What is the Difference Between Oral and Injectable Cortisone?


my cat has been diagnosed with eosinophilic granuloma. it has manifested in the form of a swollen lower lip. The vet is suggesting we treat this with steroid shots. i noticed that in your article you suggest prednisone treatment. is that the same thing and what is involved with these treatments. i am worried about her long term health.

thanks very much


Eosinophilic granulomas (also known as rodent ulcers) are lesions that most frequently develop on the lips and around the mouth of cats. They occur when the immune system attacks the affected area.

Eosinophilic granulomas are painful. Untreated eosinophilic granulomas can lead to permanent disfigurement of the face.

Treatment for eosinophilic involves reducing immune system activation so that the system stops its self-attack. The simplest way to do this is to remove antigenic stimuli such as fleas. Unfortunately, flea control alone rarely cures the problem.

Most cats with eosinophilic granulomas require medications that modify the way the immune system works. Cortisone-based drugs are the most commonly used. These drugs are available as oral products (usually in the form of prednisolone) or as long-term injections.

Oral products work well because the dose can be adjusted daily until the minimum effective dose is reached. If an animal has an adverse reaction to the drug it can be tapered and withdrawn. Oral products allow relatively precise control over medication dose. However, they also require owners to administer oral medications to their cats. That’s a big down side.

Injectable products generally last 2 – 4 weeks. They eliminate the need for frequent oral medications. However, they do not allow much control over dosing. If a cat has a bad reaction to a long-term injectable product there is no choice but to wait (possibly for a month) for the drug to clear from the cat’s system.

In general I feel that oral cortisone is the better option for cats who will take oral medicine without a fight. For the many millions of cats who don’t fit into that category the injectable medications are a reasonable alternative.

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