Topical corticosteroids, or steroids like cortisone or hydrocortisone, are used for many different inflammatory conditions like allergies, eczema and psoriasis in humans. You might even put some on a nasty bug bite! They are also used in veterinary medicine commonly for inflammation for many things, such as symptoms associated with ear and skin infections, for example. While topical steroids are generally regarded as safe, anytime your pet ingests a topical medication there is a possibility of a reaction. Most common side effects of ingesting a topical steroids are the same as ingesting oral steroids, such as increased drinking and urination, increased appetite, and even stomach upset like vomiting and diarrhea. However, large amounts (measured by the dose compared to the size of your pet) could lead to more serious side effects or more extreme side effects, such as black tarry stools.