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Thread: New Allergy Drug, Apoquel, Anyone using it? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-13-2014 01:37 PM
Oliver'smom
Update- 3.5 months of apoquel

Here is our latest update on our allergy & apoquel adventure. Ollie has been going in for monthly wellness checks since being on apoquel for his allergies. This month our Vet decided to do some blood tests just as a precaution. Results came back and everything is in the normal range. He continues to do really well. His coat looks great, he seems to be stable on Nature's Balance Venison and Sweet Potato food. I'm religious in ensuring his training treats don't have any ingredients we think he is allergic to. No milk bones ever at drive-up windows. He still gets 2 tsp of coconut oil with each meal. Itching and nibbling are at normal dog levels.

Apoquel is still of course hard to get, so I've very lucky that the rural Vet I know through political circles is still willing to sell it to my Vet.

Since Ollie is doing so well, our Vet is researching what our options are to get Ollie on the lowest possible dose or perhaps weaning him off all together. Since the drug is so new, we aren't sure we can go every other day, or cut the dosage. We are hesitant to change anything when what we have is working, but would like Ollie to be at the least possible level of drug dependency for a good quality of life. We haven't ruled out other skin allergy tests, but our first project is to see what we can do with the apoquel levels.

It is nice to think about other things Ollie needs to work on and move the allergies to the back burner a bit. He needs leash pulling and jumping to great people work. We seem to be stuck in 3-ball fetch (We aspire to 2-ball and hopefully to 1 ball). I want to see if he is interested in doing splash-dog this summer. Loves fetch, likes water, can he combine them? Ollie is going on his first major camping trip at the end of the month so now our bigger worries are how we will do on the trip. His first weekend camping trip was a bit stressful in terms of his need to bark at every new noise and possible woodland creature at night. We were worried we would get kicked out of the campground. Ensuring he was thoroughly exhausted worked better for all humans and dogs trying to sleep at the campground for the rest of the trip.
04-08-2014 05:02 PM
Traveler's Mom
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver'smom View Post
Isn't it amazing how quickly it works, we say results by the end of Day 1. Every day it works, I pinch myself. We are going to do a blood panel at Ollie's May check up just to see if everything is ok. I'll report on how what that tells us.

We have tentatively discussed that if all is well we may try an every/other day dose and see if that works just as well. Everything is so new, no one knows just what this drug can do. Both our regular Vet and the politician Vet are interested in trying this, but I'm a little skeptical. While I hate to have him on the drug forever, I'm a little scared to change his dosing since I absolutely do not want to go back to our previous allergy level. After all, it isn't the Vets that are with Ollie all night dealing with the scratching if the every/other day plan backfires!
I'm no vet and I'd recommend you follow up with the vet to ask but if the every other day plan backfires, you just go back to the prescribed dose. Traveler was off it for almost 2 weeks then I gave him one pill last Monday when he was reacting to something. Today is fine with no pill.
04-08-2014 03:18 PM
Oliver'smom Isn't it amazing how quickly it works, we say results by the end of Day 1. Every day it works, I pinch myself. We are going to do a blood panel at Ollie's May check up just to see if everything is ok. I'll report on how what that tells us.

We have tentatively discussed that if all is well we may try an every/other day dose and see if that works just as well. Everything is so new, no one knows just what this drug can do. Both our regular Vet and the politician Vet are interested in trying this, but I'm a little skeptical. While I hate to have him on the drug forever, I'm a little scared to change his dosing since I absolutely do not want to go back to our previous allergy level. After all, it isn't the Vets that are with Ollie all night dealing with the scratching if the every/other day plan backfires!
04-08-2014 02:53 PM
Traveler's Mom I took Traveler to a doggie derm and he prescribed Apoquel in addition to an antibiotic for his staph infection-likely the result of his non stop itching. The itching stopped within an hour of taking 1 1/2 of the-I think it was 14 or 16 mg. pills. Amazing stuff. He had absolutely no adverse effects for the 30 days I had him on it while I was switching out his food based on hemopet food sensitivity testing which indicated he could have beef and lamb and little else.
I called just yesterday to get a refill and they "put my name on the list". I was told they expect a small shipment this month then none until August.

Since it's new, I am quite leery of using it frequently. Traveler had a major itch issue this past Sunday-non stop itching until Monday morning. I gave Traveler 1 pill and within an hour, he hasn't itched since.
04-08-2014 02:52 PM
Heidigsd Great story Oliver'sMom and I am so glad that the Apoquel is working for him.

I am taking Nikki to see her dermatologist tomorrow myself to see if we need to put her on Apoquel for a little while. We are switching from the allergy shots to the drops and she is having a hard time with her paws right now
04-08-2014 01:38 PM
Oliver'smom Getting the apoquel was difficult. Here is the story of how I was able to get my hands on some. It likely won't help anyone else, but it makes for a good story. I work in government relations and was taking with a veterinarian who also happens to be one of the local elected officials in my state. I was telling him the story of all we had been through with the new pup trying to address the allergies and that nothing was really working. This guy is a rural, large animal Vet, but because he was in the capitol city for legislative meetings and is kind of important in the local Vet scene as a Vet/politician he was invited by Pfizer to the original presentation to Utah Vets about the drug. Apparently Vets had to attend this presentation to be in the first wave able to get the drug & training.

