Last Modified on Jun 01, 2014
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08/03/2012: Glen from Alpha, Nj: "My cat Max experiences seasonal allergies and scratches at his ears. We thought a cortisone shot would help and it did alleviate the itchy ears.
Soon after I discovered Max was ill and having difficulty breathing. We brought him to the vet and they had to put him in the oxygen cage. They told us he had myocardiopathy and his condition deteriorated over a couple of days and they asked us to come to say goodbye to him.
I didn't want him to die in the vets office so we brought him home. He looked as though he was going to die but it became apparent that he had a chance.
We got heart meds from the vet (diltiazem) splitting the tablet 4 ways (7.5mg dose) and began feeding him chicken broth, then baby food and over the 2 weeks more solid foods. He made a full recovery and the vet was no less than amazed.
About 6 weeks later we tried to do an ultrasound to get a definitive diagnosis but even with mild sedation (very dangerous with a possible heart condition) he wouldn't hold still.
Bottom line; 3 years later (putting the 7.5mg dose of diltiazem down his throat 2x per day he looks and behaves like a normal perfectly healthy cat.
I believe there is a possibility that the steroid shot may have triggered a latent heart condition. I would strongly caution anyone against using steroids on their cat and to look at other solutions that don't pose a potential risk.
He is a kinder, gentler pussycat after his near death experience. I'm a bit nicer too."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 07/07/2012: Lovesanimals from Dallas, Texas: "I've had the same experience. My Vet gave my Shih-poo mix a shot for an allergic reaction to something (he thinks a flea bite, tho we treat the yard and all our dogs are on Frontline). She was lethargic, drank a lot of water, ate like she was starving, and then began peeing and pooping in the house, not wanting to go outside. She also had small scabs all over her. Thank goodness she will not have to nbe put down or die (as some readers reported) but I'm wondering how long can I expect the urinating and deficating in the house to continue. She NEVER had accidents before. Any answers??"Replies
08/05/2012: Fogetabotit from Phoenix, Az replies: "To Lovesanimals from Dallas - 1st would like to address your question about kitty pottying on floor & her crazy thirst. 2nd, have a question of my own regarding Cortozone...
I absolutely hate what I'm about to say, but your kitty very likely has Diabetes. Mine was diagnosed 2 yrs ago; I was in such denial I went elsewhere for a 2nd opinion. Both vets confirmed this & I've given him insulin injections every 12 hrs since. This makes them uncontrollably thirsty, thus, heavy urination. Before his diagnosis, suddenly my very good boy started going potty on the floor 1/2 the time. Upon research, discovered this is the kittys' way of telling you something is wrong with their health & to take action. Was terrible to learn b/c I would drench Malakai with the squirt bottle as his punishment for my neglect! :(. Anyway, yours wasn't having an allergic reaction, but probably a type of common ulcer (not sure what her symptom was). Please don't wait like I did (w/not knowing) b/c this disease damages their organs until shut-down. But with a routine, their glucose levels can be controlled for yrs to come & she will resume normal habits w/insulin regulation. I also suppliment him w/a wonderful, all natural product that helps regulate his levels from glucose spikes & crashes: http://www.vetionx.com/ . I am sorry, but I am 85% certain this is the case.
Cortozone concern - My cat has always had asthma, but has gotten worse in last few months... Every 2 wks, Cortozone shots... But he's gotten worse to the point of barely breathing & several ER visits, straight to the oxygen hose. Doc told me ystrdy morn he needs euthenized if not better in 3 days b/c he's suffering. No effin-way... We are both fighters & we are inseparable! I have been a wreck w/this devestating news! I'm here b/c I'm researching H2O2 & BHT. It's the Cortozone that has taken him to this level, isn't it?"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 06/19/2012: Maggie from Grain Valley, Missouri: "In 2010 my then 2yr old rat terrier showed blood in her urine and stopped frequently in the yard while urinating as if she had trouble doing this. I then noticed blood in her urine. I took her to the vet. He felt her tummy and said he felt kidney stones and they had to be removed. After surgery the vet prevented me with a kidney stone about half the size of a golf ball. Since then she has been fine until last week 6/14/12. I noticed blood in her urine when she had urinated in the house and was constantly spinning on her behind and could not find a comfortable way to sit down.
