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Prednisolone therapy for chronic hepatitis in English springer spaniels: a prospective study of 12 cases
  1. William Bayton,
  2. Penny J Watson and
  3. Nicholas H Bexfield
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to William Bayton, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK; wab38{at}


Background English springer spaniels (ESS) show an increased risk of chronic hepatitis (CH). In a previous study of 68 ESS with CH, in which only one dog received corticosteroids, a median survival time of 189 days was noted. Some ESS with CH appear to improve with prednisolone treatment; therefore, we aimed to investigate the response to prednisolone in this breed.

Participants ESS with histologically confirmed idiopathic CH were treated with prednisolone 1–2 mg/kg/day. Nine female and three male ESS were enrolled (median age at diagnosis of five years). Patients were monitored clinically and had biochemistry samples taken to assess markers of hepatocellular damage and function.

Results The mean starting dose of prednisolone was 1.1 mg/kg/day. All symptomatic patients showed an initial clinical improvement. Two cases were euthanased while receiving prednisolone. The median time since diagnosis is 1715 days (range: 672–2105 days) and the remaining patients are clinically well, with seven patients still receiving a mean dose of 0.4 mg/kg prednisolone every other day. Statistical analysis demonstrated significant (P<0.05) reductions in serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase and bilirubin following 2–4 weeks of prednisolone treatment.

Conclusion This study demonstrates improved clinical and biochemical parameters when some ESS with CH are managed with prednisolone and standard supportive treatments.

  • hepatic disease
  • dogs
  • histopathology
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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