Understanding Steroids and Their Use in Cats

by | Jun 6, 2023

As a cat owner, it’s important to understand how steroids work, when they are necessary, and how they should be used. Steroids can be a beneficial treatment for cats suffering from chronic illnesses or other health conditions, but they must be administered carefully. The Cat Hospital in Kamloops is here to help you understand the use of steroids in cats.

What Are Steroids?

Steroids are synthetically produced hormones that mimic the effects of naturally occurring hormones in the body. They are made from cholesterol and have immune suppressing properties that can be beneficial for inflammatory conditions. However, it is important to note that steroids should be monitored carefully with bloodwork and used only as a short-term treatment; long-term use can cause serious side effects in cats.

When Are Steroids Used?

Steroids may be prescribed by your veterinarian if your cat has inflammation, an autoimmune disease or is experiencing asthma. They may also be prescribed as part of a larger treatment plan for cancer treatments. In addition to treating illness and disease, steroids may also be used to treat skin conditions such as itching or dermatitis. Often a treatment plan may begin with steroids but is then changed to a non-steroidal medication for safer long-term treatment.

How Are Steroids Administered?

Steroids can come in the form of tablets, injectables, topical creams or ointments, inhalers, or eye drops depending on what condition is being treated and its severity. It is important that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully when administering steroids so that your cat receives the correct dosage and does not suffer any adverse reactions from them.
cat getting a check up at a vet

Why Is Long-Term Use A Concern?

Long-term use of steroids can interfere with the natural function of organs, hormones, and immune system of the body. While this is the reason for using these medications, there can be very serious side-effects. In felines, steroids may cause diabetes with one specific steroid having the potential to cause congestive heart disease which may be fatal. This is why, when your cat is prescribed this medication, our veterinarian will want to recheck your cat often and may possibly recommend blood work to check for related diseases, such as diabetes.
Steroids can offer many benefits for cats suffering from various illnesses or health conditions when prescribed by a veterinarian and administered correctly. The Cat Hospital in Kamloops BC would like to remind pet owners that it’s important to fully understand how steroids work before using them on their cats so that any potential side effects can be avoided. If you have any questions about administering steroids to your cat, contact us today! We’re here to help.
If you have any questions about steroids, call us, the only veterinary cat clinic in Kamloops that offers a full list of services to keep your feline friend healthy. We provide consultations, wellness exams, orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, dental care, diagnostics, spaying and neutering services for cats. We love cats, and we know you do too!
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Call Us Today (236) 425-1111 | Visit Our Office at 1338 Battle St., Kamloops BC | Email Us: info@thecathospital.ca