My husband took her to the vet 6/15 thinking it was again kidney stones. According to my husband the vet felt her tummy and could not feel any kidney stones. He then checked her anal glands which were fine. The vet could not come up with a diagnosis and gave my dog a cortisone shot with antibiotic tablets. I was furious that he did not run some tests first. Since that time my little dog has no energy, is very listless and sleeps most of the time. I stopped giving her the anitbiotic tablets thinking she was having side effects from them but still no change. I am blaming the cortisone shot. I will be calling the vet and hear his cockamamy excuse for giving the shot. I am very worried. Thanks for any responses."
05/27/2012: Sek from Los Angeles, Ca, USA: "my baby girl (7 year old shepherd mix) had bad hives on her belly two nights ago so I took her to the vet yesterday to have her checked out, the vet said its most likely spring-time allergies and gave her a cortisone shot. Today shes been panting a lot and has gone to the bathroom twice inside (which she only ever does when shes really not feeling well). Shes had bad diarrhea today as well. thinking about taking her to a different vet tomorrow to have her checked out & seriously panicking after reading all of the comments on the board."
[DEATH REPORTED] 02/19/2012: Lisa from Wickliffe, Ohio/usa: "I took my 8 year old cat Stinky, to the vet for slight hair loss around his eye, eye brow, and mouth. We were fostering a cat at the time and she had fleas. We had gotten rid of the fleas but I was concerned that maybe he had caught some sort of skin mite. The vet did a biopsy and found no bacteria or mites of any sort. He said he wasn't sure why it was happening but that it could be a sort of "cat acne" and said he could use cortizone to clear it up. I asked how often it needed to be applied and he said he would just give it to him in a shot form so he didn't ingest it. He said nothing in regards to side effects or risks.
Around the same time we dewormed our cats because of the flea problem. I noticed about a week later that Stinky lost a bit of weight (He was a 12 lb cat and looked like he had lost about 2 lbs). I assumed that it was from deworming them because sometimes the cats get upset stomachs from it. A little while later I heard him fall from the edge near our stairs. He was bull legged so I just figured he slipped. He had been eating well, and his weight loss seemed to have stopped. He stayed that way for about another week when I noticed his fur condition looked poor. I had just quit my job due to my own health issues so I had to try and find money before being able to take him to the vet. I managed to borrow my mom's care credit and made an appoitnment for him. This took a couple of days to happen. By then he looked terrible.
I took him to the vet (a different vet since the first vet's shot didn't clear up anything and seemed like a waste of time), he was well mannered and enjoying the attention. The vet said his one kidney was swollen and did blood work. They told me he was diabetic. I was relieved because he looked like he was in kidney failure. They prescribed insulin and let me take him home that day (they didn't even say they should keep him over night to check his sugar and make sure the insulin worked correctly) I was told to make sure he ate and to give him his insulin twice daily. I was also to give him Sub Q fluids. I had been giving fluids to a cat, and insulin to my boyfriend's dog before so I was okay with the diagnosis.
