Objective—To determine whether inoculation of healthy dogs with a recombinant peptide containing 3 copies of ACTH would result in the production of antibodies against ACTH and whether this would affect pituitary-adrenocortical function.
Animals—8 healthy dogs.
Procedures—A recombinant peptide consisting of 3 copies of ACTH fused to a T-helper cell epitope was produced in Escherichia coli. The protein was inoculated into 4 dogs at 4-week intervals (total of 3 inoculations/dog). Four control dogs received inoculations of PBS solution mixed with adjuvant. Blood samples were collected for determination of antibody titers against ACTH and for measurement of basal and ACTH-stimulated plasma cortisol concentrations.
Results—Inoculation with the ACTH vaccine resulted in production of anti-ACTH antibodies in all 4 dogs. Titers were initially high but declined by 15 weeks after the initial inoculation. Basal cortisol concentrations were unaffected by inoculation with the ACTH vaccine. Plasma cortisol concentrations in response to ACTH stimulation were reduced at 12 weeks, but not at 15 weeks, after the first inoculation.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Inoculation of dogs with a recombinant ACTH vaccine resulted in the production of antibodies against the hormone. Anti-ACTH titers were initially high but were not sustained. The only detectable endocrine effect in treated dogs was a reduction in cortisol concentration in response to ACTH stimulation in 2 of 4 dogs at 12 weeks after the first inoculation. The effect of vaccine administration on the pituitary-adrenal system was subtle and transient.
Objective—To compare results obtained from assay of total thyroxine (T4) concentration in serum of dogs and cats by use of 4 methods.
Sample Population—Serum samples obtained from 98 dogs and 100 cats and submitted by veterinarians to an endocrine testing laboratory.
Procedure—Total T4 concentration was determined in each sample by use of 4 assay methods. Assay methods included a radioimmunoassay (RIA) marketed for use in dogs, an RIA for use in humans, a chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay for use in humans, and an in-house ELISA.
Results—Total T4 concentrations obtained by use of all methods were significantly correlated. Bias-plot comparison revealed similar good overall agreement. Total T4 concentrations determined by use of the RIA marketed for use in dogs were generally lower than concentrations measured by use of the other methods. Clinical comparisons were made by evaluation of the T4 results in the context of the reference range recommended by each laboratory. A difference was found for clinical comparisons on the basis of T4 assay method when used to identify dogs as possible hypothyroid suspects. This difference was related more to the reference range used than to the absolute T4 value. The number of hyperthyroid-suspect cats with T4 values greater than the reference range was the same for each of the 4 assay methods.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Total T4 concentrations determined in dogs and cats by use of 4 commonly used methods provided similar and consistent results.
Objective—To evaluate the effects of oral administration of controlled-ileal-release (CIR) budesonide on the pituitary-adrenal axis in dogs with a normal gastrointestinal mucosal barrier.
Animals—10 healthy dogs.
Procedures—5 dogs received CIR budesonide orally once daily for days 1 through 28, and 5 dogs received placebo. Treatment group dogs that weighed < 18 kg received 2 mg of CIR budesonide; treatment group dogs that weighed ≥ 18 kg received 3 mg of CIR budesonide. In the treatment and placebo groups, there were 3 and 2 dogs, respectively, that weighed > 18 kg. Plasma cortisol concentration before and after ACTH stimulation, basal plasma endogenous ACTH concentration, and body weight were measured on days 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35. Serum biochemical analysis, CBC determination, and urinalysis were performed on days 0, 28, and 35. On days 7, 14, and 21, serum ALP and ALT activities, serum glucose concentration, and urine specific gravity were obtained in lieu of a full hematologic evaluation and urinalysis.
Results—Basal and post-ACTH stimulation plasma cortisol concentrations and plasma endogenous ACTH concentration were significantly suppressed by treatment. No other variables were altered over the course of the study.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Budesonide suppresses pituitary-adrenal function in dogs with normal gastrointestinal integrity, whereas other variables often affected by glucocorticoids were not altered by a 4-week treatment course. Budesonide may be a good alternative to traditional cortico-steroids if used short-term for acute exacerbations of inflammatory bowel disease.
Objective—To evaluate the effects of oral administration of anti-inflammatory dosages of prednisone for 28 days on serum aldosterone, cortisol, and electrolyte concentrations in clinically normal dogs.
Procedures—On days 1 through 28, 5 dogs received prednisone (0.55 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) and 5 dogs received similar treatments with a placebo (empty capsules). Serum cortisol and aldosterone concentrations before and after ACTH stimulation testing and serum electrolyte concentrations were measured before (day 0 [baseline]), during (days 7, 14, 21, and 28), and after (days 35 and 42) treatment.
Results—At baseline, variables did not differ between the 2 groups. Serum cortisol concentrations before and after ACTH stimulation testing did not change from baseline values in placebo-treated dogs. In prednisone-treated dogs, serum chloride and corrected chloride concentrations were significantly lower on days 7, 14, 21, and 28 and serum bicarbonate concentrations were significantly higher on days 14, 21, and 28, compared with baseline values. Serum cortisol concentrations before and after ACTH stimulation testing were significantly lower than baseline values during prednisone treatment. Serum aldosterone concentration after ACTH stimulation testing was significantly lower than baseline on day 35 (ie, 1 week after discontinuation of prednisone treatment) but returned to baseline by day 42 in prednisone-treated dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of anti-inflammatory dosages of prednisone caused significant changes in serum chloride, bicarbonate, and cortisol concentrations in clinically normal dogs. Although ACTH-stimulated serum aldosterone concentrations were unchanged from baseline during glucocorticoid administration, values decreased after treatment cessation but quickly returned to baseline values.
PROCEDURES Blood samples were obtained before and at completion of surgery. Serum cortisol and aldosterone and plasma cACTH concentrations were measured by use of validated radioimmunoassays. Changes in concentrations (postoperative concentration minus preoperative concentration) were calculated. Data were analyzed by use of the Wilcoxon signed rank test, Pearson correlation analysis, and Mann-Whitney rank sum test.
RESULTS Cortisol, aldosterone, and cACTH concentrations increased significantly from before to after surgery. Although cortisol and aldosterone concentrations increased in almost all dogs, cACTH concentrations decreased in 6 of 32 (19%) dogs. All dogs had preoperative cortisol concentrations within the reference range, but 24 of 39 (62%) dogs had postoperative concentrations above the reference range. A correlation between the change in cACTH concentration and the change in cortisol concentration was not detected.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Laparotomy caused a significant increase in serum cortisol and aldosterone concentrations. In most dogs, but not all dogs, plasma cACTH concentrations increased. Lack of correlation between the change in cACTH concentration and the change in cortisol concentration suggested that increased postoperative cortisol concentrations may have been attributable to ACTH-independent mechanisms, an early ACTH increase that caused a sustained cortisol release, or decreased cortisol clearance. Further studies are indicated to evaluate the effects of various anesthetic protocols and minimally invasive surgical techniques on the stress response.