Opportunistic fungal infections in dogs treated with ciclosporin and glucocorticoids: eight cases

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Abstract

Glucocorticoids are the standard of care for the treatment of immune-mediated disorders, and ciclosporin is increasingly being used off-label as an adjunct immunosuppressive drug in dogs. However, opportunistic infections can develop during combination immunosuppressive regimens. This case series describes atypical fungal infections in eight dogs treated with immunosuppressive dosages of glucocorticoids and ciclosporin. The median duration of combined treatment prior to the identification of fungal infection was 31 (range, 13 to 201) days, although two dogs received glucocorticoids for prolonged periods prior to the addition of ciclosporin. The estimated prevalence of serious fungal infections with this drug combination appears to be low (approximately 1 · 67%), but these infections led directly or indirectly to death or euthanasia in five of eight (63%) dogs. These cases highlight the need for frequent clinical monitoring of dogs receiving immunosuppressive dosages of glucocorticoids and ciclosporin.

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