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Interested to hear from users of Apoquel


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Hello all, 

 

I am hoping to hear from anyone who has used Apoquel for any length of time mainly in relation to its success or otherwise and side-effects etc. I know there is a lot of bad press for it on the internet but I was hoping to hear from an actual user of the product and hear their experiences/opinions etc. 

 

I have a 7 year old German Shepherd who suffers terribly from skin allergies/irritations. He eats science diet and hypoallergenic foods and while he appeared to have had digestive issues in the past (and at the same time as skin irritations :crazy:), that side of things has calmed down and been eliminated almost completely. 

 

His symptoms are scratching, chewing at himself, crusty bits here and there and fur thinning in parts, goopy eyes, ear irritations and VERY SMELLY. Mood is low and seems to lack energy or much interest when things are bad. Prefers to stay inside in the cool as I assume the heat irritates him.  

 

In other parts his fur is thick and in good condition, he is a good weight and is interested in his food and eats well. 

 

He has been unwell with this off and on for a couple of years now. It has been worse in the area we are currently living which has midges and is very humid. We are about to move to a more temperate (still sub-tropical)  climate away from the coast a bit so hopefully that may help. 

 

In the past we have used Prednisone and this is very effective at dealing with the symptoms and clearing things up quickly, but of course we are told we cannot have our animals on this long term. 


We then moved to the Cytopoint injection which was brilliant at first and then not so effective. The last injection was increased in dosage to account for his size and that did nothing at all. 

 

We have now been given Apoquel. His initial dose will be 24mg for two weeks, dropping back to 16mg per day and  then basically forever, increasing the dose temporarily should a flare up occur.

 

Within 10 hours he stopped scratching and the smell has dissipated somewhat. He is in a much better mood and has been running around outside this morning. He has just now started to paw at his nose and eyes so perhaps it is wearing off, but will try and wait a bit closer to the time he had it yesterday to give him today's dose.

 

If anyone would like to share their actual experiences with Apoquel, I would be grateful.  

 

Thank you.

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I've had a dog use Cytopoint but not Apoquel. Also had a dog on long term pred for a different issue. Personally I'd use pred before most things if using long term. Once under control you can get down to quite a low dose and not have to use every day.

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Yes, I own an Apoquel dog who still scratches if she gets into long wet grass. I have to wash her legs/feet.
Obv pred worked. We didn't skip any options. She tried Telfast and Phenergan. Exclusion diets. Liquid Cyclosporine. Cytopoint shots. Omega supplements. Everything.

Oh, and no oatmeal based shampoo.


She's the only dog I've had who was a genuine battle and despite the fact I don't like the idea of forever it's what's best for her. If the Apoquel hadn't worked she'd have been off to the Uni dermatologist. Kicking myself; I should have gone straight to them in the first place but what's done is done. :shrug: 

Anyone in the same position, I'd say straight out from experience - save money and time and itches by going straight to the specialist. 

 

 

Edited by Powerlegs
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28 minutes ago, Powerlegs said:



Anyone in the same position, I'd say straight out from experience - save money and time and itches by going straight to the specialist. 

 

 

Thanks for that. I know it is so soul destroying.

 

I did go to a specialist but it really was a waste of time from my POV. I came out none the wiser than when I went in, no tests or skin patches taken etc. Perhaps you know of a good one, but I could really see no difference from going to the specialist to going to a vet.  Except the specialist centre carpark was full of a lot more expensive cars than the vets:mad

 

Yep, I suppose in the end you have to weigh up quality of life against the pitfalls of the drugs used to 'help' them. Understanding that there is no 'cure' only management can be a bit hard too deal with as well.

 

Good luck with your little one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, afterbanns said:

I did go to a specialist but it really was a waste of time from my POV. I came out none the wiser than when I went in, no tests or skin patches taken etc. Perhaps you know of a good one, but I could really see no difference from going to the specialist to going to a vet.  Except the specialist centre carpark was full of a lot more expensive cars than the vets:mad  

 

Wow, no tests or anything? :eek: That just seems weird and pointless.
I don't know if you're in Qld (your profile says you are) but I've seen Uni Of Qld Vet Hospital recommended here several times as being really good. 

