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.