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Are you wondering if your dog can take Atopica for a skin-related allergy?
You’ll be happy to hear that the drug has actually been FDA-approved for canines diagnosed with Atopy.
That’s right! Atopica is an option for dogs with stubborn atopic dermatitis (AKA eczema), Allergic rhinitis (AKA hay fever) among other conditions.
But here’s the deal:
While Atopica works, it is not intended for long-term use. Eliminating the actual source(s) of your dog’s allergies is the best approach.
Dogs Can Take Atopica
Though your vet must prescribe this enzyme inhibitor as is the case with Apoquel.
The Documented Side Effects
Go it alone, by giving leftover Atopica, and you can expect your dog to experience diarrhea and vomiting.
Gastrointestinal problems are also common, particularly when the drug is initially started. Ear inflammation is the next most prevalent problem.
Some dogs experience an overgrowth of the gums ie. gingival hyperplasia.
Below is a screenshot taken from Novartis literature:
It shows the commonality of side effects based on an Atopica study involving 265 dogs. As you can see, there are numerous complications.
Safe Use of Ciclosporin
Dogs should only be given Atopica in doses that limit the drug to that of a immunomodulator as opposed to an immunosuppressant role.
In other words, a moderate treatment regimen tends to result in Ciclosporin having far fewer side effects.
Atopica Dosing Information
Your veterinarian will calculate Atopica dosage based on several factors.
Breed, age, size and weight all go into determining the right amount for your dog.
Looking for an approximate rule of thumb?
Somewhere around 2mg of Atopica for each pound of the dog’s body weight given only once daily falls within what most vets consider the target range.
But again, dosing isn’t so simple!
The amount as well as the frequency are often tapered after some time.
It cannot be stressed enough:
Professional help is a must. Follow your vet’s detailed instructions for safe and effective use.
A Few Important Precautions
Your animal should be evaluated to see if they are a good candidate for this drug.
Diabetic dogs or those with kidney problems are at increased risk when given Atopica. Further, this prescription should never be administered during a pregnancy.
Last but not least…
Your dog may be susceptible to infections as well as development of neoplasia while on Ciclosporin.
Warning: Puppies under 6 months old, and especially those under 4 pounds, should not be given Atopica.
Have an Allergy Action Plan
Make a concerted effort to tackle allergy-related problems at the source — before you turn to Atopica.
Try to identify offending allergens and remove them from your dog’s environment. It could be as simple as a seasonal blossom causing itchiness or sneezing.
The Bottom Line
Atopica has helped thousands of dogs with skin problems. It does reduce scratching, itching or gnawing.
But Ciclosporin, like nearly all medications, comes with a possibility of side effects.
First, get your precious pet checked out. Rely on the remedy and dosing guidelines that your vet recommends.
The truth is Atopica may or may not make sense for your dog; it depends on their situation.