Is cortisone safe for cats?
Cortisone is a steroid that is used to treat a number of illnesses in cats, including asthma, allergic reactions, and even Feline AIDS. It can be very effective as a treatment, but you should be aware that there are some side effects. Cats seem to be more resistant to these than people or dogs, so vets are usually less worried about using it with a cat. Feline diabetes is the most common, and cortisone can contribute to it if the cat is at risk. However, most vets suggest that this is pretty rare based on their prior history in administering it.
It has also been associated with Cushing's disease, a condition that involves excess cortisone produced naturally by the cat and that can be aggravated by injections of steroids. This is more common in dogs, but can happen if the levels get too high. It can result in hair loss, skin conditions, and even tumors.
There are a lot of people in the holistic treatment movement who rail against cortisone. They essentially argue that it is overused on even minor conditions by vets because it seems to produce miraculous recoveries, when in reality it is just alleviating pain and causing long term damage.
The truth on this probably depends on your vet. Yes, some vets may overuse this or apply it improperly. But when used by a competent and honest vet, it does produce benefits for the animal, and it can be monitored to avoid the relatively rare risk of side effects. The best solution is for you to read up on the risks and talk to your vet about them. The vet may suggest alternate treatments, but if they believe it is the ideal treatment it is best to stick to their advice.
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