Prednisone for Cats with Cancer

Prednisone for cats may be used for different diseases ranging from allergies to cancer. When used for cancer, prednisone can be effective in reducing the symptoms of cancer, but will not increase the cat's life expectancy and will not cure the cancer or eliminate a tumor.

Prednisone for Cancer in Cats

Prednisone is a corticosteroid medication that can be used in cats with cancer. Prednisone will typically be used in conjunction with other treatments, but not with chemotherapy. If used in conjunction with chemotherapy, the prednisone will diminish the effects of the chemo drugs and make the cat more resistant to the therapy.

Prednisone may also be used without being combined with other drugs, but this happens only if the costs of chemotherapy are too steep for the owner of the cat. Prednisone may be recommended when chemotherapy is not a viable treatment option.

The medication can reduce the symptoms of cancer, improving the cat's life quality, but will not be effective in improving the cat's chances of survival. If treated only with prednisone, a cat with cancer will survive for up to three months, depending on the stage of the cancer and his overall health.

Other Uses of Prednisone

Prednisone is a synthetic corticosteroid that will suppress the immune system. The main effects of prednisone are to reduce swelling and relieve pain in felines. Consequently, it may also be used in diseases such as:

  • Allergies, hives or asthma
  • Feline leukemia
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus or other autoimmune diseases
  • Endocrine diseases

Side Effects of Prednisone

In cats with cancer, prednisone will relieve pain and will reduce swelling. However, there may be a few side effects that can make the cat's life more difficult:

  • Water retention and weight gain
  • Exposure to secondary diseases due to the immune system suppression
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Hypertension
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Liver and kidney damage

Given that the treatment will be applied for up to 12 weeks, the occurrence of side effects may be less probable. If side effects occur and the cat's condition worsens, alternative treatment options should be considered.

Prednisone Contraindications

Prednisone is not beneficial for cats with stomach problems or ulcers. If the cat is allergic to prednisone or synthetic corticosteroids, prednisone is not an option.

Prednisone Dosage Information

The drug will be administered as tablets, injections or topical creams. If prednisone is administered to a cat with cancer, tablets or injections will be recommended. Injections are preferred as they are more effective and won't cause stomach discomfort. It is more likely that a cat with cancer will vomit the tablets, so they won't be able to enter the cat's bloodstream and help him. The dosage will be established by the vet and may vary according to the stage of the cancer, the cat's overall health and any other medications the cat is on.