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Dexamethasone Side Effects

This is a discussion on Dexamethasone Side Effects within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Weaning my horse off dexamethasone
  • Can you use dexamethasone with bute

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    12-29-2012, 08:08 AM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
They are only available on Vet prescription here and are not handed out readily. My Vet lets us keep many prescription items here because we have worked with him for many years. I always call him and check with him before I use any restricted medication.

I think all of the uses described here are under Vet direction. This country is so large that Vets do not want (or have the time) to go out to ranches and give every shot or give daily medications. I used to live 75 miles from my Vet and he was the closest Vet that did any equine work. They prescribe prescription meds and leave enough with the owner to give them -- hopefully with sufficient instructions to watch carefully for side-effects.
thanks for explaining. What you say makes absolute sense.
     
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    12-29-2012, 11:27 AM
  #12
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebird    
I am a little bit concerned that Dexamethasone seems to be freely available in the USA. In the UK it is only available on prescription from a vet.
Corticosteroids occur naturally and help humans and animals to remain healthy and well. Increasing the amount of corticosteroid is a way of treating a number of different conditions which cause inflammation .
It is used to reduce inflammation and to treat a number of different diseases of the immune system.
Benefits of being on this drug can include relief from pain, inflammation and swelling.
But if it is not used properly and indiscriminately, it can cause some horrendous side effects which in worst case scenario, could be fatal (in humans as well as animals). When I was trained, it was drummed into me that any use of steroids needs monitoring and they can't just suddenly be stopped either.Do tell me if things are different outside ofthe UK? I am not criticising but I am just a little taken aback that you seem to be able to just buy steroids as required and treat horses with them if you think they need them.
LIke Cheri said, Dex is not handed out readily. We are able to keep dex on hand only due to a strong relationship with our vets that goes back many years. It's not that easy to get a bottle otherwise. As for the horrific side effects, I've seen it first hand, and it came at the hands of a vet, not owner. This vet is very good, well known, but he made a mistake one day, and didn't take the temp of the horse before giving a shot of dex. The horse had to be put down after about a week of horrible suffering. It became apparent there was nothing that could be done.

It's a beneficial drug, but in the wrong hands, or in inexperienced hands, can be fatal. The deal I mentioned was an unfortunate mistake, but I learned do not ever give when a fever is present. Also, you have to understand how to taper off the drug. I had to do it with my border collie when a rattler bit her. It saved her life.
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    12-29-2012, 11:43 AM
  #13
Weanling
I'm one person who will not use dexamethazone on my horses, due to the fact that I have a horse with Cushing's disease and a Dex test is what they use to test for Cushing's. Since my horse with the disease is prone to founder, I will not ever use Dex on him since it could cause him to founder severely. I'm not taking that chance.
     
    12-29-2012, 02:01 PM
  #14
Green Broke
Yes, my dex is prescribed by the vet. I give him an update weekly/bi-weekly and we see how we can alter his medications. I spoke with him today and we'll be continuing the dex for a couple more weeks, but he will be taken off his bute provided he doesn't come up in pain a few days later. Communication is key, and he did tell me of the side-effects. He was actually more worried about toxicity rather than laminitis.

He'll most likely be weaned off the dex before he gets gelded. But due to his head injury, we'll have to work out a dex schedule a couple days before surgery. The anesthetics may cause inflammation, which may irritate his head injury so we'll have to try and get him as comfortable as possible and he'll be staying at the vet for the rest of the day to ensure a safe waking up.
     

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