What is Dexamethasone Used For in Cats?

Dexamethasone is used as a medication in humans and animals as well. You might know it by its market names such as Azium, Decadron, Dexasone, Neoforde, and much more.

The reason it goes by so many names on the market is that it is a fairly common glucaticoid steroid.

ANWA Adjustable Cat Cone Collar Soft, Cute Cat Recovery Collar, Cat Cones After Surgery for Kittens

This formula- Dexamethasone- is used to treat a number of maladies and diseases, such as inflammatory conditions, adrenal gland disease, and autoimmune diseases.

A non-conventional use of dexamethasone is its use in the diagnosis of Cushing’s disease – a form of a genetic disorder. This is also considered a non-conventional approach to diagnosis, but it shows success.

Cat Recovery Suit After Surgery, Pet Cone E-Collar Alternative, Elastic Professional Surgical Bandage Shirt Costume for Puppy Kitten Neutered/Abdominal Wound/Skin Damage/Weaning (M, Pink Cat)

However, dexamethasone is a common medication that can easily treat infection and inflammation in cats.

Veterinary Use

Dexamethasone was not originally intended to be used for animals. The drug was a prescription for humans; therefore, it is used as an off-label or extra-label in animals.

The drug is used as an extra label for cats, dogs, and other small mammals. Much like its unexpected use in the diagnosis of Cushing’s disease, it is also used in veterinary practice.

In Clover Spry Daily Respiratory and Ocular Support Soft Chews for Cats, with L-Lysine, Superfoods, and Prebiotics for a Strong Immune System, 2.1 oz. (60 count)

The drug has a wide umbrella in which its action is prescribed, which is explained in detail further on; so, it is a common drug in veterinary medicine.

Especially used for inflammatory conditions, where this drug helps bring the inflammation down in animals. 

In Clover Spry Daily Respiratory and Ocular Support Soft Chews for Cats, with L-Lysine, Superfoods, and Prebiotics for a Strong Immune System, 2.1 oz. (60 count)

Since this drug is an off-label/extra-label it is strongly advised that it must be used at only the veterinary practitioner’s discretion and advisement.

RELATED:  Mammary Cancer in Cats - Symptoms, Treatment, Prognosis & Causes

Furthermore, dexamethasone has some side effects that must be researched before applying the dose. If your cat has a medical history, then this drug should not be administered alone.

Mode Of Administration

This drug is administered to cats in a variety of ways depending solely upon where the infection or inflammation is located inside the body.

Cat Cone Cute Cartoon Cat Recovery Collar for Cat Wound Healing Protective Pet Cone After Surgery Elizabethan Collars for Kitten and Small Dogs

Most commonly, it is administered as liquid syrup or via a tablet through oral use. This mode targets non-localized infections and difficult to detect inflammation.

The second method is via injection. The drug is injected into your cat’s body through the vein or the muscle. If your cat receives dexamethasone through this method, then the affected area may remain sore for 24 hours.

TORJOY Professional Cat Recovery Suit After Surgery, Kitten Recovery Suit for Spay to Cover Abdominal Wounds, Camouflage Cat Apparel Anti-Licking, Surgical Onesie for Cats and Dogs (M)

There is also an aerosol spray available for dexamethasone if the infection or inflammation is present in the respiratory tract. In this method the aerosol solution containing dexamethasone is sprayed into the opening of the respiratory tract -i.e., the nose and mouth- at prescribed intervals.

Lastly, for infections and diseases of the eye, dexamethasone can be applied topically as well. In pets, it is extremely difficult to administer some of these methods, therefore you should let your veterinarian perform the procedure.

Interior Cat Door - No-Flap Cat Door for Interior Door, Cat Door Interior Door for Cats Up to 20 lbs, Easy DIY Setup, Secured Installation in Minutes, No Training Needed…

For easier methods, such as oral tablets, you can give doses with food or treats. The drug can be given with or without food but it is preferred that it is given along with food.

Dexamethasone takes roughly 12 hours to work, and if your pet has been taking it for 2 weeks straight you must not stop administering it abruptly.

