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Steroid shots for allergies.

Species: Cat
Breed: Exotic Shorthair
Age: 8-11 years
Dr. Marie,

Our 9 lb. cat has had a chronic skin ailment the majority of his life, mostly on his face, with itching, black bumps. His vigorous scratching causes bleeding. He takes a shot of methyl prednisolone acetate (.5cc) every six months. Recently, his condition has been returning in three to four months. Is he building resistance? Do you think we can increase the dose without adversely affecting his immune system? ? Can we give him an interim pill to help extend effectiveness? Is there anything else we can/ should try to give him some relief?

Thank you


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Cinder is having this problem.

I do have cats in my practice who get a steroid injection more frequently than every 6 months. The shot tends to last about 4-6 weeks in most cats.

One of the risks of giving the injection more frequently is that a cat can develop diabetes. This is quite rare - I have seen it happen twice in 11 years of practice. Your vet can go over the pros and cons with you.

Another option is to go with an oral steroid such as prednisone. Many cats with allergies can get away with taking a small dose every other day. At this dose side effects are quite rare.

You can also talk to your vet about feeding hypoallergenic foods.

I hope this information helps!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.