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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-08-09 10:20 AM
Original message
Steroids and cats...
We have two old girls. Cleo has arthritus really bad and she has been having trouble just walking across the floor and jumping up into chairs. Wobbly. We tried a few things but the vet finally put her on steroids (prednisone). Within 3 days she was gaining weight and moving around better. Vet says it also helps her kidney function.

Ruby came down really sick last week. She's always been a vomiter but it got to where she wasn't keeping anything down. Sadly, a trip to the vet revealed she probably has intestinal cancer. Nothing they can do but steroids can help reduce the swelling of the intestines and increase appetite. Within 36 hours of the shot she was screaming for food and water and keeping it all down. They brought her back from the edge.

I thought I'd share because steroids is an inexpensive medication and would appear to be a great medication for older cats. Yes they can have some adverse affects but they are rare and the benefits outweigh the risks in both of my cats' situations.
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virgdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. Prednisone can help..
but be careful with it, as it can weaken the immune system if used long term. One of my cats had IBD and was on prednisone for an extended period of time. He caught a URI from one of my other cats, and we had to rush him to the vet. He recovered, but was never the same afterward. We had to put him to sleep about 4 months after this happened. For arthritis, a good long term supplement, Cosequin for Cats, has helped my cats. You can get it in Petsmart and it's very inexpensive.
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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Considering they are both around 15 years old...
and considering that the steroids saved us from having to put Ruby down this weekend, I think we are on borrowed time with both of them. We are doing a glucosamine gel for Cleo as well.
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badgerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. Glad you were able to help your ladies...
It's amazing, the effects that prednisone kept my little Merlin fairly comfortable until his very last day (he had FIP).

With your comment about 'borrowed time'...sometimes the best thing to consider is quality of life, and it looks as though it's improved dramatically for your old gals. That can make a difference too...

You have my best's hard having old kitties. So much love, time, and memories they've given and shared...
and it's so hard not to ask them "How much time do you have left with me?", dreading the answer.
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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. I believe they will let me know somehow
when they are ready to move on from this realm. We had one who made it to 19. He probably had a hard time convincing me but one day he just would not leave my hubby alone. It was unusual behavior and he just kept circling in between his feet and pawing at him then just kinda laid down, still. He even sensed which of us would handle it better.
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hamsterjill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. I sponsor one FIV cat with stomatitis
He currently lives with a foster family nearby, but I help with his vet expense, etc.

He is on oral medrol pills and they have made a fantastic change in his ability to eat and remain comfortable. We switched him from injections to pills about six months ago to give him a more stable dosage, more often. He was getting benefit from the injections, but the change to the pills seemed to really make a positive difference. Currently, he is eating like a horse!

Like some of the up posts indicate, I realize steroids are not an end-all, cure-all, and they come with their own set of hazards, but there are certainly instances (such as with this cat) where they help with quality of life and the positives outway the negatives.

I'm told by my vet, too, that cats handle the side effects of steroids much better than humans or dogs. With this particular cat, I know that, ultimately, there isn't going to be a happy ending, so it's all-important that his day-to-day existence be all that it can be, and we all are hoping that his "days" will still be many.
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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-10-09 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Our vet advised us of all the side effects, good and bad...
She was going to die if we couldn't hydrate her or get some nutrients in her. He's certain that she has intestinal lymphoma and the nausea and vomiting were side effects of that. We have the option of doing a biopsy, but even with a firm diagnosis there is nothing we can do but treat her with steroids. It is a matter of time, but we are wiser now and armed with the only defense we can muster. This vet has been absolutely great. He works out of a barn in back of his home in Rockwall Texas so if any one is looking for a good cat vet let me know.

If we were able to get a firm diagnosis then the treatment would be a cocktail of chemo drugs and steroids. Hence the continued steroid treatment. Steroids decrease the inflamation in the intestines allowing them to function better and they increase appetite. For the other cat, it helps to increase blood flow to her kidneys (which are starting to fail), decreases inflamation in her joints, making her more comfortable. I can continue to spoil them.

The dog is incredibly jealous of all the attention the cats are getting though.

This vet spent an enormous amount of time with us, explaining everything and training us how to give injections. His prices are much more reasonable than any other vet in the area. The only down side was he was going to be out of town for his daugher's wedding this week and so we had him do as much as possible for her because we can't afford to go anywhere else right now (hubbie's job was a victim of the economy). He even showed me how to inject a saline solution to hydrate her if she continued to worsen and sent us home with the supplies. I'm really glad the injections weren't necessary. Made my knees weak to thing about having to do it.
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ceile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-12-09 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. Helped my little girl too.
In July of 07 she became sick and it turned she had some auto-immune issues. The vet gave her a week to live, but decided as a last ditch to put her on prednisone. It did wonders for her red cell count. She made it to May 2008 when I had to put her down (she threw a blood clot in her spine or something like that). I'm glad your girls are doing well!!
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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-17-09 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thank you.
Wobbly Cleo is doing really well. I heard a noise in the middle of the night, the dog went to investigate so I figured something was up. I had left an empty can of cat food sitting on the bar with a spoon in it and she decided she wanted a peice of that and jumped 3.5 feet from the dining room table to the bar and was licking the spoon, banging it against can. That was an amazing feat!
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