• Open Access

Randomized, Controlled Trial of Budesonide and Prednisone for the Treatment of Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs




Budesonide has been used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in dogs, but no controlled studies have been performed to evaluate efficacy of this treatment.


To compare budesonide and prednisone for induction therapy of IBD in dogs by using IBD activity index scores and evaluating frequency and severity of owner-reported adverse effects.


Forty client-owned dogs with newly diagnosed idiopathic IBD were enrolled between April 2001 and January 2004; 34 dogs completed the 6 week study.


Double-blinded, randomized controlled trial. Dogs were randomized to receive either pure powder-based budesonide (3–7 kg: 1 mg PO q24h, 7.1–15 kg: 2 mg PO q24h, 15.1–30 kg: 3 mg PO q24h, >30 kg: 5 mg PO q24h) for 6 weeks or prednisone (1 mg/kg PO q12h × 3 weeks then 0.5 mg/kg PO q12h × 3 weeks). IBD activity index (IBDAI) scores were determined at diagnosis and after 6 weeks of treatment. Pet owners completed weekly questionnaires regarding clinical signs and incidence and severity of adverse effects.


Significant differences in remission rates (>75% decrease in IBDAI scores) were not observed with a remission rate of 78% in the budesonide group and 69% in the prednisone group (P = .70). Frequency of adverse effects was similar between the 2 groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

There was no demonstrable difference in remission rates or incidence of adverse effects between prednisone and budesonide for induction therapy of IBD in dogs.