Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolved.

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Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolved.

Postby Jorsher » Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:01 pm

My dog Molly has serious allergies. She almost constantly itches, licks her paws, scratches her chin, licks her butt, and has chronic ear infections. She's been on her $200/mo Atopica prescription for the last few years. It certainly seems to help, and it's very obvious when she's missed a day, but it never completely got rid of her misery.

I've used the same local vet for years. Most of the staff is very friendly, and their prices are very reasonable. The owner even helped with a local pit bull ring case (Dr. Alan Jones) which got him kudos from me, but he's retired. Whenever I take her there, they just reiterate she has allergies, give ear medicine, Atopica, offer hypoallergenic foods, and offer a steroid shot. I never took them up on the offer for hypoallergenic food, because I was sure what I was feeding was better.

I wanted a different opinion, so tried a different vet today. Her allergies are better with Atopica, but she's still entirely miserable and her paws/butt/chin/ears are more or less injured constantly. She has also developed a lump on her hind leg that has concerned me.

Because her butt is so itchy and bad, he is pretty confident it's food allergies. He said the problem with a lot of the store brands, even the ones that only list certain proteins on the ingredients, is that the same equipment is used to make a variety of different foods, so they still get a mixture of proteins. I didn't get the hypoallergenic food from the previous vet because I was already trying foods with limited proteins. Not sure if what he says is true, but it sounds reasonable. So he recommended a bag of the hypoallergenic food to try her on for two months.

Since Molly has had hives from tall grass a couple times, I'm still pretty sure she has environmental allergies, too. It's probably what made her paws itchy initially, and so he said to keep her on the Atopica. He gave some good news! There's a new allergy medicine for dogs called "Apoquel." It's supposed to be as effective as Atopica, but it doesn't cause the intestinal stress and is supposed to be cheaper. Atopica is $200/mo for Molly and occasionally gives her really bad diarrhea or vomiting, so that sounds fantastic. Unfortunately the manufacturer is backordered right now so I couldn't get any for her. Likely, everyone is moving away from Atopica...

He did a skin scrape test and that came back clear. Tested her ears and they have coccidia and yeast infections. Tested her paws and she has coccidian, rods (a very tough-to-kill bacteria), and yeast infections. I have to wash her feet/butt/chin every two days with an antifungal shampoo. I ordered Duoxo shampoo a while back with chlorhexadine, He said that will work. Every day she has to take a steroid to cut down on the itching, Atopica, and an antibiotic and antifungal for the infections. They gave her a steroid shot today to cut down on the itchiness for a few days. He also gave me Trifexis, but she can't start it until her heartworm test comes back clear.

She has a lump on her rear hind leg. He looked at that and said it's not a fatty tumor. It would have been great if it was, because they are benign and nothing to worry about. All he could tell me was it "looks strange" and that he suggests removing it. He doesn't know if it's cancerous. Once they remove it, they'll get some lab work done to determine what caused it. They can't remove it until they're sure she's heartworm negative, so they went ahead and drew blood for that today, too.

She can't have bones anymore or anything hard like them. He showed me the very obvious wear on her back teeth. She cannot have treats, or any food other than what he gave me today, otherwise I won't know if the food helps or not. In two weeks she'll go back for a checkup to see if there's any progress, and to have the lump removed.

However, if everything clears up and she can be a happy energetic dog again, it'll be worth it. I'm really hoping the lump is nothing serious. She's too good of a dog and has been miserable for too much of her life to deal with cancer at 5-6 years old...

Has anyone tried Apoquel and can give me an idea of the price and effectiveness?
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:04 pm

Apoquel is brand new, so I don't have any experience with it yet, but it's been so popular they are already having supply issues.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby El_EmDubya » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:53 pm

Read the BARF 101 thread (print it out, highlight the postings about allergies and put together a plan)
Google "Prey Model Raw" and Ketogenic diets

Your dog has chronic inflammation issue that you need to address. You need to kill the yeast through starvation and lower inflammation through reducing inflammatory substances (carbs, fiber, soy, canola/safflower oil, and any grains (corn, wheat etc.).

Consider that your dog's brain is inflamed, not just her skin. Anything you see in the gut (aka itchy ass syndrome), points directly to the brain.

Healthy fats (TONS of Salmon Oil)
Probiotics (multiple rounds of antibiotics kill of the healthy intestinal flora)
And cutting carbs will do wonders.

I'd be willing to bet 5 days on a ZERO carb home cooked diet will give you the solution you need.

