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Prednisone and cat's digestion

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Maisey is taking prednisone for a food allergy. The vet gave me 5mg pills which she took for the first 3 days. Now I'm giving her a 1/2 pill daily for 5 days, then she'll go 1/2 a pill every other day.

My problem is that my cat has been vomity lately. Once she threw up the pill directly after so I know she didn't get any benefit from the medicine. Today I gave the pill about an hour after she'd eaten a small portion of food. She was fine so after about an hour I gave more food and she vomited. I can't tell if she'd thrown up only that last portion of the food or the whole days' food + the pill.

Do you think the pill had time to get in her system after an hour's time? It was my mistake to feed her so soon after. Since she's been so sensitive to food I've had to break her feedings into small portions given several times during the day. ETA: I'm not going to give her a double-dose since I don't know how much if any of the med she digested. However, tomorrow is the day that I'm supposed to move to giving the medicine every other day. I'm not sure whether to stay to schedule and skip a day or give her a dose to make up for today's. Prednisone does seem to help stop the excessive grooming, thus she's not tearing up her skin so much and ingesting so much fur and scabs. She's been on a new food for a month or so and has been doing better even before the medicine, but the vomiting remains at a rate of every few days. It's bad now because I don't know if it's the medicine making her stomach ill, thus adding to the barfing issue. Though it's good that she's taken in the medicine fine for 6 out of 8 days.
post #2 of 12
I wouldn't worry if it was an hour later, but I would worry if it was less than 30 minutes.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I wouldn't worry if it was an hour later, but I would worry if it was less than 30 minutes.
OK, good. I know it had to be an hour because I looked at the clock.
post #4 of 12
The vet isn't planning on long term prednisone usage is he/she? Long term usage of corticosteroids in cats can cause problems, just like in humans. What is the plan when you get to giving it every other day?

Also, did you ask the vet perhaps for something that you can use to soothe your cat's stomach? Prednisone can cause GI disturbances itself with cats, although from what I read, cats tolerate prednisone better than dogs. Perhaps some sort of mild stomach soothing medication will help reduce some of the vomitting.

I know personally that when I take prednisone (and I often have to), I get nauseous. A lot of doctors will prescribe (for people) prednisone AND Nexium for this reason. I forget what it was that the emergency vet gave me for Ally when she was little (the day after I found her), but in addition to the other meds she needed, he gave me a bottle of some opaque liquid that was basically the kitty equivalent of pepto-bismol.

Oh, and I would say that kitty may not have gotten all of the prednisone, but even so, an hour is a good amount of time. Maybe it would be better to crush the pills to a fine powder and mix them with her food. This would increase the surface area of the pill and increase the amount absorbed should she vomit. Prednisone is a medication that pretty much is doing its thing 24 hours a day after a few days of taking it. Last, in the short term, prednisone overdose isn't really an issue. I'm not advocating you do it, but if you worry that she didn't absorb it, giving another half a pill or something really isn't going to hurt her to my knowledge (but check with your vet to be sure). My understanding is that the danger with prednisone is more associated with long term use. Large doses long term can lead to adrenal issues, like Cushings Syndrome. They're at risk of it just like we are with long term prednisone. Giving her more than 5 mg probably would only make her GI disturbances worse temporarily if anything. Again though, check with the vet.

I'm not a vet - so call your vet and ask about any of this stuff.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Law Guy: She's only doing a cycle of Prednisone, then if she doesn't improve after this, I'll bring her in for blood tests. She's actually tolerating the medicine pretty well in general. I believe that she would've vomited anyway today with the medicine or not because it's every few days to a week that vomits on average. I think it could be entirely coincidental that the two times she's barfed in the past eight days were around medicine time. I'd be worried if she couldn't tolerate it at all, but as long as she's getting it down 80% of the time I'm ok. When I go to giving it every other day, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Oh and is Nexium something that can be taken as a longterm med in cats? I may explore that if she doesn't improve and her bloodwork comes out ok. I've heard about cats that just throw up for no good reason. Perhaps it's only a sensitive digestion issue. That's what I'm hoping and praying for, anyway.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by maiseycat View Post
Law Guy: She's only doing a cycle of Prednisone, then if she doesn't improve after this, I'll bring her in for blood tests. She's actually tolerating the medicine pretty well in general. I believe that she would've vomited anyway today with the medicine or not because it's every few days to a week that vomits on average. I think it could be entirely coincidental that the two times she's barfed in the past eight days were around medicine time. I'd be worried if she couldn't tolerate it at all, but as long as she's getting it down 80% of the time I'm ok. When I go to giving it every other day, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Oh and is Nexium something that can be taken as a longterm med in cats? I may explore that if she doesn't improve and her bloodwork comes out ok. I've heard about cats that just throw up for no good reason. Perhaps it's only a sensitive digestion issue. That's what I'm hoping and praying for, anyway.
Pepcid is a common one used in cats... ASK YOUR VET.. Advice on here is from LAYMEN...

