Last Modified on Feb 12, 2016
Cortisone shots are widely used by veterinarians as a treatment for allergies when a dog or cat is in a constant state of itching, chewing and scratching. Cortisone injections are also frequently used to treat arthritis in dogs as the cortisone creates an anti-inflammatory effect similar to cortisol that is helpful in reducing inflammation.
Cortisone Side Effects: On the flip side, it is reported that cortisone shots can sometimes produce quite serious side effects in dogs and cats. These side effects include panting, lethargy, vomiting, blood in the stools and dramatic changes of personality, and organ failure.
Below you will read reports from our readers about the side effects their pets experienced after receiving a cortisone shot. Sadly 21 people suspect that cortisone shots caused the untimely death of their pet.
Please let us know about any side effects you have witnessed after your pet's cortisone shot.
Remedies for Cortisone Side Effects
Another cortizone shot side effect. I know of other pets who became diabetic after c. shot and also after prednizone.
I am diabetic but after learning from EC how diabetic allopathic meds kill (see also GreenMed Info. Com) I threw all that paraphernalia away and, being vegan now, feel very healhy and very different than before. Insulin kills.
As to your kitty I would suggest do some research on natural health lines. There must be something that would provide an answer. I have found all my health answers online, on EC and MMS. That is where I would go. MMS have a supportive team. Right now I have three cats on MMS for various complaints. Believe me, it is affordable and effective. Start with one half drop for kitty and go no further than 2 drops. I wish you both all the best. Love, Om
|SIDE EFFECTS (34)||52%|
|DEATHS REPORTED (29)||44%|
[SIDE EFFECTS] My vet prescribed my dog an anti-histamine that contained 0.25 mg of Dexamethasone for an allergy my 1 year old female American Pit Bull Terrier was having (pimples and rashes on chest and chin). He had her on two pills (morning and night) for 10 days. After the 10 days elapsed the pimples and rash somewhat dried up. I had no idea what I was really giving my dog and boy do I regret it tremendously. After about a week the pimples and rashes returned. He told me to put her back on the anti-histamine (called Histamed-F), and after about 2 days all hell broke loose. My dog started drinking excessively and subsequently urinating constantly, it goes without saying she urinated in the house more times then I can count. I discontinued the medication and called my vet immediately. He called me in for a blood test and told me her blood sugar was very high (around 300) and that she either has diabetes or Cushing's disease. Bear in mind this is a 1 year old American Pit bull that gets at least an hour of high activity everyday, running, swimming, hiking, and play dates in the garden on almost a daily basis. I feed her grain free food as well (recently switched to raw as to keep down sugar levels). So as you can imagine this was devastatingly shocking for me. He then performed an ACTH stimulation test by injecting her with some more hormones (again I was an uneducated person wanting my dog to get better), to see the reaction of her adrenal glands. It turned out negative. It has now been 2 weeks after the shot and all medication was stopped and my dog is still officially diabetic (sugar level still at the 300 mark). I've left the old vet and the numerous opinions I've received since are to wait for some time longer to see if the drugs administered are the reason for her current state. I know for a fact that they absolutely are. The question now is did they permanently damage my dog or is this something that could in fact be temporary. This agonizing wait for answers and for my dog to get better is making me lose hope on a daily basis. Whatever ends up happening, I will never ever allow any use of steroids in my dog unless she is on the brink of death. Cause nothing can warrant what is happening to my dog now, especially not a measly skin infection.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I took my Bassett Baby Girl in for a sprained paw...yes she is 12 but still ran and played and rolled on the floor...They gave her a cortizone shot....10 days later...her hip had lost muscle mass and she could not walk good. Her hip kept giving out on her. Took her back to vet and they did xray. They said she had a bad disc. They put her on steroids and temadol for pain. I believe the shot did the damage to her hip. Until the shot Baby Girl never had any issues. She was healthy as a horse. I have to place a towel under her pelvic area to help her up to do her business. I researched and had to put her on pepcid to stop medicine from upsetting her stomach and I put her on milk of magnesia to help her go to the bathroom without straining herself. Now she won't eat...pain meds taking her appitite but she has to have them. I feed her baby food through a syringe. She is depressed. I am ordering her a furbaby wheelchair as soon as my taxes come in this week. She has grit and has not given up and I am not going to give up either. Any help would be appreciated.
