Are my cats meds actually good for them?
September 19, 2007 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I have two cats, both with a mild respiratory infection, and the drugs the vet gave us aren't making much sense to us. Can anyone help explain?

I have two cats that both had a respiratory infection that we treated, but the treatment didn't seem to hold very long, and the infection has come back/continued, and we're treating them again with some slightly stronger meds.

There are two meds, two bottles of each, to make one bottle of both types for each cat. Each cat is supposed to take a full dropper of both types until her bottles are empty.

What's confusing is that one of the medicines (the one being used up faster) is a powerful antibiotic, and the other is a steroid usually used as an immune suppressant. If the antibiotic gets used up first, why would we want to continue administrating an immune suppressant when the cat is no longer taking antibiotics?

This seems like a generally poor idea, at least to me, but then again, I'm not a doctor, or a kitty doctor for that matter. Any advice or explanation would be appreciated.
posted by Braeog to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
Just speculation, but maybe the steroid was prescribed mainly for its anti-inflammatory properties. Why not call the vet and ask her/him?
posted by iconomy at 1:11 PM on September 19, 2007

I would think iconomy is right. Our vet says that he always treats the inflammation in cats because that's often part of the main problem and that he will then treat anything else that presents. The steriod probably has to be dosed in a certain way - our boy was stepped up to and then stepped down from his steriod.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:16 PM on September 19, 2007

On top of that, antibios stay in the system for a while afterwards.
posted by SpecialK at 2:33 PM on September 19, 2007

I think you generally see immune system suppression if steroids are taken for a long period of time. I wouldn't worry about this short-term dose.
posted by LoriFLA at 2:46 PM on September 19, 2007

Theoretically, the infection should be gone by the time the antibiotics are finished. You don't want a few bugs lingering on because that's how resistant strains develop. However the inflammation triggered by the infection may not be gone yet (inflammation can easily become a self-sustaining cycle), and this could trigger a relapse (inflamed epithelial tissues have reduced barrier function allowing bugs back into the body) as well as make the kitty just generally feel sick. So maybe the steroids are to make sure any lingering inflammation has been dealt with?

Personally if I was unsure about what my vet had prescribed I'd just ring the clinic and ask. The vet nurses are generally really great at answering questions like this and are used to doing so. Should only take a few minutes and shouldn't cost anything.
posted by shelleycat at 3:05 PM on September 19, 2007

LoriFLA writes "I think you generally see immune system suppression if steroids are taken for a long period of time. I wouldn't worry about this short-term dose."

Just a personal anecdote - I have pretty serious eczema, and I am also a lucky colonizer for MRSA due to that. When I have to take a 12 day stint of Prednisone (corticosteroids) once or twice a year to clear up particularly bad flare ups, it is almost always followed by a battle with the MRSA afterwards. I am always given prophylactic antibiotics in preparation, so it doesn't necessarily require long term use for immune suppression in my experience.

I am not a doctor, vet or cat.
posted by chiababe at 4:18 PM on September 19, 2007

To my Veterinary Technician wife this does not sound right, but it is hard to say. If you can tell me (her) a little more info she can give you a more specific answer -- 1) What are the ages and approximate weights of the cats? 2) What are the names of the drugs and the exact instructions on the labels? 3) Are the cats indoor or outdoor? 4) Are the cats up to date on vaccines? 5) Do they have any pre-existing medical conditions?
posted by Rock Steady at 5:21 PM on September 19, 2007

Do you have instructions for stepping down the steroids? That may be why that prescription goes on longer, for the gradually diminishing dosage. But really, why not call your vet?
posted by oneirodynia at 6:00 PM on September 19, 2007

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