Is Apoquel Safe for Dogs With Allergies?


Is Apoquel Safe for Dogs?It’s springtime and for many people and their dogs, it means the return of allergy season. Haley’s had allergies issues throughout her life but her symptoms have gotten worse now that she’s older and our usual method of treatment (Benadryl and self help strategies) no longer keep the itching, licking and scratching under control. After reading rave reviews about the drug Apoquel and talking with my vet, I decided to start Haley on the drug about five months ago.

Haley’s had amazing results on Apoquel, so as I was researching this post and preparing to write my own rave review, I came across a few websites that question the drug’s safety and long term effectiveness. Judging by the overwhelming demand for the drug, it definitely appears to be effective and Zoetis, the manufacturer, seems to be stepping up production now to help meet the demand. But is Apoquel safe for dogs? Before I get into that, let me explain what it is and how it works.

What is Apoquel?

ApoquelApoquel (oclacitinib maleateis) is a prescription drug used to treat pruritus (itchy skin) associated with allergic or atopic dermatitis. It works on all common sources of allergens (flea, inhaled, food and contact) within 4 hours and lasts for 24 hours. It can be used for short-term flare ups or long-term treatment. It can also be used with many other medications such as antibiotics, NSAIDs, vaccinations, parasiticides and allergen immunotherapy. Apoquel also has anti-inflammatory properties and doesn’t compromise diagnostic testing if your vet is trying to determine the underlying cause of your dog’s itching.

How Does it Work?

In simple terms, Apoquel is an immunomodulatory drug which means it modifies the immune system. Here’s an explanation from Zoetis about how it works, “Apoquel works at itch neurons within the skin, preventing the transmission of the itch signal to the brain and the subsequent scratching behavior and also helps decrease inflammation and redness of the skin.” For a more technical explanation about how it inhibits the function of various cytokines and related JAK1 or JAK3 enzyme activity, please read more on their website. Apoquel claims to have a minimal negative impact on immune function with side effects listed as mild (vomiting and diarrhea) and similar to those taking the placebo.

Some Dogs Should Not Take Apoquel

The Zoetis website states, “Dogs less than 12 months of age and dogs with serious infections should not take Apoquel. It can increase the chances of developing serious infections, and may cause existing parasitic skin infections or pre-existing cancers to get worse. It has not been tested in dogs receiving some medications including some commonly used to treat skin conditions such as corticosteroids and cyclosporines. Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea.”

Haley’s Experience with Apoquel

Before I started Haley on Apoquel, she was miserable. She would spend a good deal of time scratching her ears, licking her paws and belly, rubbing her face and chin on the carpet and looking at me with those red, itchy eyes. She was able to get immediate relief from Apoquel. All of her allergy symptoms disappeared; no more itching and scratching, her eyes are no longer red and itchy, her belly rash caused by constant licking cleared up and she’s a much happier dog. She hasn’t had any negative side effects from being on Apoquel.

Dog with Red EyesRed itchy eyes before Apoquel
Dog with Red EyesClear eyes after Apoquel

Is Apoquel Safe for Dogs?

Many dogs have experienced amazing results on Apoquel with dramatically improved quality of lives while their owners have praised its effectiveness and lack of side effects. On the other hand, there are also a few websites with numerous comments about dogs that developed various medical issues after being on the drug or that the drug had lost its effectiveness over time.

The problem with some of the reported negative side effects is, it’s difficult to tell if the drug actually caused the medical issue or if it would have cropped up anyway, regardless of whether the dog was taking the drug. Since Apoquel is a relatively new drug, the only way to determine if there’s a correlation between the two is to study the results over a long period of time. However, this statement about Apoquel from their website raised some concern with me. “It can increase the chances of developing serious infections, and may cause existing parasitic skin infections or pre-existing cancers to get worse.” If a dog has an early (but yet undiagnosed) form of cancer, it’s possible the cancer could get worse while taking the drug.

When evaluating the safety of any drug, also keep these two things in mind. First, understand that all dogs are different. Just as certain people have different reactions to drugs, dogs can also experience a wide range of reactions to medications. Second, no matter what drug you research on the internet, you’re going to find some people talking about adverse reactions they had with their dogs.

Dog Sniffing TulipSo, is Apoquel safe for your dog? I would suggest doing your own research, then talk to your vet and be sure to discuss any questions you might have about the drug. Educating yourself about the benefits and risks will help you make the best decision for your dog. For dogs that suffer with severe allergy symptoms, the benefits are impressive and the improvement in their quality of life is probably well worth the risk, especially considering Apoquel works just as well as steroids but without the negative side effects. For dogs with mild allergy symptoms, check out my post, 12 Self-Help Tips for Dogs with Allergies, before resorting to using a prescription drug.

What’s my decision about Apoquel for Haley? I’m going to continue using the drug when Haley’s symptoms are severe, but I’m also going to be looking into some alternative treatments and dietary changes as well. In next week’s post, I’ll offer some practical and natural methods to help ease your dog’s allergy symptoms.

Does your dog suffer with allergies? Have you tried Apoquel or any other prescription medications? Is Apoquel Safe for Dogs?

172 Comments on “Is Apoquel Safe for Dogs With Allergies?”

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        You’re so lucky, Emma! It seems like so many dogs have allergies these days and some of them are pretty miserable with all the itching and scratching.

        • I paid $10,000 over 12 years trying to heal my dogs itching. It started as seasonal allergies but he ended up itching all year round. He was finished. Bald from chewing, scratching bleeding, pus coming out of his eyes and chronic ear infections, bad yeast odor. I found a Veterinarian that was also a Herbalist. This saved his life. She gave my dog Prince Si Miao Four Marvels Formula (can buy this online) I gave a 1/4 or less amount that a human would take for 4 months (herbs must be watched not to take for long periods of time so look for any side effects like blood in stool) . I stopped all grains just fed human meat and veggies with vitamins daily added to food 15mg Genestra brand Acidophilus HVF, most important zinc, small amount of dulce flakes for iodine, Hilary’s vitamin mineral powder or similar from a pet store, 1 enzyme with bromelain and papain and Quercetin (or Super Flavonoids 1 capsule) all work together. Crushed 5 pumpkin seeds, little bit of oil EFA or Omega 3 fatty Acid. Genestra Vit D drops 900 ui/day. No rain water from puddles or park ponds, rinse off feet every time after walks during summer fall months, Al-Gen drops (Genestra). The above mentioned worked but she also added Atopica for 3 – 5 months to sustain the gut so he wouldn’t itch anymore. Its been 2yrs of no Atopica. Yeh! The vitamins actually made him strong not to get the seasonal allergies so bad.

          • Oh my gosh, I’m thrilled that you’re going on two years of managing your pup’s allergies! You’ve offered so many helpful tips here. I know it’s probably hard to tell, but is there one or two things that you feel might have made the most difference? Do you feed a raw diet or cook the meat and veggies? I’ve heard great things about a raw diet for allergies.

            Thanks so much for taking the time to share what worked for you, Lynda!?

      • Gave my dog her first dose of Apoquel last night – almost killed her.
        Puked 16 times in total before I could get her into a vet and Im not sure she is free and clear yet – no internal damage and no blood toxicity present
        Ill never give my dog this drug again

        • Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that. I sure hope your sweet dog is feeling better and doing okay now. Did your vet have any idea about why that might have happened?

          Thank you for sharing what happened to your girl because it’s important for people to hear everyone’s experience with Apoquel and not just the success stories. Please come back and share any additional information if you discover why she might have had such a strong reaction to the drug. I’m sending her my good thoughts and prayers for a quick and full recovery. ?

          • Thanks so much for sharing this, Chris. I hadn’t heard of Wind Toxin before but it sounds very interesting. I noticed on this forum that someone mentioned it being for short-term use.

            Has your dog been on it very long or do you know if it might be helpful as a permanent replacement for Apoquel for dogs that have symptoms all year long? Thanks for sharing any additional info you might have.😊

      • My Deerhound spontaneously developed allergies at 9 years old. I tried all of the OTC antihistamines and nothing worked. Apoquel fixed this in 24 hours.
        HOWEVER, a year later he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I took him to Cornell for treatment where the Vets told me to immediately take him off of the Apoquel.

        It does impact their immune system. If your dog is a breed and of an age where cancer is a risk, I would recommend thinking long and hard before starting this medicine.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Sometimes it’s so confusing when making health decisions for our pups. The best we can do is learn all we can then follow our gut instinct.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        I just saw the comment from JoAnn where she mentioned a cat at their clinic being on Apoquel. Maybe it would be worth talking to your vet about it. I recently wrote an article about Adequan for arthritis and read several articles by vets where they also use the drug on cats even though it’s only formulated for dogs and horses.

    • Hi Elaine! I am glad that Apoquel has worked well for Haley. I have done a lot of research into Apoquel. I, too, have a blog post on my website about Apoquel. It should be noted that Apoquel does not work for every dog but it has worked very well for many dogs.

      Apoquel is one of the available options for treating allergies in dogs. As veterinarians, we commonly recommend a multimodal treatment plan for dogs with allergies which may include topical therapies such as shampoos, oral omega-3 fatty acids, medications for secondary infections, and medications to stop the itching.

      I see so many dogs with allergies at the veterinary hospitals where I work that it has become a special interest of mine. That is why I am writing a book about allergies in dogs which I hope to complete in the next couple of months.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Hi Rachele! I’m really looking forward to reading your book soon. I’ve tried so many different things for Haley’s allergies and some worked well for a while but her symptoms have gotten worse over time. Luckily, she’s doing well on Apoquel right now. I’m fortunate that she’s not as bad off as a lot of dogs, but it would be nice to have a better understanding of what other treatments we could try. Please let me know when your book is published and I’ll check it out.

    • Wow, what a difference in her eyes, it’s very obvious.

      I’ve personally never heard of the drug but that doesn’t surprise me. I just looked it up and as far as I can tell, it isn’t available in Canada, which, is apparently, frustrating for many vets. I’m not sure if the teaching school can obtain any but I also read about commercial trial use. Health Canada is far more strict compared to your FDA. But anyways, I’m babbling now. I’m glad you found something to help your girl out. 🙂

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        That’s interesting about Health Canada. I know Zoetis has had supply issues because of the demand for the drug, so even if it was available in Canada, it might be hard to find in large quantities for a while. Hopefully, it will be available one day soon for all of our Canadian canine buddies that are itchy and scratchy. ?

      • Hi Lindsay: Hope you located Apoquel in Canada by the time you read this post. I live in Canada and my dog Sookie was just prescribed Apoquel. She had been on steroids off and on for the last 5 years.

    • The photo comparison of her eyes sure seems to show that it’s helping.

      Luckily we’ve never had a dog with allergy problems (knock on wood) but my sis’s new rescue dog is having some trouble. Will have to share this with her!

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Thanks for sharing the article, Jackie. I’m glad Rita is allergy free and I hope your sister’s new pup gets some relief soon.

    • This is helpful, Elaine. Thank you. Ace has allergies all the time. I really don’t know if it’s fleas, pollen, food, etc. It seems worse in the warmer months. We’re trying to figure out some health issues with him still, so this is something I will ask his vet about. What is the rough monthly cost?

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Aw, I hope you get some answers soon about Ace’s issues. I checked our last order of Apoquel and the cost for 100 16mg tablets was $130.00 ($1.30 a tablet) and she gets 1/2 or 1 tablet a day depending on her symptoms. It’s a little bit expensive, but it works so well and you can only give the tablets when symptoms flare up. I hope Ace is doing better very soon and give him a big hug from me. ?

          • Chasing Dog Tales

            Hi, Lillian

            Well, yesterday it was time to reorder Haley’s supply of 100 16mg Apoquel pills and I was shocked at how the price has almost doubled since my last order! I originally ordered them from by vet’s supplier website (Vet’s First Choice) but now they’re $255.00 on their website and they’re not even in stock there. 1-800-PetMeds has them in stock for $242.00

            It looks like you found an even lower price of $189.00

            I have no idea why the price has suddenly jumped so much, but I sure hope it’s not Zoetis price gouging because the demand is so high for Apoquel. I’m not sure what I’m going to do right now about reordering and I’m seriously considering trying a raw diet, since a lot of people swear that it helps eliminate allergy symptoms. I’m frustrated with the pricing too! ?

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Thanks, Kari ? Tulips are my favorite! I’ll check your blog again soon and maybe I’ll see your beautiful tulips pics too. ?

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        So far, our experience with it has been wonderful. It’s a little expensive, but really worth it when your dog’s so miserable. I’m glad it’s also working well for the resident cat. ?

    • I can totally understand your decision to use this drug and am glad to hear it is working well. Of course the unfortunate things is that most drugs have some side effects so all you can do is weigh the risk/benefit and monitor the dog for them.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        It’s good to be informed but sometimes it’s like Googling medical issues because you end up worrying about the worse case scenario. ?

    • Speaking as a momma of a cancer survivor: thanks for this! It reminds me that I will need to read ALL of the fine print of any medication that I might consider for my girl. She may not have cancer now, but anything that could give it back to her is a no-go!

      Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Yes! It’s always good to check out all the side effects. I’m so glad your girl is cancer free and you definitely want to do all you can to protect her. ?

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Thanks Barbara, I think we’ll be working towards that soon to see if it helps Haley. She’s on cooked food now but I know a lot of people swear by the raw diet for allergies. I’ll be checking back on some of your posts for tips! ?

    • I just wanted to share my positive experience with you. I have read a lot about this medication and wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to try it on my baby or not, but boy am I glad I did. My baby is a 4 year old chocolate and has been suffering with allergy symptoms since a pup. At 9 weeks she had her first ear infection, and at 13 weeks, she developed her first skin infection on her belly. The Vet I was taking her to would not allergy test her and only wanted to pump her with steroids. After close to 4 ear infections in her first 6 months I found a new vet who wanted to test her right away. The test itself is over $250. He advised me to try grain free foods, avoid poultry, avoid peanut butter, literally tried everything I could. We were still going to see the vet at least once every other month. (Everyone knows how pricey that is) I couldn’t take her for hikes during the fall, spring or summer because of how bad her allergies would act up. Her eyes swelled and she would be up itching all night during these seasons. The vet prescribed Atarax for the itching because they couldn’t think of anything else to help. The side affect from that is severe drowniness. My poor young girl just laid around. At the time I figured the best thing to do was to get her a companion, trying to help her activeness. It helped some, but she was still constantly itching and her ears would itch to the point she would make them bleed with her nails. After 3 years I finally found out about APOQUEL, the vet I was going to didn’t want to prescribe it. ( probably because they would loose my business being there so much) I had called a new vet in the area and told him my problem, he told me to bring Syd in right away that day. He would see here whenever I could get her there. That day he gave me more antibiotics and ear drops. I explained to him this is NOT what I wanted. He told me to please trust him, he wanted to try one type of ear drops the other vet didn’t. Her ears were doing pretty good. We made it 2 months before back to calling him for infected ears. This time I went in he gave me APOQUEL. He explained there is a tapering dose so it was going to be expensive but it would be well worth it. The visit that day cost me $280 dollars, but it was worth way more than money to me. After the first day I started to notice a change in syd! Her eyes weren’t red and she slept through the entire night not up scratching!! After a few days I noticed her actually wanting to play with her sister. Its been 3 weeks now, and I am so thankful for APOQUEL everyone needs to try it. My dog is a dog again, shes only 4 and acted like she was 11. It made be cry the other morning when I flipped her ear open to look inside and it looks perfect inside. The hair on her paws from chewing them raw is growing back, the hair on her chin from rubbing it on everything is growing back. And her belly doesn’t look like a rash pit anymore. I am in complete shock how well this works!! ANYONE who has a dog with allergy symptoms, its well worth the money!!! I can’t praise this enough!!!

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Hi, Monica! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and the amazing change you’ve seen in Syd since she’s been on Apoquel. It almost brought tears to my eyes knowing the difference it’s made in her quality of life. She’s had a rough time for most of her life, but I hope she can now enjoy romping, playing and just being a dog, instead of being miserable every day with her allergy symptoms.

        Give her a big hug from Haley and me and thanks again for sharing your story! ?

    • I have an American Bulldog & she was miserable with her itching we couldn’t pat her some days as any touch sent her into scratching frenzy she has large strong claws & would damage her skin. As with your dog hers has become worse with age & we used cortisone in the past & she had a lot of side effects. She gets ear infections as well with her allergies & was on ear drops. I was shown negative website from friend about Apoquel written by holistic vet & as you say any medication can have severe side effects even some natural ones. I decided to use Apoquel & after 3 days she’s such a happy dog again & for me quality of life is everything & im so happy we’ve used it. I hope all is going well with your dog

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Hi Melissa, Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It’s always helpful to hear firsthand how a medication is working or not working and I’m thrilled that your sweet bulldog is getting some much needed relief from her allergy symptoms. Haley’s had a lot of ear infections too over the years, but none since being on Apoquel.

        Haley sends a big high-five to your girl! ?

    • Thank you so much for the post. 🙂 It’s very informative! My atopic 7 yo schnauzer will start the treatment with apoquel tomorrow and I’m glad I’ve found this post 😀

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        I hope it works really well for your Schnauzer. I have a soft spot for Schnauzers, since we had them when I was growing up. ? You’ll have to let me know if she’s doing much better on Apoquel. It’s really tough to watch them be so miserable from allergies.

    • Hi I’ve been prescribed apoquel for my Gsd Bobby. He scratches himself constantly and I have tryed many remedies over the last year. He has been prescribed 1.5 tabs 2 X daily of 16mg dosage. Booby has been taking them now for 2 weeks and they seem to have worked very well, I rarely catch him scratting! He does sleep quite heavily 15 minutes after taking them which has concerned me. However a major worry is that I have just discovered quite a large lump between his shoulder blades. This lump has definitely just appeared in the last day and so I will stop the opoquel and take Bobby straight back to the vets for their opinion. It may have nothing to do with the medication, but thought I would leave a comment.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Hi, Philip. Thanks so much for sharing what’s happening with Bobby. Finding any lump is alarming and I’m glad you’re getting it checked out right away. Haley weighs 50 lbs and was put on one 16mg tablet twice a day for just the first week in order to get her symptoms calmed down, then it was reduced to 1 tablet a day thereafter. I didn’t notice any unusual sleepiness after she took even the higher dose that first week, but it is listed as a side effect until they get used to the drug.

        I hope everything turns out fine with Bobby’s lump and if you decide to take him off Apoquel, I hear a lot of people swear by feeding a raw food diet to resolve allergy issues with dogs. It’s something I’ve been researching for awhile but I haven’t committed to it yet with Haley because I think her allergies might be mostly environmental (dust, pollen, etc.)

        If you get a chance, I would love to hear back after Bobby’s vet visit to hear how he’s doing. Sending good thoughts your way! ?

    • As with all newer drugs on the market, the inherent value and overall safety data will be collected and will be evaluated over time through the veterinary system. This drug is a JAK inhibitor that suppresses the immune system. On the drug makers website it states: “APOQUEL is not for use in breeding dogs, or pregnant or lactating bitches. The use of APOQUEL has not been evaluated in combination with glucocorticoids, cyclosporine, or other systemic immunosuppressive agents. Dogs receiving APOQUEL should be monitored for the development of infections, including demodicosis (mange), and neoplasia (abnormal cell growth).

      The human equivalent of this drug is Xeljanz— by Pfizer, It is also a JAK inhibitor. LOADS of side effects. Look it up. Personally, I’m no fan of big pharma. I cannot justify my dogs being subjected to what is essentially an extended clinical trial of this new drug.

      So how am I treating my dogs problems? My dogs have found relief with an all natural product from the UK. As they both suffer from seasonal allergies (grass/weeds in warm weather) I bathe them with Dermacton Soap and use the Dermacton Cream on any sore/red/rashes they develop. The product review page sold me and they have a money back guarantee if it doesnt work for your dog.


      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Thanks for sharing this, Betty. I’m glad you found something that works really well without having to resort to pharmaceuticals. There are so many variables of things to try, but when you find what works well to keep your dog’s symptoms under that threshold where they’re not bothered too much by them, it’s fantastic! Wishing you and your pups the best. ?

        • So I started my dog on Apoquel and she’s on a strict diet as well as Trifexis. I gave her the pill and the next day, she had a major rash on her belly. I kept giving her the pill as prescribed and the rash kept spreading up her belly. I took her to the vet, they called the drug company, and the drug company said it couldn’t be their drug because she would have the rash everywhere. But my dog has had reactions like that to shampoo before. What should I do? They gave me antibiotics and it’s cleared up the rash but I’m not giving her that Apoquel again.

      • My poor frenchie is on Apoquel, don’t like giving him drugs. Just ordered this stuff, hope it works! I feel so sorry for him because he licks his itchy paws raw. Apoquel was a last resort and I hate buying it. Thanks for posting this info.

        • I hope it’s working well for your Frenchie, Nicole. It seems to work right away, so hopefully he’s getting some much needed relief from all that paw itching.?

    • We have been using this for our dog for over 1 and a half years it is not working for her she has to be on all kinds of other med also I think it is a waste of money for us

      • Hi, Teena. I’m curious if it was working well at first and then stopped being as effective. I’ve heard that can be an issue with some dogs.

    • I just started using Apoquel and it is amazing. My poor little shitzu/schnauzer mix was so bad at one point my old vet recommended putting him down!! I had to find a new vet that told me about Apoquel. It is expensive though, and since my dog will need it long term, I asked my vet for a prescription so I can buy it online for 1/3 of the price from a company called Viovet. Chester is 11 and this med is helping him have a much higher quality of life!

      • Oh my gosh, this truly was a life saver for your little guy. In cases like his, there’s no doubt it’s worth the risk of side effects and the cost to give him some relief. Viovet has a much cheaper price than I’ve been able to find here in the US. Do you know if they ship out of the UK? I’m so glad you found a solution and thanks for the money-saving tip, Therma!

    • I’m glad this worked for others, but my poor Chihuahua is really suffering from it. She’s had 2 doses; the 3rd day the problems started. She’s had vomiting, she hasn’t eaten in 2 days (finally had 3 bites today) and the legarthy is so bad she’s a shadow of her former self. it’s HORRIBLE!! The last dose was Tuesday night, it’s Friday and she’s still this sad little dog; none of her normal zip is there. It breaks my heart. I’m going back to the vet tomorrow and am returning the drug, but I’m supposed to go on vacation on Monday and I’m so worried about her I wonder if I’ll be comfortable leaving her. Be very careful with this “wonder drug”; it may be great for some but for others the side effects listed are very real and quite scary.

      • I’m so glad you stopped by to share your experience, Victoria. It’s so important to hear people’s experience with these medications, so other dog owners can make the best decision possible when considering how to treat their pup’s allergies. I hope your sweet chihuahua is feeling better today, eating more and recovering. I’m sending good thoughts and prayers your way and I hope your vet can help figure out what’s happening. Thanks again for telling us about your experience. ?

    • I have a 2,5 year old french bulldog with atopic allegry – Bono. We are now using Calcort /steroid/ but results are not what I expected. We need to increase the dose. He sometimes scratches and licks his paws, gets rash and bubbles… So we went to the vet again and he mentioned about Apoquel. I have written many articles about it and I am ready to try it after all. Is there anyone who has been trying Apoquel for a long time? For few years maybe? I know it’s a new drug but it has few years already.

      • Hi Kaja, Haley’s only been on it for about nine months and I don’t know anyone’s dog that’s taken it longer than that. I’m curious too about the long-term results and effectiveness (and side effects too, of course). Haley’s still doing really well on the drug and occasionally I give her 1/2 doses when her allergies aren’t too bad.

        I hope you have great results after trying it with Bono. He sounds pretty miserable with his allergy symptoms and many people feel it’s safer than steroids. Wishing you guys good luck with the medication. ?

    • Our baby Millie (5 years old) was originally put on steroids for her allergies. Unfortunately these made her lose total control of her bladder, even when we reduced the dose to a quarter tablet a day. We gradually stopped the steroids a year ago but her allergies flared up again recently, so badly that she was permanently scratching and biting herself red raw. Our vet prescribed Apoquel last Sunday and within 5 hours of taking her first tablet we could see a difference in her. It’s almost been a week now and the improvement in her condition and quality of life (and ours) is unbelievable!

      • Oh Chan, I’m so happy for you and Millie!? It’s such a relief to see the difference it makes in some pets. Haley had a similar bladder control problem with Tramadol once and it’s not fun when that happens. Plus, those steroids are pretty hard on their systems. Give Millie a big hug and smile from me! ?

    • Glad to hear it worked for you. I just picked up a bottle at the vet’s today because both my dogs (they are littermates) have rashes and skin issues, especially in the fall. It’s too soon to know if it helps the itching, but they do seem more tired than usual after their first dose.

      In previous years, we had to give them antibiotics and steroids every fall, and the steroids make them hungry and irritable (once they even fought and drew blood in the kitchen, over a silly toy or bone or something, which they have never done). So I was hoping for something with milder side effects and something safer than steroids.

      Augie is also a bit on the pudgey side and I don’t want something that makes him more prone to weight gain, at least to the extent that steroids do. Odin had raw, red areas in the inner thighs but this has improved slightly with new shampoo and food changes.

      • I’d love to hear how Apoquel works out for Augie and Odin. Those steroids are pretty rough on dogs sometimes and the side effects can be an issue, so I think it’s definitely worth trying something new that might work better. That must have been really alarming to see them irritable and fighting like that.

        I’ve read that food allergies are pretty rare, but I’ve heard so many people swear by dietary changes or feeding a raw diet for treating allergies. It makes sense. The more we can move towards healthier and less processed foods for our pups, the better off they’ll be too.

        I sure hope Augie and Odin are getting much needed relieve from the itching and rashes. ?

    • My dog’s story- adopted him from the local animal shelter and within months he becomes an allergy dog. Spent thousands and countless vet visits before he went to a dermatologist. Atopica was the first treatment option and he developed two different tumors on it. Finally got him a chronic yeast infection, with maybe four flare ups a year with the weekly allergy shot. Moved him from NC to WA and he flared up so badly – paws swollen and ulcerated, bowel movements of only blood, we made the decision to put him down. The vet asked us to try one more thing – Apoquel. He has only been on it for five days but it is a miracle drug. I have read the potential side effects and have decided even if he has a shorter life due to his body not fighting off cancer cells, it is worth it. Atopica worried me more since it was originally intended for humans.

      • Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry your pup has been through so much with his allergies. That had to be heartbreaking and what you must have gone through while considering your options and whether to put him down. I’m so glad your vet mentioned Apoquel because I would definitely think it’s worth the risk in your dog’s case.

        It sounds like his quality of life has improved dramatically and I’m thrilled he’s getting some well-deserved relief from his symptoms. Give your sweet boy a special hug from me and Haley tonight! ?

    • Hello,
      I have a dog named Rocko and for years he has eaten the same dog food until the last 4 months. He woke up one day and began scratching non stop. This lead us to countless vet visits which became very expensive. I felt so bad for my Rocko. He was in misery and I felt helpless. Finally I made another appointment a week ago where this vet prescribed the Apoquel. I litterly saw a big improvement within 24 hours! I’m very thankful for this product. Now Rocko is back to being Rocko….playing and enjoying his.days instead of always itching. Rocko is four years old and I’m glad he is doing well.

      • I’m so glad Rocko is doing well now too, Cynthia! Allergies are so confusing. It’s strange how all of a sudden he had such severe symptoms. It’s good to hear he’s feeling like himself again. Hugs to Rocko! ?

    • I started my dogs on Apoquel a few weeks ago. I have two golden retrievers. This has done wonders for them. The itching the scratching licking and chewing at their legs and paws. They still lick their legs now and then and scratch every now and then but nothing like before. It is also that it does not have the side effects of prednisone. Benadryl just wasn’t strong enough. After the two week double dosage and down to once a day now all is well. If they get bothered I just give them Benadryl in the evening. This has done wonders. I highly recommend it.

      • That’s great news, Jesse! It’s so hard to watch them suffering and being so miserable with all the licking, chewing and scratching. Haley’s allergies tend to get worse this time of year, so the other night I gave her a Benadryl too and it pretty much knocked her out for a while. They usually don’t affect her that way, but maybe because she’s also on Apoquel, it made her extra sleepy. I think I’ll give her 1/2 of a Benadryl next time she needs a little extra relief.

        I’m so glad your Goldens are doing so well on Apoquel too! ?

    • My bulldog, Stella, is on Apoquel. It has been a life saver. Benedryl did nothing for her. You asked about the cost though. I pay $30 a month for her prescription.

      • Thanks Jen, for sharing your experience with Apoquel for Stella. I’m happy it’s working so well for her. That’s an amazing price for your 30-day prescription. The lowest I’ve been able to find lately is around $1.70 per pill. That gets pretty expensive. ?

    • My poor Sierra who is 6 has scratched & chewed & licked her whole life but suddenly about 5 months ago she got a horrible skin infection from the licking of her paws & then scratching her neck till she had open sores. Brought her to the vet & she got on antibiotics & antihistamines. About a week into taking the meds I found her chewing her feet to the point of them bleeding & being cut open. It turned into the worst infection I ever saw even on the meds. She was wearing a cone but had managed to get the cone off when I wasn’t looking. The vet insisted it was allergies but I convinced her to try an antidepressant finally cause I was convinced it had to be anxiety since she had never done anything like this before. So after 2 months on them she’s not any better & still has to wear a cone 24/7. She’s not having a good quality of life I feel in this stupid cone. I have just bought Apoquel & she started it last night. I don’t see any difference. Tried leaving her cone off but she’s right back to chewing. From what I read it works right away so I’m worried now. Is it possible that it can take longer? My poor baby need to be free of this cone. 🙁

      • Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to hear how Sierra is suffering with all the biting, chewing and infections. When Haley started on Apoquel, our vet put her on double the normal daily dose for one week because he wanted to get her allergies under control, and her symptoms were no where near as bad as Sierras. If Sierra’s not on a double dose at first, it would be worth checking with your vet to see if she would recommend that, since you’re not seeing a big difference and Apoquel usually works pretty quickly.

        If it doesn’t seem to be working at all, it might be worth getting a second opinion on what could be going on with Sierra. Perhaps there’s another issue that’s causing her intense symptoms. Also, a lot of people have had success with seeing a holistic vet when normal treatments aren’t working well. Btw, if you decide to get a second opinion, try to find a vet that’s AAHA certified. It can make a big difference in the quality of care.

        I feel so bad for her, having to wear the cone and I’m sure she’s feeling pretty miserable. I know it’s really hard on you too. Please give her a hug from me and hang in there.? I would love to hear back if you have some success with the double dosage or other treatment.

