The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a standard therapeutic protocol of prednisolone (Pred) on glucose homeostasis in atopic dogs and compare it with previously published data for ciclosporin A (CsA). The central aim of the study was to assess and compare the effects of standard therapeutic protocols of prednisolone (Pred) and ciclosporin A (CsA) on glucose homeostasis in dogs with atopic dermatitis (CAD). Both treatments significantly reduced the physical signs of CAD, as determined by the canine atopic dermatitis extent and severity index version 3 (CADESI-03) and the Edinburgh Pruritus Scale (EPS). Post-treatment plasma glucose concentrations were not significantly different in the two groups, but serum insulin concentrations were significantly higher following Pred therapy (P <0.05). Serum fructosamine concentrations were not significantly different pre- and post-treatment with Pred, although previous studies had shown that CsA treatment increased fructosamine concentrations (P <0.005). The two treatment groups were recruited in a similar timeframe, were numerically matched and there were no differences in CADESI-03 and EPS scores between the CsA and Pred groups either before or after treatment. Thus, both CsA and Pred treatment were associated with mild disturbances in glucose metabolism, but only CsA therapy resulted in a significant increase in fructosamine concentrations. This information may be relevant to clinicians when considering therapeutic options for dogs with atopic dermatitis which already have impaired glucose homeostasis. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.