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Taper cat off of Prednisolone?

March 13th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Sorry to post another question on this board so quickly but I had a question about tapering a cat of off Prednisolone. My cat has been on Prednisolone 5mg for itching for over a month, first he started on a full 5mg pill for three days then he went to half a pill for three days now he is on half a pill every other day. I heard to taper him off I should give him his same dose of half a pill every three days for 5 doses, does anyone know if that is correct? I tried to contact my vet but he hasn't gotten back to me. Please help me if you can. Thank you so much.

March 13th, 2010, 05:21 PM
When I had to wean Oscar off of Pred (which I've done three or four times now), we did full pill for three days, half a pill for three days, and then half a pill every two days (for 6 days - so 1 1/2 pills total for that step). We didn't do once every three days.

That's not to say you shouldn't - it's just how my vet had us do it. Good luck! :thumbs up

March 14th, 2010, 10:21 AM
With any prescribed medication, I think it's best to get directions from Vet so that she can advise you on how to reduce the medication in such a way as to cause the least amount of physical stress to your cat (particularly if there are other health conditions present) and so that she can monitor your cat for complications arising from the weaning process and advise you what to watch for as your cat is going through weaning process.

March 14th, 2010, 10:42 AM
Thank you for all of the replys. I will be calling my vet again in the morning. rjesak, how long was Oscar on this medication? I'm starting to worry that Paulie has been on it for too long (almost 2 months). I know they say it has sie effects when being on it long term but I don't know what they mean by long term. I' so worry.

March 14th, 2010, 03:55 PM

My cat has been on pred for something like 5 years and I'm slowly weaning him off. He is down to 1/2 pill every 8 days now and i have to call the vet again to get more instructions.


March 15th, 2010, 11:46 AM
Oscar was on it for almost 5 months and he definitely had some adverse side effects. The vet blamed his bladder stones (surgically removed near the end of last year) on the extended use of Pred and it also caused some behavioral side effects - he became more aggressive and less affectionate.

As of now, he's been off the Pred for about six months, I think. We got the bladder stones removed and his personality seems to be returning to normal.

The only extended effect he had, and this one has concerned me greatly, is his weight loss. We can't say that it was definitely caused by going off the Pred but Pred is an appetite stimulant and he began losing weight shortly after being weaned. He lost three pounds initially (over about a month). We've gotten him back up by a pound but he's never regained his normal (healthy) weight.

All in all, you have to measure the benefits of the Pred to the drawbacks of extended medication. In Oscar's case, it didn't help his asthma enough to be worth keeping him on it.

I would say the most important thing to watch out for is the bladder stones. In Oscar's case, his got very bad and his bladder was seriously inflamed which meant we then had to use pain medication on top of surgery (which my vet was terrified about doing on him because of his condition). Anyway, he ended up just fine, but it's worth looking out for - they can be very painful.

Best of luck!

March 17th, 2010, 06:11 PM
Thanks very much for your reply. I talked to the vet and she wants to keep Paulie on the pred. She wants him to take 1/2 a 5mg tablet every three days, that sounds like a low enough dose so hopefully it won't cause problems. How would I tell if he has bladder stones? This is my first cat and I'm still leaning things about them everyday. Thanks again for your help! :thumbs up

March 18th, 2010, 09:55 AM
You can't really tell unless the vet does an X-ray, however, you can keep an eye on their urination. There are a couple of signs:

1. Blood in the urine (duh) is always a sign of something wrong and is fairly obvious as well.

2. Suddenly peeing somewhere other than the litter box can be a hint. Cats aren't big on cause and effect - they feel pain when they urinate and associate the pain with the litter box and start trying to find a place to go that doesn't hurt. :headslap:

3. Watch him when he pees a couple of times. If he licks his chops excessively, this is often a sign of pain.

4. The last sign (and this one usually means a trip to the ER if your vet isn't open) is if the cat is straining to urinate, but not getting any out. This can be a sign of a blockage and, if it is, can be life-threatening.

The biggest thing is just knowing your kitty and his moods. They're stoic and stubborn and don't resemble dogs AT ALL (Dog-"Mommy, I don't feel good! Fix me, Mommy, fix me! Cat-"Meow?":laughing:) but your cat will show stress when they're in pain. They may hide, or want more or less attention. Maybe they'll eat more or less. Just pay attention and trust your instincts. :thumbs up If you think your kitty is in pain, it's better to check him out and be a worry wart than wonder how much pain he's been in while you've been dithering - trust me! :o

By the way, I can't remember from your other post, or if you've said, but I'd make sure he's on a canned food only diet. Dry foods can cause stones and with him being on the Pred, you've got the trifecta - male cat, check; dry food, check; med that can cause stones, check. :rolleyes: I put Oscar on the grain-free Wellness brand and he's been clean for stones for quite a while now (and my fat cat, Zander, isn't my fat cat anymore - he's my perfect weight cat!) :laughing: