• Open Access

Effects of Prednisone on Blood Lactate Concentrations in Healthy Dogs


  • Data collection was completed at the University of Montreal Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Presented in abstract form at the Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists meeting, Barcelona, October 14–16, 2008.

Corresponding author: S. Boysen, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1; e-mail: srboysen@ucalgary.ca.


Background: Glucocorticoids affect carbohydrate and lactate metabolism.

Hypothesis: Administration of prednisone to healthy dogs will result in clinically relevant hyperlactatemia.

Animals: Twelve healthy adult Beagle dogs.

Methods: Prospective, controlled experimental study. Twelve healthy adult Beagles were divided into 2 groups (3 of each sex per group). One group served as control. The other group received 2 treatments: low, 1 mg/kg prednisone PO q24h for 2 weeks; high, 4 mg/kg prednisone PO q24h for 2 weeks. A washout period of 6 weeks separated the treatments. Blood samples were drawn for whole blood lactate measurement on day (D) 0, D4, and D14 and measured in duplicate.

Results: Compared with the control group, low and high groups had significantly higher blood lactate concentrations at D4 and D14. There was no difference at D0. There was no effect of time within the control group. In the low and high groups, blood lactate concentration was increased at D4 and D14 versus D0. Blood lactate concentration was greater in the high group than the low group at D14 only.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Dogs treated with prednisone experience statistically significant increases in blood lactate concentrations, which can result in type B hyperlactatemia. In such cases, improving tissue perfusion, treatment for the commonest form of hyperlactatemia (type A) would be unnecessary.