The most common types of animal steroids prescribed by veterinarians fall under the general term corticosteroids. These are used to treat allergies, inflammation, and pain. These include prednisolone and prednisone to treat itching, swelling, and arthritis in animals. When raised for human consumption, animals may be implanted with other types of steroids, including synthetic or natural hormones called anabolic steroids.
Cortisone for animals
Cortisone can be used to relieve hair loss and intense itching in pets with allergies. Majority of veterinarians prescribe these steroids to animals for short periods of time due to potential side effects from long-term use. These drugs weaken the immune system of an animal and can cause damage to internal organs. Pets can also suffer from intestinal problems or pancreatic disorders, including the formation of ulcers.
Androgens for animals
Although rare, androgens may be recommended for domestic animals suffering from diseases that cause extreme weakness. The two usual testosterone-based drugs include nandrolone and stanozolol. These may be effective in treating anemia by building red blood cells. In addition, they help in increasing muscle mass in animals deteriorated by serious diseases.
Cattle and sheep are routinely given hormone implants to accelerate growth rates. Natural anabolic steroids include testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone. Estradiol is the same to the female hormone estrogen. The other two are derived from the male hormone testosterone. The synthetic versions of these animal steroids could be used instead of the natural compounds.
Synthetic zeranol, acetate and trenbolone in meat products
Synthetic zeranol, acetate and trenbolone are approved in some regions as safe for human consumption in meat products. They are usually not allowed in dairy cattle, swine and poultry. Consumer protection agencies claim that these animal steroids pose no risk of harm to humans because the levels allowed are low compared to levels that occur naturally in the body. Some countries have banned the use of steroids in animals for human consumption.
Steroids marketed for animal use could also be abused by bodybuilders looking to rapidly increase muscle mass. The drugs testosterone enanthate (testosteron enantat) are not sold over the counter in most areas, but may be available through illegal means. The health dangers of abusing these drugs can be significant with high doses or long-term use.