Cortisone is prescribed for many feline maladies, including allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes we may give a short acting injection if your cat is difficult to medicate. We rarely give a long-acting injection because of the risk of side effects. Tablets called Prednisolone or Niralone contain short acting cortisone and are our preferred way of giving cortisone because we can withdraw them rapidly if there are side effects.
Although we start giving prednisolone (also called pred) tablets once or twice daily we soon reduce the dose to every other day to avoid long term side effects. Most people find that their cat accepts the tablet crushed into the food
After 5 days of pred tabs every day the adrenal glands start to slow their production of natural cortisol. It is safe to stop after 5 days of daily tablets but if a longer course is needed follow our instructions carefully. Usually we recommend every other day tablets so that the adrenal glands keep functioning.
On a long course of pred it is important not to stop giving the tablets suddenly in case the adrenals have closed down. Your pet may not be able to step up the production of cortisol fast enough to cope with an emergency, like a dog attack, a new pet or illness, and may collapse.
Side effects of cortisone may include:
- drinking more
- urinating more, a wetter litter than before
- increased appetite
- long term cortisone increases the risk of diabetes in cats
Never give cortisone at the same time as anti-inflammatory medications like Meloxicam or Metacam.