Background: Although prednisone and metronidazole are commonly used to treat canine inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), no randomized-controlled trials have been performed.
Hypothesis: Combination drug therapy with prednisone and metronidazole will be more effective than prednisone alone for treatment of canine IBD. Reduction in disease severity will be accompanied by decreased canine IBD activity index (CIBDAI) scores and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations.
Animals: Fifty-four pet dogs diagnosed with IBD of varying severity.
Methods: Dogs were randomized to receive oral prednisone (1 mg/kg; n = 25) or prednisone and metronidazole (10 mg/kg; n = 29) twice daily for 21 days. Clinical (CIBDAI) scores and serum CRP were determined at diagnosis and after 21 days of drug therapy. The primary efficacy measure was remission at 21 days, defined as a 75% or greater reduction in baseline CIBDAI score.
Results: Differences between treatments in the rate of remission (both exceeding 80%) or the magnitude of its change over time were not observed. CRP concentrations in prednisone-treated dogs were increased because of many dogs having active disease. Both treatments reduced CRP in comparison with pretreatment concentrations. An interaction between CIBDAI and CRP was identified in 42 of 54 dogs (78%), whereas 8 of 54 dogs (15%) showed disagreement between these indices.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Prednisone is as effective as combined treatment with prednisone and metronidazole for induction therapy of canine IBD. CRP may be normal or increased in dogs with IBD and may be useful in assessing the response of individual dogs to treatment along with changes in the CIBDAI.