The next day, Christmas eve, a vet called from the office to tell me the rest of his blood work came back and he was in kidney failure. I was devastated and confused. How did the first vet not feel his kidney was swollen? She also told me that she felt the cortizone shot caused the diabetes and put him into kidney failure. About a week into his treatment he was doing alright until one night he came wobbling into my kitchen and attempted to jump onto my lap. He looked like he was having a stroke. I called the emergency vet to verify that I should give him some honey (the weak neck often a sign of low blood sugar and potassium) and they wouldn't give me any advice except that I needed to bring him in. I took him in and told them I had 300 dollars and to do what they needed to up to that amount. That was my rent. They gave me a $600 estimate and wouldn't be straight up with me on what they felt needed done first. The whole process was a sloppy mess. Finally we got the price down to $300 by not doing blood work on sight (even though they were very rude about my not being able to) and they checked his sugar levels. His sugar was down to 30 even though he had eaten each time I had given him insulin. They also said that the cortizone was probably what caused the diabetes and kidney failure. In the end I spent my last bit of money on the emergency visit over the insulin, and still had to take him back to the vet that prescribed it four hours later. I managed to borrow more money from family and got him to the vet. I told them I was almost out of money and they said there wasn't much they could do. They said they wanted to keep him over night, that his blood work looked terrible and his prognosis wasn't good. I couldn't afford to have them keep him over night so we took him home. I took him off the insulin because they thought that his diabetes may have been in control just from changing his diet. He stayed stable with fluids and food, no insulin for about two weeks. Then he slowly stopped wanting to eat. He started hiding away and even when I tried to force feed him, he couldn't swallow. I gave him fluids and pretty much had him on kitty hospice. It was the worst thing I've ever had to do in my life. There was no fixing his kidney failure and borderline diabetes.
After peeing himself twice and seizure my cat died. All of this, because a vet gave my cat Cortizone over something he called "cat acne. " I loved my cat more than I've cared for most people. My cat was in prime health minus a little hair loss that was still, probably from rubbing scent glands on things. His punishment for being friendly was death by a crappy vet using outdated poorly regulated cortizone. I would love to sue him for malpractice but in the real world, there is little that can be done to stop it. Who knows what things doctors are shooting into our children, family members, and pets, without consequence. :( I had my cat cremated at a different vets office. I didn't want any of the people responsible for his death touching him. He weighed in at only 5lbs."Replies
02/20/2012: Deborah from Chino Valley, Az replies: "Hi Lisa, I'm so, so sorry to hear about your kitty. My heart truly goes out to you, and thank you for letting us all know what happened to him.
This sober warning, which came at too high a price for Stinky, gives the rest of us the opportunity to think twice before accepting medical treatments of ANY kind in a casual manner, even if they are put out to us in a casual manner by the acting professional. Just because something may be 'standard protocol' in the medical view simply does not guarantee that it is without risks, sometimes overlooked and serious ones. Although I have great respect for the many health professionals (veterinary and medical) and the good hearts and intentions many of them bring to their work, Stinky's experience echoes the same tragedy far too many innocent animals (and people) continue to report in response to supposedly safe medical treatments.
I'm not sure there are any truly 'neutral' medical treatments, although understandably at times medical intervention is absolutely necessary. However to assume they are neutral and 'safe', when we still have so much to learn about their true safety seems dangerous at best, life-altering at worst. I am not at all anti-medicine, but I am anti-ignorance when so many innocent creatures of all kinds must pay for it.
And most importantly Lisa, it was not YOUR responsibility as the pet owner to know what was or was not safe for Stinky. You did what most responsible pet owners would do and brought your beloved cat to the profession whose responsibility it IS to know in an unbiased fashion what is/is not safe. Again, I blame the shortcomings within the medical models themselves far more than any particular practitioner, but may Stinky's sad story and sadder passing reach into the hearts and minds of many to effect the changes in awareness still necessary in order to stop this horrendous loss of life and/or health. To 'do no harm' still must be first the foremost commitment of any health model, holistic or allopathic. Stinky's sweet and too brief life and sad death was not in vain, for you have reminded us all of this essential commitment (and it's sometimes stark absence) through his experience. I'm just so sorry that you had to even go through this.
My heart goes out to you personally, as I, too, lost my beloved kitty Cody years ago in a similar fashion. A 'neutral' procedure altered the trajectory of his life so profoundly, he was gone within weeks. A healthy, loving, gorgeous kitty gone from the world too soon, and all because I took him in for a 'neutral' procedure. So know that you are not alone, and my prayers are with you as you now heal your own heart.