    • My dog, Oscar, has been having skin issues for the past 6 months. He’s a 3 year old lap/pointer mix. The skin issues started with the skin on his belly and back legs getting very pink and progressed to minor sores from itching and licking. Vet thought it was a bacterial infection and he went through three 3 week courses on antibiotics and chlorhexadine baths with very minor improvement. Vet now thinks it’s allergies and prescribed Apoquel 16mg, 1 tab every 12 hours for 2-3 days and then 1 tab daily until he stops actively licking his open sore spots. Then she recommends giving him an over the counter antihistamine daily. She also gave us chlorhexadine wipes and soap to take care of the yeast that was present in his skin scrapings. Oscar’s problem seems less serious than others posting on here because he’s not crazy itchy, but I feel awful that he has all the open sores with no solution. I feel like my vet’s being conservative with the dosing of this new medication which makes me feel better after reading all the negative reviews. Keeping my fingers crossed that this works!

      • You’ll probably notice a change pretty quickly if Oscar’s problems are related to allergies. Maybe your vet is being conservative at first to see how Oscar responds. I hope it works well for him too.

        On a side note: I’ve heard several people say they’ve had success with feeding a grain-free diet when there’s a yeast problem involved. You might already be doing that, but if not, it might be worth a try, since yeast feeds on sugar. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Oscar is feeling better soon and his issues clear up.?

        • He’s been on grain-free kibble since he was a puppy. However, his treats are not, so I will be upgrading those to grain-free as well. Antibiotics can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, too. Perhaps Oscar did have a bacterial infection at first that lead to a yeast issue after multiple antibiotic treatments? Or maybe I’m digging too deep trying to figure this out? All I know is that I want my poor baby to be healthy.

          • I think you could be onto something there! Haley’s vet put her on canine probiotics for a while after she had colitis and he raved about how good they are for everyday use too. I wonder if they work the same way in dogs to keep yeast levels under control. It’s definitely worth checking with your vet!

    • My 7 year-old yellow lab has ALWAYS had severe seasonal itching. We had her spayed in case it was genetic; she did the prednisone thing; Benadryl therapy… Regardless, as soon as we flip the calendar to October, the non-stop itching begins for the winter. She scratched her ear and created a hematoma and is at the vet as I write having it drained. I am ecstatic to report that she will be starting the Apoquel today. I HOPE and PRAY that she tolerates it well because she certainly deserves to enjoy an itch-free life. Fingers crossed.

      • I’m really hoping Tessa’s ear scratching and hematoma days will be behind you very soon! I can’t imagine how miserable she must feel every fall when her allergies flare up. I’ve got a good feeling your prayers will be answered but I would love to hear back after a few days to see how she’s doing. I wish you both the best and really hope she’s feeling much better tomorrow.?

    • My Bella 10 year old Westie has been on allergy shots and zyrtec since she was 2 years old with prednisone added at times of infection. For the past 2 years she has been on almost continuous prednisone and weekly baths. she is developing steroid induced problems now. Time to wean off prednisone. She started Apoquel 3 days ago with amazing results. No side effects at this time. She is much more comfortable and happy.
      Hopefully it will continue.

      • I hope Bella continues to have good results with Apoquel too. I’m sure you’re relieved that she’s doing well so far and off the prednisone now. I’m so sorry your girl’s been suffering for so long. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience, Kathy! ?

        • Initially, Tessa was prescribed two tablets of Apoquel and then tapered down to one tablet per day. We noticed an IMMEDIATE relief to her seasonal itching. Once she began the once/day dosage we noticed that she scratches for a little bit in the morning until her pill “kicks in”. I had begun to wonder if this was, in fact, the miracle med for her afterall. Well, we just confirmed it. Her prescription ran out 3 days ago and I wasn’t able to immediately run to the vet to refill it. She has been scratching 24/7 and has even drawn a little blood on one ear flap. Needless to say, I was at the vet refilling her prescription today and I have already given her today’s dose. The $65-70/month that I need to spend for 6-8 months in order to provide her with relief is money well spent. Thank God for Apoquel!

          • I noticed the same thing with Haley too. There have been a few times that I was late giving her pill and later in the day I would notice her scratching a little bit. I do wish Apoquel wasn’t quite so expensive though.?

    • My dog Josie (a 6 year old Havanese) has been on Apoquel for a few years and it is the only medicine that works for her. The only issue is that she needs to have 1/2 a pill twice a day (5 mg tablet) … when she takes it twice a day, she has no issues. I have a new vet who isn’t keen on the Apoquel dosage and wanted to try something else but nothing works like it. She has tried giving her a shot of some type of allergy medicine and had me go back to 1/2 a pill a day. Within a day, my dog was scratching almost non-stop. I went back to the 1/2 a pill twice a day and she is a much happier dog. While she is on Apoquel, I take her for blood tests every 6 months to make sure everything is ok. she also gets weekly allergy shots.

      • Hi, Linda! I’m kind of curious why your vet initially wanted to take Josie off the Apoquel. Was it just the dosage or was she hoping to get her off it completely? I’m always interested to learn what other vets think and to hear about their strategies for dealing with allergies. Haley just had her blood work done recently and everything came back good, so it’s always a relief to hear that.

        I’m glad you’ve figured out what works well for Josie.?

        • Hi,

          My vet isn’t trying to get her off the Apoqul entirely, but would have liked her to be on the recommended dose of 1/2 a pill a day. She is nervous about the potential side effects and the issue that the drug is new and there are no long term studies yet. Unfortunately, my dog gets no relief from a 1/2 a pill a day so we have gone back to 1/2 a pill twice a day.

          • Oh, I see. I didn’t realize she was taking more than the recommended daily dose for her weight. Thanks! I hope it continues to work well for Josie. ?