LMW

PS If you decide to stick to this routine long term, get yourself a coach who has been feeding raw for +10 years. There are many tricks to feeding raw Right.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby Jorsher » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:50 pm

El_EmDubya wrote:Read the BARF 101 thread (print it out, highlight the postings about allergies and put together a plan)
Google "Prey Model Raw" and Ketogenic diets

Your dog has chronic inflammation issue that you need to address. You need to kill the yeast through starvation and lower inflammation through reducing inflammatory substances (carbs, fiber, soy, canola/safflower oil, and any grains (corn, wheat etc.).

Consider that your dog's brain is inflamed, not just her skin. Anything you see in the gut (aka itchy ass syndrome), points directly to the brain.

Healthy fats (TONS of Salmon Oil)
Probiotics (multiple rounds of antibiotics kill of the healthy intestinal flora)
And cutting carbs will do wonders.

I'd be willing to bet 5 days on a ZERO carb home cooked diet will give you the solution you need.

LMW

PS If you decide to stick to this routine long term, get yourself a coach who has been feeding raw for +10 years. There are many tricks to feeding raw Right.


Will definitely look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Now to find those probiotics...
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby turtle » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:19 pm

El_EmDubya wrote:Read the BARF 101 thread (print it out, highlight the postings about allergies and put together a plan)
Google "Prey Model Raw" and Ketogenic diets

Your dog has chronic inflammation issue that you need to address. You need to kill the yeast through starvation and lower inflammation through reducing inflammatory substances (carbs, fiber, soy, canola/safflower oil, and any grains (corn, wheat etc.).

Consider that your dog's brain is inflamed, not just her skin. Anything you see in the gut (aka itchy ass syndrome), points directly to the brain.

Healthy fats (TONS of Salmon Oil)
Probiotics (multiple rounds of antibiotics kill of the healthy intestinal flora)
And cutting carbs will do wonders.

I'd be willing to bet 5 days on a ZERO carb home cooked diet will give you the solution you need.

LMW


This is excellent advice!

I have been going thru a similar problem with my old dog and I did the elimination diet (I fed her cooked fish for a week and then cooked fish and cooked sweet potato for a few more weeks) and it works to help learn what the dog cannot eat.

It is a simple diet and works much better than trying different kibbles because kibbles all have too many ingredients in them. But it does take time, it is a slow process, as when you get a reaction to the food, you have to start over and wait for the reaction to go away, then try something new.

I used this Sold Gold D-Zyme probiotic –

http://www.amazon.com/SOLID-937629-D-Zy ... old+d+zyne

And I bought Salmon Oil here for a good price, it is great stuff and really helps their skin –

http://dakotalinesnares.com/store/index ... ath=30_110

If she is not used to getting salmon oil, you would want to start of with a tablespoon as it is rather rich and sometimes a dog needs to get used to it. I now give my 48 pound dog about 5 or 6 tablespoons a day.

With trying a simple elimination diet, I found that my old dog cannot eat chicken, beef, rice, and none of the kibbles I had fed her before. She would break out with bumps on her skin and was itchy and licked her feet.

I am now feeding my old dog 8 oz of raw ground venison with bone from Blue Ridge Beef http://www.blueridgebeef.com/products.html at noon and 10 oz of cooked fish and sweet potato at night and she is doing much better. She is not itching and licking her feet now and has no more skin bumps.

I found it is better to spend more on food than to keep going to the vet and getting medicines that do not help and just costs more money.

Good luck with Molly and please post and update how she does and what you have tried.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby turtle » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:59 pm

I was doing some reading and found these articles about allergies and elimination diets and I thought I would post them here --

http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspo ... 0in%20Dogs

http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspo ... edies.html

A lot of good info on there and links to more articles. A useful site.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby Jorsher » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:17 pm

Still eating her prescribed food. I'm going to research RAW and start on that as soon as this food is gone. Thanks for the links!

She...has a malignant mast cell tumor. So that will be removed next Thursday.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby turtle » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:37 am

Yes, a raw diet will usually help with allergies and such. There are many raw pet food makers out there so take your time and look into the ones you want to try. You can also try grocery store meats and look for local farms too.

I am sorry the lump on her leg is a mast cell tumor. Best to get it removed and I hope she does well and improves with a diet change. Good luck next Thursday and hope she heals up quickly.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby Jorsher » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:40 pm

Thanks again for all your suggestions turtles.

