Duration of increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity in dogs receiving different glucocorticoid doses

Res Vet Sci. 2002 Jun;72(3):201-4. doi: 10.1053/rvsc.2001.0541.


Exposure to exogenous glucocorticoids can variably increase the serum alkaline phosphatase (alp) activity, however, the duration of this effect in dogs has not been determined. In this study, three groups of ten clinically normal adult dogs were administered different types of glucocorticoids at therapeutic doses. Group 1 received prednisone 1 mg kg day(-1)p.o. for 3 weeks; Group 2 received a single dose of methylprednisone acetate 1.1 mg kg day(-1)s.c.; Group 3 received dexamethasone 0.25 mg kg day(-1)p.o. for 1 week. In Group 1 elevations were statistically significant on days 7, 14 and 21 (P<0.01, P<0.001, P<0.001, respectively). After discontinuing therapy serum alp returned to baseline levels in 7 days. In Group 2, serum alp activity remained significantly elevated for 3 weeks after therapy (P<0.05, P<0.001, P<0.01 on days 7, 14 and 21 respectively). In Group 3, serum alp levels were significantly increased after 1 week of therapy (P<0.001) returning to basal levels 2 weeks after discontinuing glucocorticoid administration. In conclusion, duration of increased serum alp activity was variable and with the protocols assessed a 3-week period for short-acting glucocorticoids and more than 4 weeks for long-acting methylprednisone may be required to return to baseline levels in all dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Dogs / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylprednisolone / pharmacology
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Prednisone / pharmacology
  • Reference Values


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Methylprednisolone Acetate
  • Dexamethasone
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Prednisone
  • Methylprednisolone