Can a steroid shot kill my cat?

by Niki
(Illinois)

My 17 year old cat was diagnosed with chronic bronchitis 6 weeks ago. They started her on Prednisone every other day. There was some improvement in her symptoms but getting her to take the pill consistently was difficult.


The vet just gave her a steroid shot three days ago. Now she is listless, hiding, labored breathing and not eating.

Can the steroid shot kill my cat?

The vet is closed because it is Thanksgiving. I am worried sick. I am taking her in first thing tomorrow morning.

The vet said the only side effect could be diabetes. Could this start that quickly?? Are these the symptoms? Anyone have a similar experience?

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Nov 28, 2017
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I'm sorry for your loss
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear that you had to let Addy go. RIP Addy.

If you're up to it, you're welcome to create a memorial for her at http://www.cat-lovers-only.com/rainbow-bridge.html

Nov 27, 2017
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had to say goodbye today
by: Niki

Thank you for sharing your ideas and well wishes.

Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to my Addy today. I took her into the vet and he said the only option was to let her suffer and slowly die at home or to euthanize her.... She was having extremely labored breathing and still wasn't eating. She would walk up to her bowl but would just walk away.... He suspected heart disease that didn't show up at the ER or was too early to detect at that point so he did another set. Everything on x-rays still looked good. He suspected cancer or a tumor along with the bronchitis. After he put her to sleep, he scoped her, and found a large mass on her larynx that was keeping it nearly closed. RIP my sweet girl xoxo.

Nov 25, 2017
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Steroid shot
by: Crazu cat lady

I have had a cat become diabetic from a steroid shot. I have also heard that some cats have other, even more dangerous reactions, but they are extremely rare.

Yes, cats can live to over 20, but 17 is an old cat by any count.

I would say that you are doing the right thing by taking her back to the vet. I had a cat that for years wheezed, but every vet said that it wasn't in his chest. It is quite possible that your baby has developed a problem, and maybe the steroid shot made it worse, or maybe it made whatever was going on better so this manifested in its place.

Cats are masters of hiding illness. Keep an eye on her, keep taking her to the vet. Nobody knows your cat better than you do, you are with her, not the vets.

Best of luck with your baby.

Nov 25, 2017
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Steroid shot
by: Jane Wade

Two weeks ago my cat got a steroid shot for fleas. She was miserable and now is doing fine.

I sure hope your kitty will get well quick! Keep us posted.

Nov 25, 2017
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Pawsitive thoughts
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm glad to hear your cat is doing better. I hope the vet can figure this out and get her on the road to good health again.

Nov 25, 2017
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Vet wasn't sure what's going on
by: Anonymous

I wanted to update that my cat is improving slightly. I took her in to the ER vet. The vet thought she was having heart failure. They checked oxygen levels, heart, did x-rays, and blood work. Everything came back normal except an enlarged heart. It wasn't enlarged in her last x-rays two months ago. The vet also said it is possible she doesn't have bronchitis but maybe polyps or cancer since her breathing sounds seem congested in the throat and nose and not her lungs. My cat is back home now and has started eating a little. She also has been coming out of her hiding spots which is good to see. She still sounds raspy when putting and sometimes when breathing. I will be taking her back to the vet to get a scope to see what is going on. Maybe she will start feeling better as he shot wears off....

Nov 24, 2017
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Heart problems?
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear your cat is ill. Other readers have reported problems after their cats received steroid injections.

Please see this question on cats with heart problems and steroid treatment.

If my cat had these symptoms especially labored breathing, following a steroid shot, I'd assume it might be congestive heart failure. I would contact an emergency vet asap.

I hope your cat recovers quickly.

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