Blessings and prayers for you and for sweet Stinky ~"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 02/08/2012: Buster2012 from Brownsdale, Mn - Minnesota: "I had to put my mom's dog down- Buster. I took him into the vet couple days ago for constipation and itching problems. And the Vet gave him THE CORTISONE SHOT and well Buster went from being HYPER DOG to paralyzed. I think he wasn't himself- wasn't drinking nothing, had him on pain meds and I couldn't bear to watch this dog be in pain. He is or was a west highland dog and they are noted for being hyper.. And I had asked the vet if it was possible he had a reaction and they said NO....
Well as of yesterday 02-07-2012 I had to put BUSTER to sleep and OMG IT KILLED ME TO TAKE HIM THERE.... Why can't they take this shot off the market or something or sue the ppl that make it? It's just so sad and depressing to not hear Buster barking but I know he is in a better place and not in more pain and I'm not EVER giving this shot to NONE of my animals again..."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 02/06/2012: Tazzy from Sylmar, Ca: "My vet came over to vaccinate and treat 2 other dogs for ear infections. Both dogs got cortisone shots. The difference was the 2 year boxer within a couple of minutes turned pale and dropped. We were lucky and the vet was able to revive her. But we were told that she hasn't heard of a dog being allergic to it. I still believe that she is a wonderful vet but there needs to be more research."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 12/02/2011: Anne from Sandston, Virginia: "Rosie, my 6 year old Shih Tsu had a shot on the 20 of November for severe hair loss, which was an allergy, I had been treating her with chlor-tab and oatmeal shampoo, my vet gave her the shot, saying it woould clear it up in about 30 days. The hair is coming back, but she's not acting right. She whines all the time and has to go out every 30 minutes, not much urine but I don't know what else to do. The vet said she'd be okay, it's just the presence of a new dog. We've had the new dog for over 2 months and they did play together, now they don't. No more cortisone for any of my animals."Replies
01/09/2012: Mydogsaremylife from Roswell, Nm replies: "I am so sorry to hear about everyone's beloved animals dying and becoming so ill possibly due to the administration of Cortisone. My little 5 year old white Pekingese female, Ruby Lu, just underwent an injection of Cortisone into her spine due to nerve impengement. I certainly hope and pray that nothing happens to Lu Lu as a result of Cortisone. I wish I had read all of this before I took her to the vet to have this done. I pick her up today at 3:30 p.m."
[DEATH REPORTED] 12/01/2011: Bev from Itasca, Texas: "My precious boy Buford passed away almost 3 yrs ago from a steroid shot the vet gave him cause he had a runny nose. He suffered so bad he could not breath. I took him straight to the vet but he died before I got there. Part of me died. I never loved any animal like I loved that precious japense bobtail. Everyday I think of him and cry. So I know the hurt is so horrible you try to help them, then they die and you feel that you killed them. The stupid vet says no we didn't kill him he must have had congested heart failure. Well why didn't you see if he did before you gave him that deadly shot. I miss him so much!"
[DEATH REPORTED] 08/27/2011: Cassandra from Sacramento, Ca: "My 10 yr old cat Blackie was sooo amazing. Her personality could never be matched by anyone. I took her to vet 3 weeks ago for vomiting and runny nose and coughing. Without running tests the vet said vomitting from hairballs and gave an antibiotic for upper respiratory infection. Medicine worked great and she got better but still had occasional vomitting and was losing some weight. Then when we pet her we could feel her spine. But she was eating still. So I called vet and took her in. I said she hadnt been eating as much and I was getting concerned because the vomitting no longer contained hair. She was weighed and had went from 8 lbs to 6.12! The vet felt her stomach and said there is a mass a tumor and it could be cancer, but still wouldnt run tests! I asked for blood work and she said, It wont show up in a blood test. And declined my request.
