Dexamethasone Dosage for Horses

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Keep horses on dexamethosone therapy under observation for side effects such as laminitis.
Keep horses on dexamethosone therapy under observation for side effects such as laminitis. (Image: Horse image by skucina from Fotolia.com)

When treating your horse for inflammatory problems ranging from skin allergies to arthritis, your veterinarian might prescribe the corticosteroid medication dexamethasone because it has a greater effect on these symptoms than many older steroids do.

Administration

Dexamethasone should be administered via either intramuscular or intravenous injection. The dosage ranges from 2.5 to 5 mg depending on the severity of the horse's condition, the horse's tolerance of steroids and the length of the prescribed treatment, which is usually between three and seven days. Over dosage can cause drowsiness and lethargy, both of which should lessen within 24 hours.

Warnings

Watch horses receiving dexamethasone carefully because the medication can hide indications of infection. Furthermore, except in an emergency, do not give the steroid to horses with chronic kidney infection or those suffering from Cushing's Syndrome.

Storage

Dexamethasone comes in multiple dose vials that contain 100 ml. Each milliliter of the vial contains 2 mg of medication. These vials should be stored at temperatures between 36 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

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