[DEATH REPORTED] Cortisone killed my cat. Had a growth is his throat which was tiny, got bigger I think due to an injection given to him by a home vet . I think once it got air all the cells spread and got bigger. Despite this he was still his normal self and played outside and ate heaps etc. Heaps of energy. The first shot he stemmed fine . Had another shot a week later. That was the end of him. The next day he wasn't making any noise and just slept all day. During the next few days he was really bad , not eating, not moving, looking depressed and rapid breathing. One night he could barely sit up, drooped over. The 4th day his body split open , looked like a burst tumor. My boy went berserk with the " immunisation " never seen him like that. He must have known that was going to be his downfall. The cortisone set him off and I know for a fact that was what made him Real sick because he changed completely for the worse after it.
Cortisone is horrible. Don't get it for your pet. It kills them.
[DEATH REPORTED] Out 12 year old Dachshund was having lots of itching and yeast infections. The vet suggested a steroid shot. We agreed. Within 48 hours of the shot our precious dog was lethargic, withdrawn, panting and not eating. The breathing got worse so we contacted the vet who said that can happen and bring him in if it worsens?? Within hours our dog was dead...all over a shot to stop itching! We are devastated and this was so preventable.
Replied by Deborah
[SIDE EFFECTS] Our little terrier mix (14 months) got a steroid shot in her knee to deal with a partially torn cross band. The shot was supposed to be slow release for 3 weeks. She developped side effects straight away: Lethergic, drinking enormous amounts and urinating constantly, her kidneys stopped working properly (needed two mornings of infusions and meds from the vet), skin problems. And now, after 6 weeks, she still has more skin sores appearing and is not her own self: She is tired, she isn't running fast and seems to have totally forgotten how to play. Just stands there and stares at her toys or growls at our other dog when he is showing her any attention. Does anyone have an idea how long this may still last or what we can do?
[DEATH REPORTED] My dog was given steroids for itching, and developed Cushing's disease and internal bleeding. After 3 months of round the clock care, she died. It cost me over $10 K to try to save her. I still miss her everyday. Don't believe the vets - cortisone is NOT safe for dogs.
[SIDE EFFECTS] My great pyrenees had hot spot on leg. Took to vet and got shot of cortisone. It's been one week and he has went to restroom four x at night now. He is four and never done this since a puppy. Seems really thirsty also.
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[DEATH REPORTED] These posts have solved a 10 year mystery for me.
in 2002, I took my Great Dane in for a regular check-up and the vet said he heard a heart murmur. He explained dogs can live a long time with them and it was nothing to worry about. So I didn't...
By 2005, we had moved and I had a new vet. By then, the dog was 9 years old (old for a GD), and having trouble with arthritis. Omega 3 fish oil pills helped for a while. Then, the vet said she could give her cortisone shots but explained, if used over a long period of time, they could cause kidney failure. No other side-effects were mentioned. (The heart murmur was never discussed; I assumed she knew of it because she had listened several times). I decided to take the risk to ease the dog's pain, as she would likely not live long enough for kidney failure to kick in.
She got 3 shots over a period of a few months without any abnormal side effects that I recall. Maybe some extra drinking, but she drank a lot of water anyway. Each time, she perked right up and would prance around like a puppy for 3-4 weeks before starting to slow down again.
When it was time for her 4th shot, there was a substitute vet, as mine was on vacation. Everything went fine in the office. But, when we got home, I took her for her walk and she didn't make it far before she had to lay down. Her back legs had completely given out and she never regained her strength. Lethargy set in, she stopped eating and wouldn't move.
Within five days, I had my regular vet come put her down at home. We both chalked it up to the cortisone just wasn't doing it anymore, but I wasn't fully convinced because she dropped so quickly after the shot.
Looking at pictures later, I realized how much weight she had lost in the course of the regiment. I remembered she had not been weighed as was the usual practice before giving her the shot. So, I thought the substitute vet may have given her an overdose for her size. But I never knew for sure.
Now, I think it was the heart issue, and the cortisone exacerbated any congestive heart failure that may have developed from the murmur. I'll see if my thinks that was a possibility.