RELATED:  Caring for Your Cat During an Epidemic

It is difficult to see our pets in pain, especially since you are often unable to figure out the cause of this pain. It is usually due to some infection or inflammation that your cat may be in distress. Often, we think the solution is no cost pet euthanasia near me.

Meowijuana | Catnip Pawty Mix | Organic | Dried Premium 7 Herb Blend | High Potency | Perfect for Cat Toys | Grown in The USA | Feline and Cat Lover Approved

Dexamethasone In Cat Diseases

Dexamethasone is shown to have a particular benefit in alleviating shock due to infection in cats. It also helps release endotoxins to speed up your pet’s recovery time.

Dexamethasone is a common prescription drug for cats in the treatment of cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, nervous system abnormalities, liver disorders, and skin diseases.

INABA Churu Cat Treats, Grain-Free, Lickable, Squeezable Creamy Purée Cat Treat/Topper with Vitamin E & Taurine, 0.5 Ounces Each Tube, 50 Tubes, Tuna & Chicken Variety

Normally, cats, much like humans, have safeguards inside their immune system that protect them against infection. However, sometimes inflammation due to untreated infections can progress faster than the immune response. This progress can severely damage tissue and organs in your cat.

Similarly, another common problem in house-bred and domesticated cats is the risk of autoimmune disease. In the case of autoimmune disease, your cat’s immune system can attack the body for no reason leading to damage or death.

Ahomdoo Cat Tree, Ocean World Cat Tower with Sisal Scratching Post, Cat Tower for Indoor Cats, Cat Scratcher and Hanging Ball for Kittens

So, veterinarians use drugs that are from the family of steroid hormones resembling cortisone to treat infection and inflammation due to autoimmune diseases. 

Dexamethasone is a steroid that is related to cortisone, that is produced by the adrenal gland. Since the drug is fairly common and easily accessible, it is the first choice in veterinary use. Dexamethasone is the perfect steroid glycation resembling cortisone for the treatment of cats.

RELATED:  Why Does Cat Poop Smell So Bad?

It is a fairly safe formula to use, but cats with hypersensitivity or allergy to the formula must not be administered dexamethasone.

Bedsure Calming Cat Beds for Indoor Cats - Large Cat Bed Washable 20 inches, Anti Anxiety Round Fluffy Plush Faux Fur Pet Bed, Fits up to 15 lbs Pets, Camel

Similarly, a veterinary practitioner needs to administer the drug.

Common side effects of dexamethasone include vomiting, panting, sweating, increased appetite, increased thirst, and general uneasiness in cats. In case of grave concerns, your veterinarian must be contacted immediately. 

In the situation that your cat is pregnant, this drug must explicitly not be used; in its place, your veterinarian will prescribe a substitute that is more suitable to your cat’s condition. Dexamethasone is known to cause difficulty and danger in feline pregnancies.

1000+Cat Grass Seeds ,Germinate Within 3 Days Non-GM Organic Pet Products Cat Grass Seeds Planting for Indoor Garden&Outdoor Cat Gifts for Cat Lovers Cat Christmas Gift

Your veterinarian will also inform you of the common contradictions and reactions to other drugs that are common to dexamethasone, so it is best that you give an extensive medical history of your cat before the veterinarian prescribes dexamethasone as treatment. 

Read more: Albendazole for cats


Dexamethasone is an easily accessible formula present in the market by different brands and is a common steroid resembling adrenal gland cortisone.

It is an off-label drug used in veterinary medicine and used to treat a variety of conditions in cats ranging from cancer to common respiratory infections. It is also used in the treatment of dogs and other small mammals.

Dexamethasone can be administered in multiple ways, but it is strongly advised that a veterinarian should administer the dose. 

This post contains affiliate links on some of the images. You can support this blog by trying out the products recommended in this article. 

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Cristina is a licensed veterinarian who has been a cat owner since she was 12. She is passionate about giving useful advice to pet owners across the world. Her favorite topics range from pathology and novel therapies to infectious diseases and animal welfare. Her work has been featured in many online publications from The Pet Friendly House to Alpha Paw, Animal Wellness Magazine, and

0 comments on “What is Dexamethasone Used For in Cats?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.