Cortisone Shot Side Effects in Pets

| Modified on Dec 18, 2019

Cortisone shots are commonly administered to pets by veterinarians, most often for allergy problems, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. While this often will calm down the inflammation that was causing the initial health problem, it is common for the problem to resume after the cortisone shot wears off. Unfortunately, our readers have reported many serious complications and side effects from the administration of cortisone shots. Even worse, many pet owners have traced the death of their beloved pet to a cortisone shot.

Common Side Effects of Cortisone Shots in Dogs and Cats

Some of the side effects our readers have shared with us include loss of appetite, muscle weakness, depression, lethargy, kidney problems, panting, excessive thirst, skin problems, excessive urination, and seizures. More serious chronic side effects include diabetes and Cushing's disease.

What Can I Do for Side Effects from Cortisone Shots?

Activated Charcoal Powder can be given to pets to help remove the toxins from the shot. Charcoal powder can be mixed in food. It can also be mixed with water and given by syringe. Use 1/8 teaspoon daily for small dogs, 1/4 teaspoon for medium dogs, 1/2 teaspoon for large dogs and 1 teaspoon for extra large dogs. Charcoal can be given daily to remove toxins from the body.

What Alternatives are there for Cortisone Shots for My Pet?

The good news is that there are natural alternatives to cortisone shots for many health conditions for pets. Apple cider vinegar is a popular natural remedy for arthritis and allergies in pets, two common reasons cortisone shots are given in the first place. Turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb that is easy to give to pets. Coconut Oil is useful for skin conditions and for arthritis, among other pet health problems.

Apple cider vinegar, coconut oil and turmeric are much less likely to cause side effects in pets, and even if one of these natural remedies does not agree with your pet, any side effect from them are usually mild and short lived compared to the dangerous side effects of cortisone shots.

Has a cortisone shot caused side effects in your pet?  Please share your feedback with us!

Additional Pages of Interest:

Natural Remedies for Pets with Arthritis
Natural Remedies for Pets with Allergies
Turmeric for Pets
Natural Remedies for Pet Health Problems

Cortisone Shot Side Effects

85 User Reviews
1 star (1) 

Posted by kate (liverpool) on 12/18/2019

My 9-month-old puppy was given a steroid injection after he reacted to a dog shampoo that burnt his skin and caused inflammation. It has been two days since the injection and he is drooling, lethargic and drooling a lot more. Has helped greatly with the inflammation and skin sensitivity which is great, however, I am concerned about him as he is normally a lot more energetic. The emergency vets have said they will look at him but don't seem too concerned.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Mary (Tacoma) on 03/07/2019

Took my Scotty in for routine teeth cleaning (no extractions). She is diabetic and has Cushings but vet assured me she would do fine under anesthesia. Two days later she developed a high temperature and cough, likely an infection contracted from tracheal tube when anesthesia was administered, or kennel cough. Took her back to the vet and he gave her an antibiotic shot and recommended steroid shot to get her over upper respiratory infection. Like an idiot, I trusted his advice not knowing that this would have such an adverse effect on my girl. The first day I thought we would have to put her down. She wouldn't move, she lost her balance, peed on herself because she couldn't get up. Now she has excessive thirst and is peeing constantly. I'm heading to Walmart to see if I can find activated charcoal. I am heartsick that I allowed this treatment.

Replied by Lauren
(United States)

This post breaks my heart. I wish if dog owners would research before they allow these doctors to slowly kill our animals. Cortisone is very dangerous to humans and animals. It basically shuts down the adrenals. I feel your pain. The same thing happened to my sister's dog and she still cries about it to date. I wish you all the best. I suggest you scourge Google to find help. Please do not depend on these vets. It's all about the money for them They don't care about our beloved animals. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Jewels (Streetsboro, Ohio) on 03/29/2018

My 1 year old at was given a cortisone shot for inflammation after suffering a blocked urethra. He started panting and shaking and then stopped. I am now concerned for his health after reading stuff on here.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Mhami (Mount Dora, Fl) on 03/14/2018

Yes, it did make the severe rash my 60 pound Pitbull mix got from the grass. She had hundreds of small red 'pimples' on her chest and abdomen. the vet gave her a shot, the rash disappeared, but now she's constantly thirsty and has to go out several times a day to urinate. She also has excessive hunger and started 'counter surfing' to try and get to any food on the counter tops and also has started to raid the small waste paper baskets around the house. She had the injection about 10 days ago and I'm hoping these extremely, uncomfortable for her, side effects will wear off soon. The four stars are for how fast the rash went away, one star for the anoying side effects.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Leona (Uk) on 02/20/2018