Pred and steroids in animals actually is FAR FAR safer in cat s than humans...

Are you giving it whole ? with or without food?
post #7 of 12
My boy Sasha has been on Prednisone for two weeks. It is in liquid form and supposedly tastes like tuna. He has tolerated it with no GI problems.

BTW, Sasha is doing good so far. It's two weeks today since his cystotomy surgery. He is acting very much like his old self. XX
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Pred and steroids in animals actually is FAR FAR safer in cat s than humans...
Actually slight correction here. Pred for dogs is similar to Pred for humans - it is very hard on dogs. Cats don't typically have adverse effects from it.

I have 1 cat that has been on pred for 3 years now and another on it for a year. There could be initial issues associated with diabetes but cats typically correct that by themselves. I do regular bloodwork on these cats and I've not had issues. Both of these cats have auto-immune disease that causes inflamation in their bodies (one in their mouth and the other in their bladder). I've tried to take wean them off it and their health went downhill fast. So it is safer for them to take it than to not take it.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Advice on here is from LAYMEN...

Pred and steroids in animals actually is FAR FAR safer in cat s than humans...
Really? Maybe I misread this article. It's by a vet.

http://www.wedgewoodpetrx.com/learni...inary-use.html

I saw where it says that cats may need higher doses than dogs (indicating to me that they are less affected by it) and also I saw where it says that side effects are less of a problem for cats. I even said so in my post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
Prednisone can cause GI disturbances itself with cats, although from what I read, cats tolerate prednisone better than dogs.
The rest of the article though - (sections: "precautions" "Side effects" and "overdose") seemed to me to be meant to apply universally. Under "overdose" it mentions the problems that can arise from long term use and it doesn't differentiate between dogs and cats (or horses as the article mentions them too).

You're right Sharky in that I'm not a vet. I've noted that myself. Aside from saying within my post things like "check with your vet", I ended it with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
I'm not a vet - so call your vet and ask about any of this stuff.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to argue with you and am not in any way attempting to convey hostility. I'm just saying that your post and mine are essentially the same in that we both posted what we either know, think, or think we know - and at the same time we've both been clear that ultimately the vet needs to be involved because we aren't vets. Unless I'm wrong and you are a vet? If you aren't, wouldn't you be a layperson too?
post #10 of 12
The internal medicine specialist vet that Riley has been seeing told me that it was very unlikely that there would be any side effects from a low maintenance dose of the prednisolone he was taking, such as 2.5mg every other day. She did say she doesn't recommend a higher dose long-term because of the side effects unless there was no other choice.

Regarding the stomach issues in the OP, I was told to give it to him after he eats and not on an empty stomach. He had no problems with it, but of course your kitty is throwing up for other reasons so it may not be the pills causing it. I would talk to the vet about the possibility of giving her pepcid. It was what they had me give Riley last year when he had stomach issues. He took 1/4 of a 10mg tablet.
post #11 of 12
I didn't read every post in this thread because I'm in a hurry and just wanted to get this info out there. Be careful with corticosteroids. I read that there was a study done that showed that corticosteroids can cause congestive heart failure in cats within 1-2 weeks of taking them. I believe this is what happened to one of my cats. He was fine until about 12 days after he started them. He took 2.5 mg everyday for 9 days, then 2.5 mg every other day for 3 days at which point he became very ill. He died a few days later from CHF. He was taking it for what was believed to be a food allergy.

I'm currently investigating if oral corticosteroids is what worsened my other cat's heart condition and led to an early death. A relative believes corticosteroids is what caused his cat's stroke. I will never ever give one of my cats corticosteroids again. It's just not worth it. Please be careful.

I'm sure if you Google cats, corticosteroids, and congestive heart failure, you will find the articles which discuss this issue. I believe corticosteroids can also cause CHF in people too, but I'm not sure.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Actually slight correction here. Pred for dogs is similar to Pred for humans - it is very hard on dogs. Cats don't typically have adverse effects from it.

I have 1 cat that has been on pred for 3 years now and another on it for a year. There could be initial issues associated with diabetes but cats typically correct that by themselves. I do regular bloodwork on these cats and I've not had issues. Both of these cats have auto-immune disease that causes inflamation in their bodies (one in their mouth and the other in their bladder). I've tried to take wean them off it and their health went downhill fast. So it is safer for them to take it than to not take it.
THE highlight is the bottom line... what works for some wont for others but if RX ed this is safer than not
My vet uses the same for both.. though yes some do use the human for dogs and the other for cats
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