I started both our dogs on raw chicken leg quarters last night. I added some D-Zyme which I think you may have recommended. Just 1/8th tsp for now and I'll move it to the 1/4tsp after the first week or two. I found leg quarters at Walmart, 10lbs for $6.90 ($0.69/lb). Seems extremely cheap, but it's fit for humans, right? I'm going to check at Sam's this week, and continue looking for butchers. I will be adding salmon oil once it arrives. I know I need to add some organ meat.

They both had a tough time figuring out what to do with the chicken. They licked it for 10-15 minutes before they finally decided to chew on it. Molly was swallowing as she was chewing, choked a couple times, spit out this loooong string of chewed up thigh. I assume this is normal? After a few attempts she crunched and crunched and swallowed the thing.

Neither of them seemed to have any GI issues. I figure I'll give them both 4 weeks on chicken before trying another meat. I'm hoping this will clear up her ear/feet/allergy issues.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby turtle » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:13 am

I know many people who feed WalMart chicken quarters and they are a good value for the price. I fed my old dog grocery store chicken thighs for years and those were $1 a pound or less. When I had chicken quarters, I cut them in half so they were not so big and it made them easier for my dog to chew and eat them. Chewing the bones helps clean their teeth too.

Yes, they need to chew the chicken a bit to break it up. They have to learn to do this, and it is normal for them to chew, swallow, choke it back up and chew it again before it goes down. As long as they don’t eat too fast and try to swallow the bones whole without chewing them. When I started raw feeding, I was advised to hold the end of the leg or wing so they have to chew on it slower at first.

This link should have some helpful info for you –

http://preymodelraw.com/page/articles.h ... w-diet-r19

You would feed a grown dog about 2% of their body weight a day in the raw food. If you are feeding just chicken quarters, it is a good idea to add some supplements. You are doing well to add the salmon oil and D-Zyme, but you might add a veggie mix too. And I add some crushed multivitamin to my dog’s food too, these are human multivitamins (you can get these from WM too) and I crush them and put half in her food every few days.

For itchiness and skin issues, I would also add coconut oil, the organic cold pressed unrefined oil. It is good for so many things and I find it does help my old dog with her skin. I buy it at the grocery store, or the health food store. You can also use it in your meals and we often cook with it, and it is good for people and dogs.

Since you started her on raw chicken, I would stay with that for a month at least to see how she does with it. I would not feed any other meats right now, see how she reacts to the chicken. They often go thru a detox period and then really start looking and feeling better. It takes time for their bodies to adjust and to flush out all the toxins etc. from kibble and processed foods.

If you skim over that Raw 101 thread there should be more info there.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby turtle » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:00 pm

Another useful link which has most of the raw food markers listed with info about each food --

http://dogaware.com/diet/rawfoods.html

I am sure there are other articles on that site about raw feeding so it is worth taking a look. I also will do the same as I had not seen this web site before.

The more we can learn, the better we can do for us and for our dogs!
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby turtle » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:47 pm

I would have added this on to the other post but no Edit button....

This is a good article on doing a homemade raw diet --

http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjhomemade2.html

It talks about the things to add to the raw meaty bones to get a more balanced diet. When I fed raw chicken thighs, I added these things for supplements --

veggie mix
salmon oil
apple cider vinegar (Bragg brand and I gave it a few times a week)
coconut oil
organ meats like liver (not every day, a few times a week)
plain yogurt or kefir (good for digestion)
egg (either lightly cooked or raw, with shell, every few days)
human multivitamin (ground to powder, every few days)

Good for you to change up her diet and try raw. I hope it works well, please keep updating on how she is doing!
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby Jazzy » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:09 am

Veronica is on the wait list for Apoquel, Her dermatologist thinks it should come in next month.

She is speaking very highly of it, wants V. on it instead of Zyrtec; says it works MUCH better w/o the side effects of prednisone or antihistamines...

She said when it first came out they sold a 6 month supply in 1 month's time which is what started the backlog...

that's all I know.
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby cubbybear » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:37 am

Thought you might like to see pics of our Molly, who had similar problems with her skin and what through trial and error, turned out to be grain allergies.

Since switching her to a raw diet, her belly fur has grown beautifully. It did take about six months (we changed the dogs diet back in October 2013) and she never had raw looking skin, but she did always have a fairly bald tummy. What's really nice though, is when we wake in the morning, she doesn't have to stop in the middle of 'Hey, mornin' guys!!' to start her day scratching.
Image
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Re: Anyone tried Apoquel? Molly's itchiness hopefully resolv

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:41 pm

Anyone tries it please let me know. We are getting it soon and I haven't had an opportunity to give it a try yet.
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