She said I can give her a Cortisone shot and she will have appetite increase and shrink the mass. So without running ANY tests or giving me any warnings she comes in and injects this Crap into my precious cat and I say what are side effects she giggled and said appetite increase. I was hopeful when I got home and she went straight to her food and almost ate a whole can, drank her water and used the litter box, which she hadnt pooed in 2 days. She jumped up on my bed and was happy and laid down by my feet blocking my view to tv with her ears, which she always did. LOL. We went to sleep. The next morning I woke up did a few things and went to closet to give her breakfast, my closet makes a squeak that she knows and comes running to. No cat. So I look for her. She was hiding under my bed. I reached to get her and she held the carpet. I brought her out set her by her food and she fell over. She could no longer stand on her own. She tried but her legs were shaky I rushed her in. The vet shook her head, after I told her about this site and all the horrible things cortisone does, she said "no she has other things going on cortisone only makes them gain weight. " I argued with her, that cortisone shot did this to my girl! She then gave me a tube of nutrical to help her gain weight, I said why didnt we try this first!! I asked again for blood test and she declined.
I took my Blackie home and watched in horror as she became paralyzed. I held her I fed her the gel and water. I put her next to me. I hoped this crap would come out of her system and in the morning it would be ok. It wasnt I woke up put her on my chest and she peed. She lost all movement except her head. I made the appt to let her go and my soul died the same day. I held her paw as these heartless people we call Vetrinarians took my daughters life. I loved her with all my heart and now shes gone. Im dead inside. Somebody anybody please make them stop using cortisone. My girl may have been sick but cortisone pushed her to her death. One day happy and playing, next day lifeless. I miss her, im sick without her. I pick up her ashes on 9-6. Gonna bring her home!"Replies
11/20/2011: Anita from Buffalo, Ny replies: "I am so sorry to hear about your little girl...
My aunt's cat was just given cortisone and is now in the hospital with an IV. She is diabetic but the cortisone brought all this on; she stopped eating and had diarrhea, after the cortisone.
I hope you find another daughter soon to love.
I lost my little boy - hospital, IV, after the vet gave me a pain pill for him which ended his life sooner.
All my best."
12/23/2011: Cassandra from Sacramento, Ca replies: "Thank You so much for your reply. I appreciate it. I'm sorry for your loss as well. I'll never have her back but I hope that I help one animal lover save their pets life by refusing the poison cortisone. <3"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/10/2011: Nina from Brisbane, Australia: "Small breed dog weight 8.4kg age 7yrs is taken to vet for? ear infection diagnosed with 'allergy' vet was also informed of multiple other ongoing symptoms, after an exam it was decided most were due to allergy and a possible muscular hip injury and long acting steroid injection was given. 24hrs later dog commenced peeing frank blood necessitating rush to emergency clinic, this vet checked urine sample and said urinary tract infection which (a) would be made worse by steroid and (b) would cause blood in urine. Seems very strange that until yesterday dog was perfectly well and happy not peeing blood or frequently until this steroid injection now I am seriously out of pocket money wise and still have to go back to local vet tomorrow to have blood work done and a recheck. My previous dog was also given a steroid for same reason and he died a couiple weeks later although he did have a heart condition and was 13yrs old. I don't care how bad allergies get in future there will be NO cortisone for my dogs."
