Cortisone injections in felines

Written by shellie braeuner Google
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Cortisone injections in felines
Keeping your cat healthy keeps it happy. (Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Cats suffer from some of the same maladies that affect humans, and some medication are the same ones used on humans. Cortisone is a steroidal medication. It reduces inflammation, thereby reducing pain. The vet administers cortisone either in pill form or as a single long-acting shot. The shot takes effect quickly and gives the cat relief.

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Just like human beings, some cats develop allergies. Allergies occur when the cat's immune system reacts to everyday substances. The cat can develop a wide range of symptoms such as sneezing, vomiting, diarrhoea, itching or even hair loss. Inflammation of the skin, eyes or respiratory tract irritates the cat and leaves it vulnerable to other infections. A single cortisone injection helps to relieve the symptoms. However, the only cure is determining what substances the cat reacts to and removing those substances.


Two types of mites cause mange in cats. Small, burrowing mites make tunnels under the cat's skin. The burrowing mites use the tunnels to lay their eggs, which hatch and feed on the cat. Non-burrowing mites live on the surface of the cat's skin. These mites eat the top layer of the cat's skin or suck the cat's blood. Either mite represents a significant health risk. Hair loss and open sores leave the cat's skin open to infection. The constant blood loss can lead to anaemia. Simply treating with cortisone is not enough to protect the health of the cat, since it only relives the itching. The animal needs treatment with mite-killing medication.


Because it reduces inflammation, cortisone is used with other drugs to treat some cancers. According to Cat Health, feline mast cell tumours are small growths on the stomach or legs of the cat. These small tumours are usually under an inch long. Veterinarians treat many of these growths with surgery. However, if the tumour is in an inaccessible area, or surgery would harm the cat, the vet injects the tumour with cortisone to shrink the abnormal cells.

Side Effects

Cortisone shots can cause a wide range of side effects. Cortisone may cause cats to drink more, which also means that the cat urinates more frequently. This can lead to indoor accidents. Cortisone shots cause an increased appetite, which may put weight on some cats. Some pet owners may see more aggressiveness. Cortisone also affects the immune system. This may leave the cat vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Long-term cortisone use may damage the liver and kidneys.

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