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Cat sick after prednisone.

Species: Cat
Breed: Short haired black
Age: 11-15 years
Two weeks ago LittleMan had something like an infection in the corners of his mouth sort of like his lips being raw. He was eating great and drinking no personality changes. Took him to the vet no diagnosis given he was given an antibiotic shot and prescribed prednisone 1 ml 2x a day after 7 days down to .5 c2 a day and so on weaning down. Since starting the prednisone the changes have been dramatic and extremely He had started vomiting quite a bit then his appetite started to diminish. He is now extremely lethargic and sits very very still in a half crouched position. He seems dazed and confused and is no longer grooming. He has obviously lost weight as well and sometimes seems unsteady on his feet He does still drink. Called the vet today (thurs) and explained was told prednisone would not do this and they made an appt for next weds. I do not think that if this continues he will last until then. Tues I called in to talk about the vomiting and loss of appetite. They gave me nutri cal. I was and still am giving it to him but a once fastidiously clean cat now won't even lick it off his paws. I will try tomorrow to put directly into his mouth None of this was happening before the prednisone he was nothing like this not even close. I know most cats tolerate this fine. But obviously there is something severely wrong here and I have to do something before I loose him. I will also call tomorrow and tey to get an emergency visit again and pray they will take him. Please any advice right now is desperately needed. We live in a rural town and there are no other vets. I am also emailing pictures of LittleMan 2 weeks ago and his mouth and a pic of LittleMan today


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh dear. I am concerned about Little Man's symptoms. He does not sound well at all.

Thanks for the photos that you sent me. The lesion on his lip kind of looks like something called an eosinophilic ulcer and usually predisone works well to treat these.

I would have to agree with your vet that prednisone would not cause the symptoms that you are seeing. Cats tend to handle prednisone well and rarely have side effects.

Sometimes I will treat eosinophilic ulcers with a steroid injection rather than giving it orally (like the prednisone was). There is the rare cat that can develop diabetes after a steroid shot. However, the symptoms that you are describing do not fit with diabetes.

I can think of two possible reasons for what we are seeing here and unfortunately neither of them are good. The first would be that perhaps what you are seeing on his lip is not an eosinophilic ulcer, but instead is some type of a cancerous lesion. It may be that there is a cancer that has spread from or to other parts of his body.

Or, it is possible that there is something else going on that is very serious and the mouth lesions are just secondary. One example would be kidney disease. It is very common for older cats to develop serious kidney problems. Sometimes when this happens we can see a condition called uremia where cats get horrible breath and can get ulcers around the mouth.

It really does sound like he needs to go back to see the vet as soon as possible. They will likely need to do some blood tests to determine what is happening.

I hope things are ok.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Thank you Dr Marie
I did get him in for an emergency visit yesterday. The vet thought from what he saw he would either have a very high temp or his kidneys were beginning to shut down. Tests proved that neither were the case. He also tested neg for fiv and leukaemia Hid blood work did show that there are high levels if inflammation in his body. But for now we still have no idea what is wrong with him. We are assist feeding him now(and that is not going well i have a fractured shoulder) and vet gave us a different course of antibiotic So hopefully over the next week or so we will see some improvement


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the update. Hopefully things improve soon!



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.