    • Hello all,
      I hope everyone that is thinking about using Apoquel for their pup reads my story in hopes of getting this horrendous drug off the market. (Like that will ever happen, right big pharma?)
      Shortly after picking up my baby German shepherd Blaze for the very first time in 2010 from the breeder we noticed every allergy symptom known to man. As each year passed it got worse and worse, spending thousands of dollars (yes, I said thousands) trying to cure it or even put it at bay so he wasn’t entirely miserable. We settled with him on a maintenance, low dose of Prednisone. (Another nasty, nasty medicine) This made him gain a lot of weight, but hey he wasn’t scratching till he bled anymore right?
      In 2015 we finally ended our 6 month wait to get him on Apoquel, this “amazing, wonder drug”! I picked up his prescription with happy tears a flowing, thinking this is the end of his pain from allergies. I gave him his very first dose of Apoquel on July 17th, 2015. That night he was in EXTREME pain. Couldn’t lay down without screaming! Would not eat or drink a single thing. He was no longer my baby Blaze. This drug took everything from him, and me. We spent the night in the E.R and spent 2,800 on testing, and were sent home with no answers. 4 hours later, my 5 year old baby boy passed away in my arms at home. We had a necropsy done on him and that too, came back inconclusive. My perfectly healthy 5 year old German Shepherd was taken from me from a stupid 5$ pill.
      Blaze wouldn’t want any other fur babies to be taken from this beautiful life, like he did.

      • I’m so sorry, Raquel. Your story about Blaze just breaks my heart. I can’t imagine how difficult it’s been for you and your sweet German Shepherd. His allergy symptoms sounded really severe and the medications that were supposed to help him did just the opposite. Then to be so hopeful about Apoquel, only to have such a tragic and fatal reaction. I don’t even have words to adequately express my sympathies.

        It’s so hard to understand why some dogs do really well on a medication and others could have such a horrific reaction. It’s hard to make sense of it, but I really appreciate you taking the time to share your story and what happened to Blaze so others can have a better idea of the risks vs. benefits. Sending hugs to you tonight.

        • If everything came back inconclusive, can you really be so sure that it was the Apoquel? Is this what your Veterinarian confirmed? I’m not trying to down play your story at all. It id honestly the worst thing in the world to lose a furry family member. I’m just genuinely curious.

    • We gave our Jack Russell Apoquel last year for a few weeks during allergy season. She soon suffered from a urinary tract infection and we stopped the medicine. I said I would never use the Apoquel again. Then this year rolled around and she became very itchy and scratched herself raw. Out of desperation we gave her the Apoquel again. It seemed to work fine for about a month and then she developed a horrible toe infection, foot swelling and an eye infection. I saw on the Zoetis site that Apoquel can cause Interdigital infections and foot swelling. I stopped the Apoquel at the first sign of these symptoms. I took her to the vet and the vet told me that I should increase her Apoquel dosage and that the feet and eyes were just more allergies. I was appalled. I knew the Apoquel was causing these side effects and that they were infections. A few days earlier I had my dog tested for food and environmental intolerances at ImmuneIQ. I found out that my dog should not have canola oil that was in her food and spinach and other items. I showed this to the vet and she rolled her eyes. I listened to the vet, and assured her that I had enough Apoquel, but I assure you, my dog will never get this medicine again. I have made changes to her diet, added probiotics, enzymes, oils, turmeric and colostrum and she is doing much better. I am treating her foot with Oil of Oregano and her eyes with Terramycin and bathing her with Dermagic. I have never felt so helpless and betrayed by a vet. The vet could have at least listened. My dog is doing much better. The toe infection is almost healed and her eyes are not red anymore. I still bath her and rinse her with a povodone solution and I also use a resin on her belly called Pet-B-Well. It is fantastic. So my dog is much better, sleeps all night and had not had a single Apoquel and never will again.

      • Hi Victoria, I can totally relate to your feeling of being betrayed or led astray by a vet. I think that’s why we’re seeing more and more holistic vet practices these days. Just like with people, sometimes natural remedies work better than prescription medications and it sounds like you’ve discovered a really good combination of things that work well for your JRT girl.

        Turmeric and probiotics have worked great for Haley too but you’ve given me some new things to check out. I hadn’t heard of the Pet-B-Well Resin before. It sounds really interesting and useful for so many different skin issues.

        I love it when people share their natural solutions so we can learn from one another. Thanks so much for the great tips, Victoria and I hope your sweet girl continues to do well with the natural treatments.

    • Victoria,
      Your story reminds me of what we went through with our Cocker Spaniel. Four hours and there was no itching. She plays and we get a full night of sleep. The kennel we take her to says she is a happy dog now. Cost is an issue but quality of life overrides that.

      • It’s awesome that your Cocker Spaniel’s getting some relief and she’s happy and playing again! You’re right about the cost though, it’s really jumped up since Haley started on it. Some people have ordered it from the UK for much cheaper, but I haven’t tried that yet. Thanks for sharing your girl’s experience with us, Jann!

    • I have had my dog Gotti on this for about a month. I have noticed that he is not scratching nearly as much, but has lost quite a bit of fur. He still likes to scratch his belly on the rug, but I rarely notice the scratching with his paws. He also seems less active. I just wanted to know if anyone else has heard of this problem.

      • Hi Reagen! I haven’t heard of the hair loss before. Does Gotti normally shed? Could it possibly be a coincidence that maybe he’s going through a normal shredding cycle right now? I know Haley was a little sleepy at first when she taking a double dose, but that went away pretty quick after we cut back to her normal 16mg dose. I’m glad it’s working pretty well for Gotti, but maybe check with your vet to see if they’re concerned about the hair loss and activity level.

        Thanks for sharing this and maybe someone else will be able to shed (pardon the pun) some light on this. ?

      • Yes I just posted about my dog a few posts down. She has gotten fat and so tired all the time. Took her on walk the other day and we went a couple blocks and she just sat down. “I am done” is what I thought she was saying to me pretty much. She is overweight so I want to walk her but I can’t carry her home. I have back issues and sciatica.

        • I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond. I have been hospitalized and returned home last night. Gotti is a very short haired dog and his shedding is normally not noticeable accept when I’m cleaning. When looking at him, it is now obvious that hair is missing.

          • Oh no, I hope everything is fine with you and you’re feeling better, Reagen. It sounds like you’ve had a lot going on and I hope things will settle down and you and Gotti can enjoy the holidays.?

        • Gotti does not seem to go as far as he use to on walks now . I can not say that it is because of his medication. We changed his food to a sensitive skin formula and saying that he loves it is an under statement. We had a work schedule change and he was being fed double for awhile. My husband fed him before he left at an earlier time (he was the person that normally fed him), and my son fed him at his normal time. Gotti had no complaints.