My 14 year old dog has been given a cortisone shot for suspected asthma. 8 hours later he starts to go down hill and after 12 hours he is collapsed on the floor. The vet has given him more drugs to try to help him but he is unable to stand and cant keep any food or water down. He is soiling himself and it is likely I will put him to sleep this weekend. The vet agreed he has had a reaction to the cortisone shot. An injection he didnt need. This was not the way I wanted him to go. He will be 15 in 3 weeks time but now he wont see his birthday in.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Gracie (Pensacola) on 12/03/2017

My dog had a cortisone shot on 11-17-17 that night she had an episode I was at work. When I got home she could not walk and had threw up and peep on herself. 3 days later she had a bad seizure.9 days later she had another episode which I was there for or she flipped on the sidewalk several times and then couldn't move for an hour then threw up 3 times I had to carry her home she has an appointment in the morning to have something removed from her side of her mouth which was the reason she had the shot. She has been having labored breathing., but has been eating, drinking and going to the bathroom pretty normally and sleeping a lot not sure if I'm going to go ahead with the surgery tomorrow but I'm happy to read about the charcoal and we'll maybe try that for a couple of weeks before I bring her back to the vet for the surgery.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Cobwen (California) on 09/12/2017

Brought my Chihuahua to the vet for an ear allergy. She was given a shot of cortisone, next day she has blood in her urine.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Lps (Lake Havasu, Az) on 06/15/2017

5 Year Old Lab just had his second Depo-Medrol shot. Looking back, he was a little unhappy after the first one. But we did not make the connection. Now he is very lethargic, very wobbly in his back end. Won't walk and is breathing very hard like he is in pain. Husband stayed up all night with him. He (Jake dog) did eat some this morning and did drink some water, but it's like he is in very slow motion. It's so weird...he lives for food and is a gobbler. I have called the vet and am waiting for a return call.

I have searched for information on side effects (from the company), but cannot find any. I can only find information from other posters who have had similar problems.

In the meantime, what did we do? How long will this last? Should I call a holistic vet (none in my area)? Do activated charcoal? How much, how often and how do I get him to eat it? Please help.

Thank you.

Replied by Mama To Many

This page:

gives some dosing information from charcoal. That is probably what I would be giving my dog for a side effect from a medication.

I hope he is back to himself soon!

~Mama to Many~

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Yorkie Mom (Indian Wells, Ca) on 03/30/2017

I have a 12 year old male Yorkie. He has always been a strong alpha dog. I've had him on an organic diet of meats and veggies for some years. He's one of those dogs that will eat anything and is always hungry. I had his senior checkup with blood test and X-ray at 11 yrs, all checked out well, though they said his liver was a little large. Recently had his 12 yr check up (new vet) and blood work done to have his teeth cleaned, again all good but he had developed a yeast both internally and externally and in the past 6 months had developed many skin warts. He has yeast breath, ears, skin, paw pads and raspy breathing (congested sounding) I took him to another new vet (local) and started with anti fungal shampoo.

He wanted to administer a cortisone shot but I resisted and wanted to try shampoo, Benadryl, plus Turmeric, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar in his food and go to just meats and green veggies. He got worse and was constantly restless and itchy and neither of us could get sleep. Back to the vet, anal glands flushed and this time a cortisone shot. Still has raspy breathing.

