To investigate the effect of cyclosporine (2 or 5 mg/kg every 24 hours) on perianal fistulae (PAF) lesions. Blinded randomized, prospective trial. Dogs (n = 20) with perianal fistulae. Dogs were randomly assigned to administration of either 2 mg/kg (n = 10) or 5 mg/kg (n=10) of cyclosporine orally every 24 hours for 8 weeks. Lesion surface area was measured, lesion severity was graded using a visual analog scale, and the presence and severity of clinical signs recorded every 2 weeks. Lesion variables were significantly reduced in both groups after 8 weeks and owners also reported a reduction in clinical sign severity. The 5 mg/kg dose rate significantly accelerated lesion resolution compared with 2 mg/kg. In the 2 mg/kg group, 20% of dogs had complete resolution of clinical signs and 10% had resolution of lesions. In the 5 mg/kg group, 40% of dogs had complete resolution of clinical signs and 60% had resolution of lesions. A dose rate of 5 mg/kg every 24 hours was more effective at reducing the surface area and severity of PAF lesions than 2 mg/kg every 24 hours but less effective at resolving PAF lesions than previous studies using dose rates > or =5 mg/kg every 12 hours. Cyclosporine at 5 mg/kg every 24 hours may be useful for the palliation of PAF lesions.

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