Cats are often prescribed prednisolone, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid medication, to treat a large number of diseases ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to asthma and other allergic reactions. Prednisolone can be given to pets as an injection, pill, or topical eye or skin ointments. While many cats tolerate prednisolone well, some animals do develop side effects. If your pet displays any of these side effects, consult your vet.
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Polyuria is a side effect that can be caused by prednisolone. Cats with polyuria will urinate heavily and more frequently than usual. Keep track of how much your cat drinks; if the amount of urine she produces seems too large for her intake, it could be due to prednisolone.
Polydipsia is a side effect of prednisolone that results in your pet drinking more water than normal, or seeming thirsty all the time. Polydipsia is related to polyuria, and the two may go hand in hand. If your cat is significantly thirstier while taking prednisolone, he may also display polyuria.
Muscle wasting is also associated with long-term use of prednisolone. If your pet seems to lose strength or becomes noticeably thinner, prednisolone may be the cause. Check your cat's muscle tone by feeling her legs, hips, and shoulders. Her muscles should be firm and cover her bones well. She should be able to walk, run, and climb stairs or jump up and down from at least small heights. If she has trouble with any of these, check her muscles and contact a veterinarian.
Long-term use of any corticosteroid can lead to diabetes in cats, so if your cat takes prednisolone every other day or more frequently, have blood tests run every three to four months to check for diabetes. These blood checks will usually look for any unusual or rarer side effects, such as liver damage, as well.
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