The shot provided some relief, more water drinking and urinating and I continued on the frequent antifungal shampoos. About 4 weeks later, he became very ill, 2 days of vomiting and diarrhea, became so dehydrated, I had to rush him to emergency (weekend of course) where he was given meds to control the vomiting and diarrhea and I've fluids. After getting ahold of his regular vet, he kept him for 5 days. Did X-rays, blood work, ultrasound - all clear with high white blood cell count indicating infection and high amount of new red blood cells. No clear reason as to what happen - no tumors, no cancer, no Cushings, no answers. I asked if it could be related to the cortisone shot with a answer of no. Stayed on fluids and antibiotics, back home with antibiotics for 7 days. A week later, yeast flare up as the shot had worn off and antibiotics didn't help, back to excessive scratching and sleepless nights. Back to the vet for a cortisone shot, it's been about 5 weeks now since the first, he gives a "low dose". Over the next 4 days, I have a zombie dog, lethargic, constant sleeping, excessive water drinking and urination, urine leakage, loss of appetite, refusal to walk outside, weeping eyes, still has raspy respiratory, tonight he vomited his dinner and no evening bowel movement. I added to his diet today - boiled chicken with cooked green beans, a mixture of pumpkin/apple/ginger/vitamins for digestive issues, added immunity blend of midicinal mushroom and a digestive enzyme with probiotics. Collidial silver to his water and a little later, a tiny bit of goat cheese with the charcoal powder in it. Maybe too much at once? I'm lost with what to do. I've read numerous comments here and I feel I have done wrong with the shots but he was in agony with itching. I know the shots are a band aid, was just hoping to calm his skin down enough to address the yeast internally with stronger natural protocol. The vet knew how reluctant I was about the shot but said it was a great drug when well managed.

What can I do now? How do I address the yeast internally that I am not already doing? Help, I can't lose him. Is there a way to test dogs for nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities through blood work as they do with humans? My Naturopath ordered a nutritional analysis through a blood draw to the lab? Help please.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Yorkie Mom!

You might consider dipping your boy in Ted's Mange

Remedy - it is a good all round skin cleaner. I would do one dip per the directions and then evaluate your results. It tends to be effective for 24 hours so let us know what you see. I would not hesitate to try oral ketokonazole for systemic yeast, however Ted's Borax protocol for dogs is also effective on systemic yeast as well as alkalizing the water with baking soda. You asked: Is there a way to test dogs for nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities through blood work as they do with humans? Answer: not sure. I have had success bringing in food items and using Applied Kinnesiology to test if a food is OK with a particular animal. You asked: My Naturopath ordered a nutritional analysis through a blood draw to the lab? Answer: I am not sure what you are asking :( Please report back and clarify your question if you can.

Replied by Melissa
9 posts

Yorkie Mom, this is almost a mirror image of my Yorkie due to a vet giving him 2 steroid and 2 antibiotic injections in one month for mange without my knowledge. She only had permission for one antibiotic shot due to staph. This was a year and a half ago and we still struggle every day with itching on and off and eye issues and urinary problems. Nobody could tell me what was wrong with him but I knew he had yeast in and out. He was losing weight and constantly hungry and would get dehydrated and barely drank or urinated (it's the opposite now). I gave him about 2 tsp water with added electrolytes with each meal which helped his muscle cramping from dehydration. He no longer needs this. He gets digestive enzymes with every meal. He gets a B50 complex 2x a week. Ted suggests that will help bring back the appetite and is essential for digestion. But I would read more because sometimes he suggests once a day for a week.

Also try the Borax/H2O2 dip as urges Ted at least every other day. But I would definately add 1/8 tsp of Borax per liter of drinking water 5 out of 7 days to kill the internal yeast.

Read more of Ted's Remedies for yeast infections in Pets

Replied by Yorkie Mom
(Indian Wells, Ca)

Update - The vet is now saying my 12 yr old Yorkie has severe pancreatitis and gastritis. Today is his 9th day at the vet, he is on IV fluids, meds to control vomiting and diarrhea and antibiotics for inflammation. Ultrasounds have been done showing nothing conclusive. I visited him two nights ago and held him in my arms with him on a catatonic state. Devastated me. Vet said his sugars are good, he is eating a tiny bit, giving him salmon, still a little bit of bile. He's still touch and go. Again, I brought him in for a yeast infection, he had two cortisone shots within a 6 week period, never a digestive problem before and had just had his yearly bloodwork and X-rays done with all good numbers. The first shot made him sick in 2 weeks with 4 days at the vet but no pancreatitis found through blood panels, X-rays and ultrasound and the second shot put him back there within 4 days, he was a zombie immediately after the second shot. I feel trapped, the vet is keeping him until he shows a positive turn, won't admit it was caused by the shots and is basically saying he's old and you never know with these cases. Oh my gawd, what do I do in this kind of situation? If I pull him and he gets worse, he could die. If he stays and they continue to medicate him, he could also die. And the bill, I can't even imagine, the first time was $2000! Advice please...

