Saturday, April 5

Apoquel? Godsend for Some Frenchies.

Many Frenchies suffer from allergies.  Some have multiple allergies, and getting their itchiness and
Mixed results for foster Pascal
subsequent staph infections under control can be frustrating and expensive.  We probably get one or two Frenchies a month whose owners are at their wits' end, having tried everything from allergy tests to prescription diets to putting in faux lawns to daily medicated baths and drugs like Atopica.  And still their poor dogs itch and itch to the point that some dogs have to wear shirts to keep environmental allergens off their skin and to prevent them from tearing their skin when they scratch.

Anna on intake
People often surrender their dogs to us after trying everything, in hopes that we can foster a dog in a new location where the allergens are different.  Here is one of our most recently surrendered allergy dogs, Anna, whose owner couldn't keep up with the vet bills or treatments Anna needed.

Cadie before and after Apoquel

 We are very happy to report that a new drug, available in the US, is showing some very good results in a good percentage of our allergy dogs.  Nearly all the dogs who try it see results for two weeks, but several of our foster dogs and dogs owned by our volunteers saw a diminishment in efficacy after two weeks, and the dogs' allergies returned full force. Those fosters have stayed on the initial twice daily dose, rather than stepping down after the first two weeks. Apoquel has given some of our worst cases of allergic dogs the chance to have quality of life for perhaps the first time.

Apoquel is not the same kind of drug as Atopica, which is an immunosuppressant.  Atopica has worked for about 40% of the dogs we've seen. Atopica has the potential, with long term use, for damage to the liver.  Side effects for Apoquel seem mild, after 5 years of clinical trials.  There were reports of increased cancer risk at very high doses.  Apoquel is about half the cost of Atopica, according to one of our volunteers who has used both drugs.

Apoquel's manufacturers have seen such demand for it that they have not been able to keep up.  We've heard that within the next month or two the manufacturer is hoping to have stockpiled enough to be able to ship everywhere, but as of today, many states are unable to get it.  One of our Canadian volunteers reports that her vet advised her that Apoquel will probably not be available in Canada in her dog's lifetime.  The reason why in unclear to us--perhaps Canada has a different testing protocol for new drugs.
Apoquel worked miracles for returnee Panache.

This post, of course, should not be taken as advice, but only as information meant to help our friends who may have an itchy dog or may know someone who owns one.  We advise anyone interested in Apoquel to ask a vet for more information.

Posted in hopes that our itchy brethren will find some relief, we remain

The Frog Princess


Unknown said...

My frenchie is one with severe allergies. Vet bills are astronomical and I'm afraid he has to be on prednisone too often. I want to try this and I will tell my vet about it. thank you for letting us know about it!

Lacey said...

My frenchie has allergies, I would love to try something like this. Thanks for the post and info!

Sabrina Berry said...

My bulldog was on Atopica and also a booster drug ketoconozole. It was the only allergy meds he could take that actually worked. BUT there were times where I almost felt that I couldn't keep up. Nit because I didn't want to but because it was so expensive. Even after finding it online way cheaper it was a heavy burden. I am glad to see another option for pet parents.

MommaBear said...

I'm in the same boat. My Fenchie has severe allergies as well. We've done the elimination diet, eating only Hills Science Diet ZD food, Atopica, endless rounds of antibiotics and prednisone. Last fall we had her tested for allergies thru Spectum Labs out of Phoenix. It cost a lot but we found out she had 6 food allergies and 19 environment ones. She has been on allergy injections since. We are now on the maintenance injections and have has some success. I'd say she's at about 60% better. She still gets a Benadryl morning and night as well as one prednisone every other day. I'm hoping to start to wean her off the prednisone in October and see what happens. She also gets one human grade fish oil pill broken open over her food every say. Her allergies have always caused her to suffer from a secondary skin infection that given her horrific dander and and crusty patches on her skin. But I started giving her an evening primrose oil pill, morning and night, and the flaking has all but disappeared.