[SIDE EFFECTS] I took my silky terrier to the vet because he was red all over his stomach the vet gave him a cortisone injection and cream to apply I did tell the vet that he previously has had yeast infections. Next day all he did was sit on the sofa and shake was very depressed and lethargic although he ate well. Two weeks later the skin on his stomach started flaking off, so I stopped using the cortisone cream. Now four weeks later he is no longer red and itchy but his skin is still peeling off and he smells yeasty, I put him on a raw diet no starches no grains and have been bathing him in tea tree oil shampoo which has helped a lot he also has omega 3/6 oil and is almost better he has lots of bald patches hopefully his fur will grow back and his playful personality is almost back to normal. I will never allow my pets to be given cortisone again.
[DEATH REPORTED] My cat starting having uti issues in September and took Orbax. The systems came back in December and she lost some weight. Bloodwork, ultrasound, xrays, etc revealed no known issues. Suggested I take her to a specialist, but she was 16-years-old and didn't make sense to spend another $1,000. No vomiting or diarrhea just some blood in the urine. She started losing weight so the Veterinarian gave her a steroid shot, Dexamethasone to make her hungry and perk her up. She died 5 days later. She had severe vomiting that night and couldn't walk the next day. She couldn't stand to eat out of a food bowl and I had to hold the water bowl for her. She was very disoriented and just became lifeless.
[DEATH REPORTED] My cat died today 15 minutes after a cortisone shot. I am devastated. Vet never mentioned any risk. Wish I'd seen your website before now.
Replied by Pam
[DEATH REPORTED] I took my cat Lucy to the vet on Friday because she was breathing rapidly and had a noise when she did. She was otherwise fine. Ate, drank, played like normal. I decided to take her in and at 5:30, she received a cortisone and penicillin shot. The vet thought MAYbe asthma, MAYbe pneumonia. Sent me home with a round of steroids and antibiotics to continue beginning 24 hours later for a week.
She was fine when we got home, though the other cats hissed at her per usual when one of them goes to the vet. She was fine at 10pm when I gave her her nightly treats. I woke up the next morning and she was dead. She WOULD HAVE BEEN two years old in January. Devastated!!! I can only think that the penicillin would have caused a reaction within a couple of hours due to the immune system, so I am inclined to think that cortisone was the issue. When I researched death after penicillin, I got a plethora of articles about the cortisone probably being the culprit.
I am devastated to think she was alone when she died. I was with my other cats when put to sleep, but Lucy was so YOUNG and full of vitality! She was the biggest sweetheart ever!! My heart is broken.
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My heart goes out to those that have had complications with the cortisone shot. My 4 yr old Schitzu (sorry for the spelling), Darcy, has had excessive itching for about 3 yrs. I thought it was under control after changing her food 3 times. Then it started all over again. She's had 3 cortisone shots in that 3 yr time period. It worked wonderfully with the only side effect of eating, drinking and of course gaining weight.
Well, here we are and she needs another shot but I'm weary about her having too many. I started using Tea Tree Oil and it worked great but the odor was way too strong. I accidentally discovered something else that seems to work really well. I bought a (what I would call a stupid spray that I believed was a sales gimic) made by Top Paw, with Lavender, it has lidocaine, allantion, hydrocortisone, glycerin, and wheat germ oil.
I always believed her itching was from anxiety not so much allergies, because I work long hours.
You won't believe what I just discovered this morning, you know how lavender is suppose to be calming, I took the lid off the bottle and let her smell and lick it and pretended to spray her back-end where she bites the most and now she's asleep and snoring.
I will get a bigger bottle and continue to use this method as long as it'll work. I'm so excited!!!!!! I'll try to keep posted with the progress. Please let me know if anyone else has tried lavender to calm down their pet. I wish the best to everyone. When Darcy is miserable, I'm miserable. She's a gift from God. :)
[SIDE EFFECTS] My cat Dinque was given a cortizone shot for excessive itching. She has had the itching for years and nothing has helped. So the vet gave her a cortizone shot, I did not ask about the dosage or about the side effects. However, she is very lethargic and I just searched the web to understand the side effects and learned that lethargy is one. She weighs about 11pounds and is bait 5 years old. Do you how long it will take for the shot to wear off? The vet said I should bring her back in 3 months to see if there is improvement .
Do you know if there is any brand of food to which many cats have an allergy? Or, any additive I should be aware of?