Prednisolone therapy for atopic dermatitis is less effective in dogs with lower pretreatment serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations

Marcel Kovalik, Keith L Thoday, Jacqueline Berry, Adrianus Van Den Broek, Richard J Mellanby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations were measured in 20 dogs with atopic dermatitis prior to treatment with a standard therapeutic dosage of prednisolone (0.93-1.06 mg/kg) every other day for 5 weeks after 7 days of treatment with the same dosage once daily. The severity of their physical signs was scored before and 6 weeks after prednisolone treatment by the canine atopic dermatitis extent and severity index version 3 (CADESI-03) and the Edinburgh Pruritus Scale (EPS). The 20 dogs with atopic dermatitis that were treated with prednisolone did not have significantly lower serum concentrations of 25(OH)D than a group of 36 healthy dogs, and the physical severity of the atopic dermatitis was not correlated to pretreatment serum 25(OH)D concentrations. However, dogs which had a marked improvement of their physical signs, defined by a post-treatment EPS score of 0 and/or an 85% reduction in CADESI-03 score, had significantly higher pretreatment serum 25(OH)D concentrations than dogs with a suboptimal response (P = 0.003 and P = 0.03, respectively). Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were also measured in a previously published cohort of atopic dogs that were treated with ciclosporin. This cohort of dogs was recruited in a similar time frame to the prednisolone-treated dogs, and all samples were handled in the same way. In contrast to the prednisolone-treated dogs, there was no significant difference in 25(OH)D concentrations in dogs that responded optimally to ciclosporin compared with suboptimal responders. Additional studies are required to establish whether vitamin D has a synergistic therapeutic effect with prednisolone in dogs with atopic dermatitis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-e28
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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