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Prednisone long term-side effects??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My vet just told me that my cat is going to have to be on prednisone for the rest of his life. (1/2 tab every other day) He's been on it before, but its only been for a few months at a high dose(10mg a day). I've heard that it can cause alot of side effects, though they are less likely to occur in cats, such as weight gain, behavior changes, GI disturbances(vomiting and diarrhea), hair loss, and thinning of haircoat. I've also read that it can increase the risk of pancreatitis, diabetes, and that it lowers the immune system and make them more supseptible to infections and feline herpes virus flareups(which he has), and decreases the absorption of minerals.
Has anyone had any problems using prednisone long term? I'm always a nervous wreak when it comes to my little guy. He's almost two now, and I'm hoping to get a few more years out of him (thats a long time on this medication)
post #2 of 10
My Löki has been on predisolone for over a year now - a full tab every other day! While he has experienced weight gain - I like to refer to him as portly - it is saving his life. He has asthma, and without it has severe attacks which definitely threaten his life. I know that it can lead to other problems, but without it he wouldn't be with us, so it's a matter of weighing what is more important.
post #3 of 10
This is a item I am dealing with at the moment with my dog ... I settled on the BENIFITS outweighing the risks ... this drug is FAR FAR safer in cats and dogs for long term use than in Humans ... My advice work with the vet to find the lowest maitence dose you can ....
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
The benefits far outway the risks. Without the prednisone, he has a hard time walking. With it, he's running around like a kitten again.
I just worry about something else going wrong with him. It seems like he's prone to everything.
post #5 of 10
talk with your vet about stuff like l lysine to aid in immune function... possibley something easy like extra vitamin c or calcium
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ill talk to him about that. Right now he's on glucosamine and condroitins and it seems to be helping. (Its cherry flavor, and he LOVES it)
post #7 of 10
For Damita, the benefits outweight the risks. Yes, there is no lying about the fact that Pred has some nasty side effects. But, for Damita, I look at it like this:
She can live a long time & be itchy, barfy, & have a incessant tummy ache
Or she can live with the possiblity of a short life/side effects, no tummy ache, no barfing, & her ears stop itching!

I am opting for Prednisone.
post #8 of 10
Everyone is right on. Stumpy was on them for over a year with his auto immune disease and we were prepared to keep him on them for life, even if it shortened it. He would have stopped eating without them. With Stumpy, we kept searching for a way to manage the underlying cause rather than just treat his symptoms with pred. So 2 weeks ago, we had all his teeth pulled (they were causing the problem) and he's been off of pred since then. We're hoping that we fixed the problem and we don't have to put him back on all the medication we were giving him.

Keep looking for solutions to the core problem and there might be a chance to wean him off the meds some day. And if there is nothing you can do, then realize that his quality of life is sometimes the most important thing to consider.
post #9 of 10
Wellington has been on Pred for 18 months for asthma, and he is now down to 1/4 tablet every other day. Without it he wheezes and has coughing attacks, and is miserable. It is a quality of life thing, I hope this low dosage will not affect him too much long term. Just try and work with your vet to give your cat the lowest dosage you can to keep things under control.
post #10 of 10
Rambo is on a low dose prednisone to manage an auto-immune disease. We've weaned him down to about 5mg every 10 days. I weighed the quality of life value of the prednisone and decided that I couldn't watch Rambo suffer any longer when i knew what would make him have a high quality of life, and I will deal with the reprecussions of this when they appear.
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