Our 10 year old mixed breed recently started to drop weight (10LBS lost in 30 days), and after a battery of tests (liver biopsy, blood panels, etc.) our vet determined that his liver was being attacked by an overreacting immune system. We started treatment with prednisone (steroids) which allowed him to start eating again, and greatly improved his liver enzymes.
Unfortunately long term use of steroids leads to muscle wasting, and we have noticed he is a bit weaker on walks or on stairs. Our vet recommended we try Cyclosporine, and after two weeks his liver labs have improved dramatically. We are now tapering him off the steroids, and hope to continue forward with only Cyclosporine and Denamarin (a liver supplement), and to completely eliminate the steroids.
Well, so far so good, and Rocky is looking and acting the best he has in months.
As of now, the only negatives I can note are as follows (reasons we gave four, not five stars):
* This is an expensive medication, BUT VetDepot has the best prices we could find anywhere
* The pills are truly "horse pills" and are very large gel-caps
* Cyclosporine must be given on an empty stomach (one hour before food, or two hours after) and can cause upset stomach. We started trying to give the med before Rocky ate breakfast, but that caused nausea. Instead we now give two hours after breakfast, and he has not had any further issues.
* While this did not affect us, apparently this is one med where the generic is not absorbed well by some animals. Luckily in our case, it appears to be working.