So as I was telling him about our allergies issues with Ollie, he said you really need to try this new drug and described it to me. I checked it out online (didn't really find much because it was so new) and then called our Vet to ask about it as well. A few days later I took Ollie in for a check up with our Vet and brought everything I'd been able to find on Apoquel. My husband came to this visit because we were kind of at our wits end on what to do and my husband was ready to send Ollie back to the breeder. Our Vet basically said, I don't really know much about the drug, but early reviews are good and what we are doing isn't working so let's give it a try.

That is where we ran into the problem of actually getting the drug. Our Vet was out of town for the launch meeting and so wasn't eligible for the initial rollout. They told him if he came to the next presentation/training, he could be in the April rollout group (at the time it was February). I was super bumped out to have felt a glimmer of hope but then told that it would be another month and a half at least.

So that led me back to the large animal Vet/elected official. I caught up with him a few days later at some governmental meetings and told him we wanted to switch to apoquel, but our Vet couldn't get it until April. This is where it gets kind of cool, this Vet had ordered some even though he does mostly horses and cows, with only a few ranch small animal pets thrown in because he was so impressed by the Pfizer presentation and so he was part of the initial roll out! Since he didn't have a lot of clients interested, it was just sitting on his shelf at the clinic. If my Vet was willing to write a script, and both myself and my Vet were willing to keep him in the loop on Ollie's progress reports, he would bring me a bottle on his next trip to the City as an inter-Vet drug exchange!!

My Vet wrote the script and faxed over Ollie's records, I mailed him a check and the following week when he was back in town for legislative meetings, he brought up the apoquel. Every week since, I've sent him a progress report on Ollie and we have been in for monthly check ups with our regular Vet.

My only worry now is we are about 2/3 through our first bottle and our Vet still hasn't received his apoquel order. I'm crossing my fingers the Vet/politician still has some sitting on his shelf and will do an exchange again if it hasn't come in when we run out.

My friend an itchy short hair pointer sees the same Vet and wanted in after my rave reviews and nothing working for her pup. We tried a local grocery store pharmacy to see if they could order in the drug, but apparently they can't get it either so she is still on the waiting list.

Apoquel has made a huge difference for Ollie, itching & nibbling have significantly decreased. His skin and coat look amazing. The trainers at his OB class have all remarked on how he is a changed dog on the new drug. He can focus (or as much as he is capable of focusing) in class on his skills and not constantly scratching. I still have to clean his ears frequently or he will start to scratch them. He is still on a venison and sweet potato diet with coconut oil, but we no longer have thoughts about "how can we live like this with this dog and his allergies!" Now we just wonder, when will he learn not to chew on X, Y, Z and not have limitless energy!

I know that story of how we got the apoquel likely doesn't help those looking for it, but you might try calling around to other Vet clinic to see if someone that was part of the initial roll out has any they aren't using and will do an exchange with your Vet or sell it to you with a script.
04-03-2014 02:00 PM
summerjoy
Where to buy Apoquel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver'smom View Post
The 100 pill bottle of apoquel was $88. I have been paying $260/month for cyclosporine, and $45/month per bottle of hydroxyzine. I'm not sure how many pills are in the hydroxyzine bottle. The cyclosporine was slowing bleeding us dry on top of special food, special shampoos, lots of trips to the vet.

Also we did have trouble with Ollie throwing if we gave him the cyclosporine anytime sooner than 3-4 hours after a meal.

Fingers crossed the apoquel is our miracle drug.
Where did you buy the Apoquel? My vet said because of the demand none is available. Thanks, Bob
04-03-2014 01:58 PM
summerjoy Where did you purchase the Apoquel? My vet says there is none available because of the demand.
03-18-2014 12:10 PM
onyx'girl I would try to have an oral serum made by the lab that tested his allergies. That may help eventually desensitize him to what he's allergic to(environmental allergies especially!)
03-18-2014 12:05 PM
Oliver'smom
Week 4 on Apoquel Report

So Ollie is on his 4th week on Apoquel. We haven't had any of the side effects we had with cyclosporine (lots of vomiting) and his itching level is WAY down. He still scratches a bit, but he hasn't scratched any new bald spots or open sores. The bald patches near his armpits are starting to grow back.

We was really itchy last night (more so that at anytime in the past 4 weeks, but not at pre-apoquel levels), but everything is starting to bloom and bud at our house. Since Ollie is 11 months, this will be his first full spring so who knows how his allergies will react.

He did end up with an eye infection at week 3. Whether this is from being at the dog park, doggie day care or reduced immune system due to apoquel or all the other drug we tried, I don't know. It cleared up with meds just fine.

We are seeing the Vet today for a general check up and to assess how apoquel is working for Ollie.
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