Prednisone is a corticosteroid. Therefore, it is effective in treating inflammations in cats. You will notice that the vet will administer prednisone for treatment of asthma, allergic dermatitis, arthritis, skin disorders and other inflammatory problems in pets.
Conditions for administration
The amount of prednisone that is administered varies depending on the size of your cat and the condition under treatment. The drug comes in both tablet and liquid forms. So it could be administered as syrup or a tablet. It could even come in injectable form. However, the drug is only injected to your cat if the condition of the animal is severe and requires urgent medical attention.
Prednisone that is in tablet form comes in doses of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 milligrams. For cats, usually small doses are used. Routinely, vets administer one milligram for every pound of body weight until the health problem is resolved. At other times, the vet may start with a higher dosage and reduce the prednisone amounts gradually as your pet gets better.
Being immunosuppressant, prednisone for cats is also useful for the treatment of autoimmune conditions. An example of an autoimmune disease is cancer. For such health problems, the vet may administer remarkably higher doses than the norm. This dosage could be as high as three milligrams for every pound of bodyweight each day. Administration of prednisone to your cat may have to continue until the animal gets well.
How prednisone works
Given that prednisone is a corticosteroid, it resembles cortisol which is a hormone that naturally occurs in the adrenal cortex of cats. A healthy cat usually produces cortisol which acts on the animal’s immune system to block the production of substances that could potentially trigger severe immune responses and inflammation.
Side effects of prednisone used for cats
As was mentioned above, vets usually administer prednisone to cats in smaller doses to prevent side effects. This is also the reason why the dosage should be gradually reduced as your cat’s condition improves. One of the short-term effects of administering prednisone to cats is that the drug can make the cat thirsty. As such, you will discover that your cat could drink more water and increase the frequency of urination. Other short-term effects include an increase in appetite, stomach irritation, diarrhea, and change in behavior.
Long-term use of prednisone could come with adverse side-effects. In fact, prednisone should never be administered beyond a month. However, cats with severe conditions could undergo the treatment for a few months. During this time, look out for hair loss, liver damage, or damage to the adrenal gland which leads to hormonal dysfunction.