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Yorkie Mom,

I hear your vet - he's old and you never know with these cases - however if you Google 'canine pancreatitis caused by steroids' you will find holistic vets agreeing with you saying that it is common knowledge that steroids can result in pancreatitis. One remedy is supplementation with digestive enzymes, however I am not sure that will help in this moment. In your shoes I would find myself at the mercy of the vet to get him out of this predicament, and if he survives going the holistic route. Sending prayer for your peace and your boy's health.

Replied by Art K.

I had a diabetic cat whose pancreas stopped working and was almost comatose. I used Edgar Cayce's cure for humans by juicing some Sun Chokes and mixing with some beef juice. In 9 days that cat was normal again. It was incredible! Here's a website devoted to the Sun Choke cure for diabetes: Also, I've found a great source of herbal remedies from Dr Randy Kidd "THE HERBAL CAT" I hope this helps.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Jutta (Machias, Maine) on 12/20/2016

My dog has a lesion on lower spine and suffers greatly without a cortisone shot. She does not have a good chance of recovery and the shot makes her feel normal for a week til the next one. It buys her some time with a good quality of life. It won't last forever I know. Good for now.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Sandi (Youngstown, Oh ) on 09/02/2016

Not really sure if there is a connection here but I had two separate dogs of two separate breeds get cortisone shots for the disks in their backs, now the 1st dog (mini schnauzer) was fine for over a year after, until he started having seizures. The vet then gave him another shot for the swelling in the brain and he passed away a little less than 2 wks later. Now about a week ago my 2nd dog (American bulldog/pitbull mix) she is 13 yrs old and I noticed her having difficulty with her back legs. The vet also said it was her disks and gave her a shot and a prescription for methocarbamol. Then a week later she has a stroke. Please tell me if there seems to be a connection here. He also gave her another shot for the swelling in her brain after the stroke. I would really like to know if I am making a mistake going to this guy.

Replied by Jutta

Hi! - In case of your older dog I can see the disc problem there.

My Lab mix (8) was diagnosed with a neurological problem. Came on 6 weeks ago and she get the 7 day cortisone shot every Monday because it runs out EXACTLY on the 7th day. Today is day number 8 and she has been holding on. Sometimes the neurological problem presents migraine type of headaches and she had 2 seizures of some sort. It was too much for me to watch!! Besides the panting and peeing on the first day she nicely recovers in the afternoon of day 2 and then you would not know anything is wrong with her until day 7/8. I have done this for a month. I know this can't be good for her in the long run and I discussed with the vet that this will be her last shot…. I will enjoy her all week but I cannot see the headache episodes or her breaking down after 7 days. It's enough! I am pretty sure Earth Clinic has nothing for neurological problems affecting lumbar spine and brain and that shot was our only option. Wish us luck. Jutta and companion Heidi

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Nancy (Stratford, Ct) on 08/30/2016

My 5 yr old dog had bad skin itching and redness. Took her to vet who gave her a cortisone shot and cortisone pills 2 x daily for 5 days. Have now noticed that she is urinating at times when in my lap or I am holding her. Can this be from the cortisone?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Nancy,

Excessive urination and leaking are known side effects of cortisone and steroid shots. You might also see your girl panting when it is not hot, and drinking lots and lots of water - all side effects of the shot and the pills. Do keep in mind the shot and pills are only a band-aid, and the cause of your dog's itching still need to be addressed. The first place to look is the ingredient panel on your bag of kibble; if you see corn or grains it is time for a grocery upgrade and grain and corn have been directly linked to skin problems in dogs.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Jay (Phoenix, Az) on 08/11/2016

Hi, I have a boxer 3yrs old, and about 3 weeks ago she got bit on the tail nub and was licking it. It got irritated and sore, so we took her to vet. Vet gave her a cortisone shot and all good, until last week when she started having seizures and foaming a little at the mouth. After a minute or so she seems fine again. This has happened on 3 different occasions. Could this be due to the cortisone and since it's almost out of her system, should we just watch her close or try some charcoal to get the toxins out of her system?

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Jay, I have heard so many similar stories the same has yours. An australian vet warns against that drug.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Peatstack (Isle Of Skye) on 06/21/2016

My dog had inflammation around a scar that was hurting her, so the vet injected her with cortisone, (she's a scottie dog - short, black) - walks to the jacked-up pickup truck and jumps in to the cab. I get her home, she can't walk with her right hind leg. By the next morning, her leg was getting cold and she was bleeding from her behind and in her pee. Now she's at the vet for observation; I expect I'll have to be putting her down tomorrow - as I don't expect this to get better when the cortisone wears off. I had no idea it could cause embolisms and kill a dog so quickly... or I wouldn't have casually let her get that injection... I had some myself in my foot tendon and it really helped.

