OBJECTIVE To investigate systemic changes following low-dosage prednisolone administration in dogs.
ANIMALS 4 healthy purpose-bred adult male Beagles.
PROCEDURES Dogs were administered prednisolone PO at a dosage of 2 mg/kg/d for 2 weeks, 1 mg/kg/d for 4 weeks, and 0.5 mg/kg/d for 3 weeks. Body weight, blood pressure, hepatic size and echogenicity, percentage of vacuolated hepatocytes, serum hepatic enzyme activities and glucose concentration, adrenal gland size, and pancreatic echogenicity were evaluated weekly for 9 weeks.
RESULTS The only significant change identified was an increase in hepatic echogenicity, assessed by measuring liver-kidney contrast on ultrasonographic images. Increases in hepatic size and percentage of vacuolated hepatocytes were identified, but values did not differ from baseline values. Similarly, serum hepatic enzyme activities increased, but changes were mild and not significantly different from baseline values. Body weight, pancreatic echogenicity, and serum glucose concentration did not show noticeable changes. Mild systemic hypertension was seen, but blood pressure was not significantly different from the baseline value. Similarly, adrenal gland size steadily decreased during the first 6 weeks and increased again after the prednisolone dosage was decreased to 0.5 mg/kg/d. However, mean adrenal gland size was not significantly different from the baseline value at any time.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that in dogs, administration of prednisolone at a low dosage was associated with minimal systemic effects.