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Ah, thanks for that. This lot were in Brisbane but on the the north side and not associated with the University as far as I could see.

 

We are moving closer to Brisbane, so it might be worth checking them out. Did you have to get a referral or anything?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, afterbanns said:

Ah, thanks for that. This lot were in Brisbane but on the the north side and not associated with the University as far as I could see.

 

We are moving closer to Brisbane, so it might be worth checking them out. Did you have to get a referral or anything?

 

 


Not sure about a referral there. :) 
Sydney Uni Vet, you just call to make a specialist appointment. And get the office to request a copy of your dog's record from your vet so they have a history to work with.  

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UQ Vet Hospital is now at Gatton

 

Oil him with Keri oil, leave on for a couple of days then try bathing your dog with F10 shampoo (I found it's best to shampoo with another brand first to get the dog clean and oil-free then do the F10 after he is rinsed off)

Some links (have an on-line search for the most economical as my link is just an example)  F10

Chemist warehouse and Priceline for Keri Oil

When your dog is very dry dust him with Curash powder...make up your own with Zinc Oxide powder and cornflower, have a hunt round online for the cheapest option though you can buy Zinc Oxide powder at the chemists

This method seems to be working on my old Westie from Westie rescue though it's awfully slow in clearing up the fungal infection, I found that the home-made Curash was working just as well as the Apoquel so I discontinued them.  Maybe you can slowly transition him onto it. Worth a go as the Curash is pretty harmless

Edited by Boronia
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2 hours ago, Boronia said:

UQ Vet Hospital is now at Gatton

 

 

Thanks for that, I was wondering which campus. Gatton is actually really good for me. Thanks for the info re those remedies. Yes, transitioning to something more natural would be helpful. Just wondering if stress is a factor in all this. Household got a bit going on. Hopefully that will quiet down soon after we move and that could help...

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On 21/04/2021 at 3:03 PM, Boronia said:

Has  his thyroid levels been tested 

No, he has had no tests whatsover despite being around specialists, and vets for the same issues repeatedly. I have asked but get fobbed off. Hoping the Uni Vets might help a bit more proactively. Since on the Apoquel, things have improved quite well - though not entirely. Mood is much better, I must say. Thyroid underactivity could account for his general low mood, I imagine though. 

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I found the University of Adelaide vets very good with my itchy westie girl.  There's an internationally renown vet dermatologist there, Peter Hill, who is excellent.  Really helped my Sarah.  As a last resort, they would be worth a call and see if they will work with your vets, university or elsewhere.

 

And while I respect others opinions, I'm of the view that dry dog food has a lot to answer for.  The fact that its dry and contains no moisture (and dogs get a lot of their hydration from their food) and contains heaps of fillers of no nutritional value to is to me is a no brainer.  I haven't had any trouble with itchy dogs since I switched to a complete raw diet - chicken wings in the morning (Aldi, $3.80 a kilo) and raw meat at night (turkey and fish mixture bought from local man who makes it).  And as a bonus, the vet said my 14-16 year old puppy farm rescue westie had the best teeth she had seen in a long time in such an old dog.

 

Lastly, have a really good read of Dr Conor Brady (canine nutrutionist, not a vet) and his 'Dogs First' website and join his group on Facebook.  He's a raw feeding advocate who has just published the definitive tome on the science of raw v dry food feeding for dogs (You might have to wait for the next reprint now, maybe?) and is also sooo helpful with itchy dogs.  But be warned, he is a raw food advocate and will try and get you off the dry stuff.   Well worth the time and effort to read what he has to say and then talk with him on Facebook.  He also offers online consultations (paid).  Well worth talking to.

 

Hope that helps and good luck. 

Edited by westiemum
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On 28/04/2021 at 1:37 PM, westiemum said:
On 28/04/2021 at 1:37 PM, westiemum said:

And while I respect others opinions, I'm of the view that dry dog food has a lot to answer for.