Replied by Rebehen
(Fairfield, Ct)

My 80lb male 6 yr old lab got a cortisone and a Benadryl shot on Saturday (it's not Wednesday). He got the shot because on Sat am his nose and left eye started swelling and he was running around like crazy with an itch or something and I couldn't settle him down. He could have been stung or picked something up on a walk or I might have given him a small sliver of onion that I thought was apple.

On Monday I noticed the area around his left and right eye, he outer crease in each side is really dry, so much so that it's like a scab with blood underneath. I also noticed similar on his nose this am. I put some coconut oil on it to help with the dryness. This am when he went outside he dry heaved and some bile came out.

Could this be related to the shot? Should I take him back to the vet or try charcoal or something else? I gave him some slippery elm gruel for the tummy upset.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

It sounds like a reaction to the shot. Either take him back to the vet, yes you can do the charcoal or vit c. Cortisone is one drug that is a no no for my animals. Anyway good luck.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Rebehen,

In my experience dogs to not vomit bile unless they have been vomiting for some time, ie their stomach is past empty so all that can come up is bile. Has your dog also had loose stools? Has he continued to vomit? He may have picked up a giardia bug. The slippery elm should help with that, along with activated charcoal.

Please report back!

Replied by Rebecca

Sorry if this posts 2x. Trying to respond to both responses. Thank you SO MUCH FOR YOUR help. My dog (5.5 yr old male blk lab) only vomited bile once on wed am (after having two shots: Ben. & Cort 4 days before. However now (Friday) he has been having sneezing fits since yesterday. 3-4 sneezes in a row once an hour. Mostly after he gets up from lying down. I was up w him most of night on and off. I could take him bk to vet but they will prob want to give more shots. I gave him 50 mg (he's 80 lbs) Benadryl yesterday at 5:30 pm didn't seem to help. Vet said 75 mg but I wanted to see how he would react so I gave smaller dose. I'd love to address the cause vs symptom but don't know how to determine it. He's eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, playing fine. He doesn't sneeze when we are walking outside. We are in NYC so not a lot of grass but some people are having bad allergies. He's never had this before though and is here weekly. Maybe something is stuck up his nose from last sat when his eye swelled up and he got the shots? Anything else I should do?

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Rebecca, I think you should bide your time. You should give what the vet said and maybe some vit c as that helps with toxins in the body.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Rebecca,

It could be allergies - they can develop at any time, and it could be a coincidence that the swelling, caused by a suspected sting, preceded the bouts of sneezing. I can understand congestion after taking a nap or lying down causing sneezing upon rising if you have allergies. That said, if this persists, and particularly if you see pigmented discharge [anything other than water clear] I'd want to scope up the nose to check for foreign bodies or nasal tumors. The swelling was treated only with the cortisone and benadryl and went down? If not, if it comes back, I would suspect a bad tooth. If it does prove to be allergies then you might consider upgrading the groceries and alkalizing the drinking water. Please report back!

Replied by Rebecca

Hi Theresa and Suseeq: Thank you both again! It's very hard to sit in anxiety when your pet isn't himself. He is still having sneezing fits but less so yesterday and even less today. I guess it's allergies. I had him on Origen for 3+ years and then he started getting diarrhea, interdigital cysts and squeaky stomach in am on it 6 mo ago. So I switched food and it all went away. He had anaplasma last year treated with heavy doxy so I wonder if that weakened his immune system and brought on allergies.

And possibly the cortisone shot weakened his immune system and caused the sneezing. Giving him raw honey which seems to help too.

I can do alkaline water but what do you mean by upgrading the groceries? Food? I've had him on Instinct raw (poop too hard caused butt sores)and now it's Zignature Kangaroo and Natural Balance Sweet Potato Venison, good poop.

Yes the swelling went down with only the Cort and Ben shots. Within a couple hrs last Saturday.

Thanks again for your insight and advice.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Rebecca you seem to have a good diet, I didn't know you could buy roo over there. If it is an allergy, start with the immune system. The diet you give is good maybe add raw honey, if you can pick up some from your local area better still and probotics as well try those and please report back as there are other things to look at.

