Feline Lymphoma Treatment with Prednisone

Feline lymphoma is an aggressive disease and surgery is not always an option. The management of feline lymphoma can be done with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, cyclophosphamides or corticosteroids. Prednisone may be prescribed for cats with lymphoma, but this treatment will only reduce the pain and other cancer symptoms, without actually improving the cat’s life expectancy.

Lymphoma Treatment Options

The first option in lymphoma treatment is surgery. However, if the tumor is extended or affects sensitive organs, surgery cannot be performed.

The second treatment option for lymphoma is chemotherapy. This treatment will slow down the development of the cancerous cells and will diminish the cat’s symptoms.

This type of treatment may be combined with other drugs such as corticosteroids or radiation therapy.

Cyclophosphamides may also be used to stop the development of cancerous cells.

Prednisone in Lymphoma Treatment

Corticosteroids can be used in cats with lymphoma in combination with chemotherapy or as a self standing treatment. Prednisone is the most commonly used corticosteroid for cats with lymphoma.

Prednisone is used in lymphoma treatment without being combined with other types of therapy if:

  • The costs of chemotherapy cannot be covered by the owner
  • The cat doesn’t respond to chemotherapy or other types of treatments

The effects of prednisone will be to reduce pain and inflammation. Prednisone will inhibit the immune system and this will make the cat more exposed to other diseases. Prednisone will not increase the cat’s chances of survival and cannot remove the cancerous cells.

When under prednisone treatment, a cat can live for another 3 to 6 months, according to the stage of cancer. 

Prednisone Used for Other Illnesses

Among the corticosteroids, prednisone is the most widely used, along with prednisolone. Prednisone will inhibit the activity of the immune system and is a powerful analgesic and anti inflammatory medication.

Prednisone is effective in a wide range of illnesses, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Allergic reactions
  • Asthmatic or respiratory problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Leukemia

Prednisone Side Effects

Prednisone may have side effects, but due to the fact that they are administered only for a short period of time, these side effects may not occur.

However, some possible side effects of prednisone include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Liquid retention
  • Bloated stomach
  • Liver problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior changes and frequent mood swings
  • Reduced immunity and secondary diseases

During the prednisone treatment, the cat has to be closely monitored, so that any possible problem is detected from the get go. If the side effects are severe, the treatment must be discontinued.

The prednisone treatment may also interfere with the effects of certain chemo drugs.