Ciclosporin A (CsA) has potent immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory activity that has been exploited in human medicine to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs and to manage atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Over the past decade, CsA has been employed more frequently in veterinary dermatology and its value in the management of several canine and feline dermatoses is now well established. CsA inhibits calcineurin phosphatase, suppressing T cell activation and the synthesis of T cell cytokines consequently impairing the activity of B cells, antigen-presenting cells, mast cells, basophils and eosinophils. The pharmacokinetics of CsA are similar in humans, dogs and cats and the drug has a wide safety margin in dogs, cats and rabbits. Adverse effects, principally transient vomiting and soft faeces/diarrhoea, may be seen shortly after instituting treatment but often resolve despite continuing treatment. Gingival hyperplasia and cutaneous effects such as hirsutism may occur after prolonged treatment.