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Cortisone Medications for Dogs

By Rena Sherwood | Updated September 26, 2017

Golden retrievers are prone to osteochondrosis. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Cortisone medications are also called glucocordicoids and corticosteroids. They are often used for dogs with Addison's disease, osteochondrosis, severe arthritis and allergies. They work by helping to reduce inflammation, which in turn helps to reduce pain. Cortisone is a synthetic medication that mimics the natural hormone cortisol, and can only be purchased with a veterinarian's prescription.


Cortisone medications come in oral tablets and injections. Tablets can be given one to three times a day, depending on your veterinarian's advice.

Liver Problems

With long-term use, there is a slight chance of liver damage. Any dog on cortisone medications needs to take liver functioning tests.

Generic Names

Cortisone medications are a family of drugs. Specific generic drug names include prednisone, betamethasone, cortisone acetate, dexamethasone and hydrocortisone.

Side Effects

Normal side effects include an increase of appetite and thirst, more frequent urination and weight gain.


Never give human cortisone medications to your dog. They will be far too strong for a dog and will get him sick.

Photo Credits

  • Golden retrievers are prone to osteochondrosis. Image from Wikimedia Commons.


Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.