 

Thanks for your advice there. I looked up Dr Peter Hill and he looks impressive. I will be trying to make the appointment for our boy at Uni Vets for when we get there in a couple of weeks. (we have not moved into new house yet, but am assuming I will need to book as far in advance as possible)

 

In relation to raw food diet, I would be happy to feed my dog raw food but I really think one should get guidance for amounts, types etc from a vet. Unfortunately, the vets I speak to will not even entertain raw food diets and wont help. I have even been referred to a 'chilled' loaf which is purchasable at the pet store (not even prescription diet) supposedly for dogs with allergies rather than discuss raw food...by a vet :scared: . I know I could go off and probably do it myself with all this literature around but as the prescription diet was the one thing he thrived on and as he has all these issues, I really am nervous about sorting it myself. Its just these flare ups that pop up and are getting harder to manage that is causing great concern. Really putting a lot of hope on the Uni Vets here. 

 

I remember when I was a kid, we had a fox terrier and she never got bought food from the shop (this was going back to the 1960s so not sure how much store bought food for dogs there was) she got the scraps off our plates that was home cooked and grown vegies and meats bought from the butcher. Was energetic, happy and healthy all her life and lived to a grand old age. There definitely is an industry now to perhaps make our dogs unwell or dependent on things that might not be ideal and a lot of owners running around scratching their heads on how to fix them and spending $. 

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UPDATE

 

Well the boy has been on Apoquel for nearly a fortnight now. 

 

Smell has dissipated mostly.

Yeasty build ups have gone, though a dandruff like powder still hangs about in places. Mainly around neck. He enjoys a good stiff brush of this twice a day (as well as rest of body) to shift it. 

Interest in food still good - or increased

Scratching mostly gone though as it is 'wearing off' it comes back. No feet chewing, reduced licking

Coat seems fine - thick and soft not greasy

Goopy eye is better but not completely gone. I have been advised by vet that this is an allergy issue so no point to use anything on it except a saline solution. I think between the Apoquel and the saline it is improving but not sure it wouldn't benefit from something else. 

 

One thing he does after each dose is run around like a mad thing, trying to rub his head on anything he can find looking slightly distressed. I calm him down by brushing his snout and neck and the like, but I am not sure he is actually itchy, rather feeling a bit spun out from the tablet. He cuddles up really close and I noticed today he was shaking a bit. I have read about this reaction and while it is not common it does happen without explanation. 

 

I have reduced the dosage sooner than advised by the vet due to this last issue. 

 

I am not sure I will continue on with it for much longer but gradually reduce the dose to nothing.  As you will notice, things have 'mostly' cleared up and he has been on it almost a fortnight. 

 

Out of the prednisone, cytopoint and apoquel and in the absence of cytopoint being effective any longer, I think short courses in prednisone are the most effective on my boy unless there is something else I will be referred to in the future. 

 

I will post an update after I have spoken to the University Vet in a few weeks. 

 

thanks for you all your insights here. 

 

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Thanks for the updates @afterbanns. My girl Phoebe has had a massive outbreak this last week. Being mainly white it's a bit scary to have a blood red dog on her throat, belly, legs. Worst she has ever been. And now smelling yeasty which she has never done. Will most likely end up at the vets and I'm going to try going the Pred route for flare ups. I have never been that comfortable giving her the cytopoint. All my go to remedies have not had a lot of effect until I used colloidal silver gel on her. I am also going to take her off all commercial food and see what difference that makes. Will be a mixture of raw and home cooked. Years and tears ago I fed all raw and slipped away from that as life got busy. But I have time now.

Good luck with your boy

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Posted (edited)

Just wanted to say that it’s great that your dog is doing well on apoquel and best wishes for the appointment with the dermatologist.

 

I strongly recommend doing the allergy testing before mucking around with diet or other interventions. You might restrict things for no good reason and create a rod for your back if your dog requires a novel diet in the future, if for example they develop a food allergy, intolerance or IBD

Edited by Papillon Kisses
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Another apoquel user here.  My vet is fabulous, and we tried everything, did skin tests, did food elimination diets & nothing conclusive as an 'allergy' came up, although we eliminated food as an issue so it has to be environmental.

 

The apoquel really helps, but I also have to keep him shaved (he's a Chinese Crested) and regularly bathed - any slip on my behalf & his itchies get worse.   

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