Cortisone Shot Side Effects in Pets

| Modified on Dec 18, 2019

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Ryan (Lebanon) on 02/12/2016
0 out of 5 stars

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.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Jay (Phoenix, Az) on 08/11/2016
0 out of 5 stars

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?

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Yorkie Mom (Indian Wells, Ca) on 04/07/2017

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...


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Art K. (California) on 04/08/2017

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: http://sunchoke.org/ 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 Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 07/20/2016

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.


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 07/21/2016

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!


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 07/22/2016

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.


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 07/22/2016

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!


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Eva (France) on 07/07/2015
0 out of 5 stars

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?

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 12/01/2014

Hey Christineo!

I am very sorry to hear about the death of Lucy :(

I did research also as the death *yound* Lucy over a cortizone shot baffled me. This is what I found out.

"A less common side effect of corticosteroid use is to uncover hidden congestive heart failure (CHF). If heart disease is undetected (occult), especially if a heart murmur is not heard, fluid can rapidly fill up the lungs causing labored breathing and distress after a steroid injection is given. If the patient is promptly seen by a vet on an emergency basis and CHF is diagnosed by a chest x-ray, oxygen therapy and diuretic injections generally cause the fluid to be urinated out and an echocardiogram can be performed to further define the heart condition."

Source: http://felinedocs.com/dr-elyse-kent/steroid-use-in-cats-is-it-dangerous/

Lucy very likely had an undiagnosed cardiac condition - something your vet could not have anticipated. In hindsight the presenting symptoms are cardiac related, but in such a young cat asthma or pneumonia would be any vet's first guess, and the shot - properly indicated for asthma or pneumonia - pushed the cardiac condition over the edge. I suppose you could do an autopsy to confirm, but it won't bring her back.

My heart goes out to you for your sudden loss of Lucy~

{{{{{{{{{{{Christineo}}}}}}}}}}}}


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Christineo (Minneapolis, Mn) on 12/05/2014

Thank you so much, Theresa!! I adopted Lucy and her sister as well as their mother (couldn't separate them) in early 2013. I sent Paws and Claws a letter about Lucy's sudden death today and she did mention cardiomyopathy as a possibility. I couldn't afford a necropsy, though I would think they would do one for learning purposes. Probably not. I have read articles stating that a cat with a murmur of any kind shouldn't be given steroids as CHF is likely. That murmurs should always be investigated first.

She (vet) heard the murmur a few months ago when they got their shots, but Lucy was so mad being there, it was a possibility that it was stress induced. She was quite flippant about the seriousness of it then AND the night I brought her in last week (I asked it her murmur needed treatment. "No."). I never would have guessed any of this would have happened. Surely she ought to know steroid precautions??

I just can't help but feel like we let Lucy down.


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
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
0 out of 5 stars

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.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Lauren (United States) on 03/08/2019

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
0 out of 5 stars

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
0 out of 5 stars

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
0 out of 5 stars

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
0 out of 5 stars

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
0 out of 5 stars

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
0 out of 5 stars

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.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 06/15/2017

This page:

https://www.earthclinic.com/pets/activated-charcoal-for-dogs.html

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
0 out of 5 stars

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.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 03/30/2017

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.


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Melissa (Ohio) on 04/06/2017 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


Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 04/08/2017

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.


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
0 out of 5 stars

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.

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Jutta (Maine) on 01/02/2017

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
0 out of 5 stars

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?

Cortisone Shot Side Effects
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 08/31/2016

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 Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 08/12/2016

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



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