Objective— To evaluate outcome of renal transplantation in dogs administered cyclosporine, azathioprine, and prednisolone immunosuppression.
Study Design— Prospective clinical study.
Animals— Fifteen dogs with chronic renal failure.
Results— Nine dogs died within 1 month of surgery; 5 died from complications associated with generalized thromboembolism. Three dogs survived for 6–25 months. Three dogs alive at the time of this report have survived 22–48 months; however, all 3 dogs have had bacterial infections that responded to antibiotic therapy. There was no biochemical evidence of acute allograft rejection in any dog. Perioperative use of enoxaparin may have prevented thromboembolism in 5 dogs.
Conclusions— Triple drug immunosuppressive therapy used in this study prevented acute renal allograft rejection in 6 dogs that survived >4 weeks; however, immunosuppression was excessive, resulting in an unacceptable frequency of infection and other drug-related complications. Perioperative anticoagulation therapy seem to be warranted.
Clinical Relevance— Survival time and quality of life for this group of dogs was poor; however, there was no evidence of acute rejection in the dogs surviving >4 weeks. This protocol should only be used if the degree of immunosuppression is reduced, and early evidence of allograft rejection is monitored by renal biopsy or markers of lymphocyte activation.