Your dog's body produces corticosteroids naturally in his adrenal glands. Synthetic steroids such as prednisone, prednisolone and cortisol aid in treating a variety of ailments. Your veterinarian might give your dog cortisone injections to treat arthritis or an allergic skin reaction, or may use it as a anti-inflammatory. While effective, cortisone shots can also produce numerous side effects, so it's important to keep a close eye on your dog while he's under treatment.
After diagnosing your dog, your vet might administer a cortisone injection for fast relief, while prescribing cortisone pills for daily use. Side effects of this medication include lethargy and excessive drinking, urinating and hunger. If your dog receives cortisone for long-term treatment, he might develop skin problems and a poor hair coat, along with weight gain. Wounds won't heal as well, and he's more susceptible to infection.