M Foreman, GB Cherubini
Dexamethasone is the glucocorticoid of choice in many human inflammatory and immune-mediated conditions, given its reported effectiveness and limited side effect profile. In veterinary medicine, the glucocorticoid of choice is prednisone, however the safety of longer-term use of dexamethasone has not previously been studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety, effectiveness and side effects of dexamethasone use as the glucocorticoid treatment for masticatory muscle myositis in dogs - an immune-mediated inflammatory condition. 93% of dogs showed a clinical improvement within two weeks of treatment, and 100% by ten weeks. 35% of dogs showed adverse reactions, however these were all mild and resolved with tapering of the dexamethasone dose. In conclusion, dexamethasone can be safely and effectively used for the treatment of masticatory muscle myositis in dogs, and should be considered for use in these cases, either alone or alongside additional immunosuppressive medications. Side effects are mild and resolve with tapering of the dexamethasone dose.