Dexamethasone should be under close observation. Because of the anti-inflammatory action of corticosteroids, signs of infection may be masked and it may be necessary to stop treatment until a further diagnosis is made. Overdosage of some glucocorticoids may result in sodium retention, fluid retention, potassium loss, and weight gain. Dexamethasone may be administered to animals with acute or chronic bacterial infections providing the infections are controlled with appropriate antibiotic or chemotherapeutic agents.
Doses greater than those recommended in horses may produce transient drowsiness or lethargy in some horses. The lethargy usually abates in 24 hours. Use of corticosteroids, depending on the dose, duration, and specified steroid, may result in inhibition of endogenous steroid production following drug withdrawal. In patients presently receiving or recently withdrawn from systemic corticosteroid treatments, therapy with a rapidly acting corticosteroid should be considered in unusually stressful situations.
Clinical and experimental data have demonstrated that corticosteroids administered orally or parenterally to animals may induce the first stage of parturition when administered during the last trimester of pregnancy and may precipitate premature parturition followed by dystocia, fetal death, retained placenta, and metritis. Additionally, corticosteroids administered to dogs, rabbits, and rodents during pregnancy have produced cleft palate. Other congenital anomalies including deformed forelegs, phocomelia, and anasarca have been reported in offspring of dogs which received corticosteroids during pregnancy. A withdrawal period has not been established for this product in pre-ruminating calves. Do not use in calves to be processed for veal.
Side effects, such as SAP and SGPT enzyme elevations, weight loss, anorexia, polydipsia, and polyuria, have occurred following the use of synthetic corticosteroids in dogs. Vomiting and diarrhea occasionally bloody have been observed in cats and dogs. Cushing&rsquos Syndrome in dogs has been reported in association with prolonged or repeated steroid therapy. Corticosteroids reportedly cause laminitis in horses.