Steroids killed nine-year-old Lexie McConnell after only five and a half weeks. In August 1993, Lexie was diagnosed as having toxoplasmosis. The consultant put her on 80 mg per day of prednisolone. Immediately, she suffered severe side effects, huge weight gain , terrible pains, holes in her tongue and black stools. After nearly a month, at her parents' pleading, the doctors quickly lowered the dosage to 60 mg, 40 mg, 20 mg. In excruciating pain, Lexie was taken to a hospital, where it was discovered she'd contracted chickenpox. Four days later, she died. A few years later, another eye specialist declared that a simple course of antibiotics could have cleared up her infection. The above excerpt is from Ursula Kelly's site
My 6 year old cat has been on a long term prednisone direct injection treatment for the past 5 years due to her oral autoimmune disease. My veterinarian and I decided this was a better option, due to her young age at diagnosis, than the typical solution of removing all of her teeth. Her shots are infrequent (~every 8-12 weeks) to reduce the occurrence of side effects or long term damage from the steroids. The effect has been amazing! She went from constantly lethargic to playful in a matter of days and has remained that way. To date she has only lost 3 teeth which is impressive considering the other option of having them removed. It means frequent visits to the vet’s office and monitoring but it is well worth it for her improved quality of life.