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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

A Pilot Randomized Trial to Compare Polyuria and Polydipsia during a Short Course of Prednisolone or Methylprednisolone in Dogs with Atopic Dermatitis

Lokianskiene, Viktorija; Bergvall, Kerstin; Olivry, Thierry


Simple Summary Glucocorticoids (a.k.a. steroids) are often used to treat allergic skin diseases in dogs, but they commonly cause side-effects, such as increased drinking (polydipsia) and urination (polyuria). Veterinarians have long believed that the steroid methylprednisolone causes less drinking and urination than prednisolone. We performed a clinical trial in which dogs with atopic dermatitis were treated either with prednisolone or methylprednisolone at the beginning of an elimination diet. After two weeks, the owners did not notice any significant increase in drinking. Most dogs had a reduction in the specific gravity (that is the density) of the urine, which signals a more diluted and abundant urine, but there was no significant difference between the two steroids for urine dilution. In conclusion, there were no significant changes in either drinking and urine dilution when giving prednisolone or methylprednisolone to allergic dogs for two weeks. A longer treatment duration or higher doses might give different results, however. Glucocorticoids are widely used to treat canine allergic disorders, but they frequently cause polyuria and polydipsia (PUPD). At equipotent dosages, oral methylprednisolone is believed to cause less PUPD than prednisolone. We performed a pilot randomized, open, parallel trial with 22 dogs with nonseasonal AD receiving either prednisolone or methylprednisolone at equipotent dosages, once daily for 14 days during the first phase of a restriction-provocation dietary trial. Before and on days 3, 7, and 14 after starting the glucocorticoids, owners estimated water consumption for 24 h. On the same days and before the glucocorticoid was given, owners collected the first-morning urine to determine the urine specific gravity (USG). There were no significant differences between the prednisolone and methylprednisolone groups on days 3, 7, and 14 when comparing the changes in water intake from baseline. Most dogs from both groups exhibited a slight reduction in USG during the study. Still, there was no significant difference in USG changes between the groups on any of these three reevaluation days. In conclusion, the administration of two weeks of oral prednisolone and methylprednisolone at equipotent anti-inflammatory dosages at the beginning of an elimination diet did not lead to significant differences in water intake and USG.


atopic dermatitis; dog; methylprednisolone; prednisolone; polyuria-polydipsia

Published in

Veterinary Sciences
2022, Volume: 9, number: 9, article number: 490
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Clinical Science

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