Cyclosporine for Dog with Allergies
My 7 year old dachshund Sadie has been on cyclosporine for almost 2 years because none of the other allergy treatments would help her (we started with OTC allergy meds, then had her allergy tested, did the allergy shots and tried coritzone shots and tablets).
I've heard the cyclosporine is a poison and it can do more harm than good.
Anybody out there have their dog or other pet on cyclosporine? Any associated problems?
It is a dangerous drug. There is some research showing that it makes cancer cells grow and convert into more malignant cancer cells. Some owners have reported that their dogs developed very aggressive cancer within a short time period of being on the drug.
Now I'm not sure what else you can do if the dog has severe allergies. Have you tried prednisone? or steroid shots?
I have a cat with severe allergies and am considering putting him on allergy shots it will be at least $800 for the first year if not more than that.
Have you tried a limited ingredient diet? My cat has issues with food as well as airborne allergies.
Prednisone has more and worse side effects than cyclosporine even if it is cheaper. Think excessive thirst, urination, hunger, obesity, ulcers, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle wasting/atrophy, fatty liver, weakened connective tissue (resulting in joint issues, particularly cranial cruciate tears) immune system suppression setting them up for infections (usually skin, ears and bladder), iatrogenic Cushings, iatrogenic Addison's (when chronic steroids are stopped suddenly, which could be fatal) and also can predispose a patient towards tumors just like the cyclosporin.
All drugs are 'poisons' at the right amount. Cyclosporine (Atopica) is one of the best products out there for allergic dogs. It helps make the dog comfortable and hugely diminish all the kinds and expenses it otherwise take to care for one of these guys.
Remember too, that just because a drug does one thing in one species, it doesn't mean it causes it in another. (Think ibuprofen: great for humans, deadly to dogs) One other key point is that these dogs are not going to be on this drug for decades like human transplant recipients who might get another cancer because dogs and cats just don't live that long
We tried everything with Sadie. Zyrtec, benadryl, chlortabs, cortizone shots, predinsone pills, antibiotic pills and shots, actual allergy shots, special shampoos, special diet, no treats, special laundry detergent for her bedding, we make her wear "the cone of shame" when she starts chewing on herself.
She's allergic to bermuda grass, human dander and dust.
The only thing that's helped her so far is the cyclosporine. It's expensive though; $50 per month, but it's worth it to us because she does so well on it.
She still has some issues with her tail breaking out in a little hot spots that get infected. I'm taking her in next weekend to get it looked at again. Maybe the vet can do some blood work on her to make sure that she's ok.
Have the allergies been pinpointed? If it was just a blanket statement, look at your dog food. I know of dogs that have had problems with the soybean meal which is added to increase the protein. We don't really know what is in dog food. The label may say chicken but what, beaks and claws, droppings? Who knows?
Yes she is on special dog food for dogs with allergies. It's called hydrolyzed protein, RX diet from the doggie dermatologist. She does not get treats or table scraps. She's only allowed to have her dog food, apples and green beans per the vet. We are super strict about that.
Be careful with the Rx diet. My cat does not tolerate something in the RX diet. I'm not sure what, but the last time I tried him on it he started itching and had diarrhea.
It may be worth trying a novel protein source. Addiction or Wild calling might be a good food to try as they limit the ingredients and have some novel protein sources.
In the studies I have seen, Atopica can sometimes be phased out. IIRC, after three years of it, they were able to phase it out and have half the dogs remain comfortable, as if it had 'reset' their immune systems somehow. Same thing with the shots. Of course, there is the other half that have their allergies blow up into a giant mess again when they tried...
If the animal needs it, yes, Cyclosporine (Atopica) is often a life-long medication.
Took both weenies to the vet today for their annual shots. Also had the vet do a metabolic panel on Sadie. She's healthy as a horse ;). He said there is no reason to take her off the cyclosporine especially since it's helped her so much. Her funky looking tail is unrelated to any known side effects cyclosporine may cause. He gave her a cortisone shot, anti-fungal and antibiotic pills that she'll have to take for a while.
I'm just so glad my baby girl is going to be alright!
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