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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Effect of 1 mg/kg oral prednisolone on biochemical analytes in ten dogs: a cross‑over study

Pettersson, Helena; Ekstrand, Carl; Hillström, Anna; Lilliehöök, Inger


Prednisolone is used for treatment of inflammatory, allergic, neoplastic, and immune-mediated diseases in dogs. As a glucocorticoid, prednisolone has biochemical effects, which may interfere with the interpretation of biochemistry test results. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of prednisolone treatment in an anti-inflammatory dose on common biochemical analytes in dogs and to evaluate the clinical relevance of the changes. Ten beagle dogs, enrolled in a cross-over study, were treated with oral prednisolone (1 mg/kg 24 h) for 10 days. Blood samples were collected at day 0, 1, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12, 16, and 20. Data was analyzed using a general linear model with time and treatment as fixed factors. Pairwise comparisons were done between prednisolone and control period for each dog and sampling. Significant results were further evaluated for clinical relevance using laboratory-specific reference intervals and reference change values (RCVs), when available. Statistically significant changes were observed for ALP activity and iron concentration, which increased to levels exceeding the RCV, and several results were outside reference intervals. Phosphate and bile acids increased significantly, while amylase, lipase, and cholesterol decreased significantly, but with mean/median results remaining within reference intervals. Anti-inflammatory prednisolone treatment did not induce significant changes in ALT, GLDH, GGT, cPLI, glucose, or calcium. Treatment with an anti-inflammatory dose of prednisolone induced changes in several analytes. Only the increases in ALP and iron were of such magnitude that they are expected to affect the clinical interpretation of test results.


Canine; Glucocorticoids; Biochemistry; Laboratory analysis

Published in

Comparative Clinical Pathology
2021, Volume: 30, pages: 519-528