[DEATH REPORTED] 08/06/2011: Ron from San Francisco, California: "I had self diagnosed my cat as havign feline asthma due to wheezing, in retrospect I am so stupid because I did not even realize that the space heater coupled with incensce probably caused this wheezing. Anyway I took him to the vet and he immidiately gave him a cortisone shot. I take Blue home he crawls unde my bed. I decided to go out to lunch, when I get home he is dead on his favorite spot on my bed. Later the vet told me he died from the stress of the visit, I call bullshit. I told him" don't worry I am not going to sue" he then offered to do a free autopsy. f him."Replies
[SIDE EFFECTS] 08/21/2011: Susan from Okc, Ok replies: "Hi Ron- I took my elderly cat to the vet on Saturday, as he is almost 18 and I know I'm losing him, but I'm being selfish and doing everything I can to keep him here with quality of life. He has lost several pounds and the vet gave him a Cortisone injection. He has been under the bed since and is burning hot. I thought he had a stroke when we got home, but it wasn't until today that I realized it is the cortisone inj that has made him so weak. He hasn't eaten or drank water since early yesterday. I feel so bad that I caused this and may have to euthanize him tomorrow. Susan"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 07/30/2011: Kasey from Mobile, Alabama: "I took my calico tabby to the vet about a week ago, she was having some skin problems that were getting worse, after I put a temporary flea collar on her. I inherited my cat from my grandmother who passed earlier this year, and not once has my cat been to the vet in 13 years of her healthy life. The vet that I took her to said she was probably having a reaction from the flea collar and some irritation from the fleas themselves. He gave her an allergy shot and a rabies shot. I got her home the same day and she was fine, nothing out of the ordinary. But the past 5 days she hasn't been herself. Her behavior has changed, she only comes out from under the bed to eat, and she won't have hardly anything to do with me. I keep telling myself she will come around but I'm starting to really worry myself to death. I really need some answers and help.."Replies
01/03/2012: Janet from Charleston, Wv replies: "Rabies shots can cause side effects. There is a lot of information on the web and veternarian sites that show this. Lethargy, itching, swelling in the face and wobbliness are all signs of a reaction to the rabies vaccine."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 07/29/2011: Judy from Ashland , Oh: "My 15 year old Siamese just received her 2nd cortisone shot in 2 days--this was a last ditch effort to stimulate her appetite after doing subcutaneous fluids last week. The fluids helped, but when we stopped, so did her eating. Blood work showed kidney disease, but repeated blood work showed it was stable, so she was not in acute decline.
The first shot went fine. She did eat a little over night.
Immediatley following the second shot she was not quite herself. She walked straight into her carrier and laid down--very unusual. On the drive home, she seemd to be twitchy, uncomfortable. When we got home within a few minutes she threw up violently and seemed to be having muscle spasms/seizure as she walked around for a few seconds before crawling under the recliner.
I called the vet. The assistant relayed his feedback that the reaction was not from the shot but rather the drive. She has never thrown up after riding--not even during the 5 round trips of the past 10 days. This is the first that she has thrown up during this 10-day situation of her not eating. (When we returned from vacation 10 days ago, she had not eaten in 2 days.)
30 minutes after throwing up she is still under the recliner, seems to be alert, but is not interested in coming out. Not sure how this is going to play out."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 07/17/2011: Paula Gunning from Adelaide, Australia: "This is old news but it still bothers me. I took my then 16 year old mini foxy to the vet for itching and leg chewing and she was given a shot of cortisone. The next day she was blind. I phoned the vet who immediately said that the cortisone couldn't have caused that and it was not unusual for a dog that age to be blind, rather it was unusual that I hadn't noticed before. I cannot believe that I would not have noticed if my dog was blind. Suddenly one day she was walking into walls. My dogs live in the house and I could not have failed to notice if she was blind.
This was in November 2010 and Peggy has since died, this year in April, but I am still upset by the sudden blindness which spoiled her final year of life. She was my special darling and although she more or less learned to cope it was just heartbreaking to watch her trying to find her way around.
Maybe it wasn't the cortisone but I will always have the doubt about the treatment and whether it was the cause of her blindness."Replies
07/22/2011: Tracy from Cincinnati, Oh replies: "On the Mayoclinic site it states that steroid shots in general elevate the pressure in the eyes, so it is not a long shot that your dog went blind after getting the shot. It's sad that your vet did not know this side effect of the drug."
09/19/2011: Qc from Naples, Fl replies: "My pug was going to a specialist to have his eyes checked and my vet declined to give him a cortisone shot before hand because he said it would cause changes in the eye that could interfere with the exam at the specialist... After reading all these sad stories I'm really glad that he didnt have the shot!"