Erythropoietin for Cats

Erythropoietin for cats is a synthetic version of a hormone that occurs naturally in the kidneys of healthy cats. It is responsible for prompting the production of new red blood cells. However, cats that are suffering from certain kidney conditions will not be able to produce enough of this hormone on their own. In these cases, erythropoietin can be used in order to stimulate the production of these blood cells.

Erythropoietin Overview

Erythropoietin has been approved by the FDA for use in humans only. It hasn't been approved for use in animals specifically, but veterinarians can still prescribe it as an extra label drug in certain cases. Because of this, you'll have to take your pet in to the vet to have him properly diagnosed and examined before you can give him any drug containing erythropoietin. Epogen and Procrit are two of the most famous brand name drugs. Erythropoietin is used to partially address kidney failure and other problems related to this condition, such as anemia.

Using Erythropoietin for Your Cat

The dosage, length of medicine administration, and the frequency with which you give your cat this medicine should be worked out with your veterinarian before you begin to provide your cat with the medicine. Each case is different, so the total hormone supplement that you'll provide to your cat will be dependent upon a number of factors, including the following:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Kidney function

It's important that a vet continues to monitor your pet closely when you've begun the treatment, as you may need to adjust the dose.

Side Effects and Risks of Erythropoietin

Erythropoietin is considered to generally be very safe for use in cats, as it provides a naturally occurring hormone that is found in all healthy cats' bodies already. However, there are nonetheless a few precautions that you should take if you're planning to give your pet this medicine. Specifically, if your cat suffers from high blood pressure that you are not controlling with some other type of medicine, you should avoid giving him any medicine with erythropoietin. Additionally, it's important that you inform your vet of any and all other medications that your pet is taking before you begin treatment, as erythropoietin can have a negative reaction with many other drugs.

The most common side effects of these medicines include the following:

  • Long term decrease in effectiveness
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Lack of appetite

Because of the body's immune system response to a medicine featuring erythropoietin, it's possible that your cat can develop a resistance to the drug. This can be very dangerous for him if his condition which leads to low erythropoietin levels is permanent. For this reason, it's important that you work closely with the vet in order to be sure that your pet has appropriate hormone levels in his kidneys to keep them functioning well throughout his life.