Replied by Nancym
(San Diego, Ca)

Wow... my cat just had a depo medrol shot and has been having massive sneezing fits every since. That and he is also lethargic.

Replied by Ashley
(North Carolina)

My cat is also having rapid fire sneezing fits of 10 to 20 sneezes at a time, and they started four or five days after his Depo shot. Two days ago he also started having head tremors after one of the sneezing fits. I took him to the vet because the same sort of tremors happened several years ago a few days after a Depo shot (he gets a rash every now and then that gets bad without the shot), and I was told the tremors were not likely to be related to the shot. Now I am not so sure at all, and I feel the violent sneezing fits are related too. I wanted to ask how long it was before your cat stopped having the sneezing fits?

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Dandylion (Ky) on 06/04/2016

Subcutaneous Emphysema, after cortisone injection.....could it have been the cause?

My 14 y/o chihuahua mix has snored for years and had raspy breathing at times, I wrote it off to asthma. My son and I have it too. Two weeks ago it got much worse, really loud snoring, more raspy breathing at times and sometimes if he ate too fast he would gag and throw up all his food, until I started giving smaller portions more times a day. Anyway last week I took him to the vet. He said it was not asthma, it was a problem with his 16 y/o chihuahua coughs and gags ever since surgery a couple years ago, most likely caused by the intubation, vet then put him on Temeral-P 1/4 pill a day and I don't even have to give it every day to control his cough. It sounded logical to me, as they get older the esophagus gets "floppy" is the way I put it. This vet gave my dog an injection of steroids, I heard him say Venalog or Kenalog, in the back of the neck and Temeril-P 1/2 tab twice a day, which is more than I give my other chihuahua and he weighs more. Anyway 2 days later I noticed a puffiness across my dogs chest and the next day his face looks fuller, by the following Thurs, which was 5 days later, when we woke up he had a knot on his head that crackled when I rubbed it. The vet saw him again to explain that the shot did not cause any of this, this was called subcutaneous emphysema, air/gas under the skin, x-ray confirmed it. Had to take to another clinic for a digital x-ray, still don't know what it wrong. They are saying using a puncture wound letting air get trapped, or intubation, or a tear in the windpipe. Both vets seem to think it is a cancer mass causing the air to leak. My dog still eats, drinks and pees alots but that is because of the cortisone shot, no more extra loud snoring, no labored breathing. The most disturbing thing is the bubble on his head, cheeks and neck that crackles. I am not going to let them put him to sleep to do an MRI or endoscopy as long as he is not in distress and possibly kill him. From what I've read this subcutaneuous emphysema can dissipate on it's own, it is not getting any bigger, he is already 14 y/o, he did have a hoarse voice when he barked, but it has gotten better. I can't help but think the shot is what started this, even though the vet says it couldn't, over and over he said it couldn't. I'm out another $130 for additional tests as a result of new symptoms since his initial visit. The vet is very good and I really like him, he didn't charge me for the x-ray he took, but sent me to his other facility to get a digital so he could possibly see more.

No one will admit if something they do causes additional problems, except my vet that retired who told me that my other chihuahua's esophageal problem was most likely caused by the removal of the intubation tube because there was a complication and he almost died on the table. If anyone knows any reason for subcutaneous emphysema, air/gas trapped under the skin that crackles when pressed, please let me know. I sure hope I lost my dog last year to lung cancer and would not have known that if I had not had a necropsy done...three vets in three days told me seizures, congestive heart failure, after $500 of EKG and heart meds (took one dose before passing), x-rays, heart worm tests, CBC. On day 4, he passed away and the necropsy showed lung cancer at 9 y/o.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Dandylion,

I agree with your vet. This type of injury can be the result of trauma. I can see this happening with a long term untreated cough, combined with a thin skinned senior. I think the onset of the condition was a huge coincidence with the timing of the shot. Unless your vet get the cortisone shot in a strange place and punctured the skin near the chest cavity to allow the air to escape under the skin [which would make it the VET's fault and not the cortisone] the shot really just does not cause this type of reaction.

Please read up and google and read the many articles on this condition - one possible negative association is gangrene/dead skin due to the oxygen under the skin. If you like the new vet please continue working with him as it would appear you need to continue working with a vet.