young animals and diabetes or Cushing's disease after long-term use. Let your veterinarian know if you notice any adverse reactions.
If your kitty is pregnant or is immunocompromised, she shouldn't take prednisone. If she's diabetic or has cardiac disease, use of corticosteroids is more dangerous. Don't give your cat non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs while you're giving her prednisone, and make sure you clear it with your vet before giving her any other medications or supplements. Take precautions to prevent infections because your cat's immune system won't be working optimally during administration. Don't stop giving your kitty prednisone until she's been weaned off as prescribed by your vet.
Eric Mohrman has been a freelance writer since 2007, focusing on travel, food and lifestyle stories. His creative writing is also widely published. He lives in Orlando, Florida.