    • My dog started Apoquel about a year ago. Within a few months she was diagnosed with degenerative valve disease, but continue to use Apoquel. Then followed up with Cardiologist and her DVD has worsen greatly to Dilated Cardiomyopathy, so I stopped Apoquel for a few months. She returned to itching, but her heart condition did not worsen. So just in the past couple of months returned to using Apoquel, all was good until the side effects and worsened heart condition returns. Stopped Apoquel and within 4 days, my dog’s heart has stabilized again, blood pooling to lungs stopped, etc. My dog takes Vetmedin for her heart, which since being diagnosed with heart disease has worked. My concern is my dog went 11 years without ever having any heart issues, to within months of starting Apoquel being diagnosed with heart condition. And anytime she is put on the drug her heart condition worsens, plus she has developed lipomas, and other non specific lumps, so far not cancerous. This drug may be great, but it is not safe. I’ll just do what I did before ever trying Apoquel for her intense allergies.

      • Hi Melissa, Thanks so much for sharing this because I haven’t heard of a link between heart issues and Apoquel before. Does your vet think there’s a correlation between the two? It would seem likely since the condition gets worse when she goes back on Apoquel. I sure hope your girl is managing okay now and not suffering too much with the allergy symptoms. Have you found any alternative ways to manage her allergies that work well?

        I hope the Vetmedin is helping. Sending you and your girl good thoughts and prayers.❤️

    • My dog Diamond is on this med and has been for about 6 months. She has horrible allergies.
      Tried changing dog foods, several topicals etc. They put her on prednisone once and she wet all over the place. She has inner digital cysts now that keep getting infected but she had them before she started on med too. Lately though she just seems so tired and listless. Taking her back to the vet because I think she needs more antibiotics. I am thinking about stopping med
      but not sure how else to treat her allergies. She is a purebred beagle and only three years old. I have spent so much money trying different things and getting so frustrated. They did an expensive thyroid test that came back high but not high enough to start thyroid med. Any idea’s?

      • I wish I had a good solution, Joy. I’ve tried a lot of different things with Haley too but the one thing that I keep hearing over and over (but haven’t yet tried myself yet) is switching to a raw diet. It’s not exactly easy, cheap or convenient, but those that have switched swear by it for correcting a number of health issues, including allergies. Here are a couple of bloggers that specialize in raw feeding if you want to give it a try:

        You could also ask your vet about allergy testing and shots to see if that might be helpful. Some of the people that have commented here have also had luck with some natural remedies. I really wish researchers could make some headway with finding a cure for these allergies. I just hate seeing our pups suffer with all the symptoms. I really hope you can find a good solution that works for Diamond. ?

    • Hi
      My disabled dog Cookie went on this medication approximately 6 weeks ago. He is 6 yrs old and has had extremely bad allergies all his life . He also has spinal injuries not related to his allergies and is very nearly paraplegic and unable to stand or walk unaided.

      After 18 months of rehabilitation he was starting to stand up and walk again and the day before taking his first tablet he had stood up and drank from his water dish. This was a huge milestone and he had not done that before.

      During the first month all signs of itching, scabs disappeared as did the feeling in his back legs the day after taking the first tablet. We had decided that it was far more important to be itch free and happy than to walk again.

      Now six weeks later with the itchiness returning so is his movement. Both our Vet and I have no idea to the reason behind this.

      • There certainly sounds like a link between Cookie’s mobility and the effectiveness of Apoquel. Is he still on the medication or have you taken him off of it since it doesn’t seem to be working as well now?

        That must have been a wonderful day when he was able to stand and drink from his bowl. Hopefully he’ll be able to do that again soon and maybe your vet can try some other types of treatment for his allergies. Some people have had great luck after working with a holistic vet and changing diets and adding certain supplements.

        Cookie is certainly lucky to have such a loving and caring pet mom and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with Apoquel. Thank you, Sandy! Hugs to Cookie!?

    • Hello;

      My vet is recommending Apoquel for allergies. I, too, have seen some pretty bad reviews on the medication and I will not be giving my dog the first dose until I am able to get back into the vet to discuss in more detail.

      I noticed that this article was written in April 2016. Are you still using Apoquel and has your dog had any blood work after extended use on this medication?

      Are you still just as happy with the medication now as you were when you wrote the article?


      • Hi Chris,

        That’s a great question! Yes, Haley’s still taking Apoquel each morning since November of 2015. I’ve tried a few times to take her off of it during those seasons of the year when I thought her allergies wouldn’t be too bad, but her symptoms came back pretty quickly. I’m still very happy with it and it’s working really well for her. She’s had blood work done twice since starting it and both times her test results were perfect, which was a big relief.

        I still would like to find some natural remedies or changes in diet that would work as well because I hate giving her any prescription medications that I don’t have to. So, I might bite the bullet this year and try the raw diet that everyone claims works wonders for allergies. It’s a big commitment though, so I have to learn more about it first.

        Does your dog have severe allergies or just mild symptoms? A lot of users have left good suggestions in the comment section of this post and also this one:

        If you decide to go ahead with Apoquel, I hope it works well for your pup. If you get a chance, come back and let us know how things are going. Good luck and I hope you dog is feeling much relief very soon. ?

      • I’m heartbroken to hear what happened with your sweet boy and I’m so sorry for your loss. If you don’t mind me asking, can you share any additional information about what happened and if your vet had any thoughts about the link to Apoquel? Was he on the drug for a while or did he have any other medical issues? Any further information you can offer can help other dog owners that might be considering Apoquel for their dogs.

        The loss of a beloved pet is so difficult. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you tonight.?

    • My Boston T has has allergies since he was 6 mths old .We tried everything with the vet even putting him on $130 food that you can only get at the vet .finely he gave us Vanectyl-p he finely got rest he was on one every other day about three yrs old he had to go on one every day and now we are at 2 one day and 1 the next day …he’s 6 yrs now and in November he started having poop all night and nothing all day and it was very soft some times watery .Every night all night we seemed to have to get up at least 5 times a night so we tried pumpkin we tried pepto .The vet took blood at the cost of $200 all was good took stool sample another $200 he tells me there’s nothing …He is puzzled finely he said i could try this new medicine Apoquel for another $200 but told me he knows nothing about it but i could try it …well I gave my dog the 2 for the 14 days and lowering the Vanectyl-p finely hoping to stop the Vanectyl-p for good ,but as soon as i got to the 1 Apoquel every day he started going crazy .So here i go again back to the Vanectyl-p .I really don’t know what to do .Hate to go see the Vet again he does not know what else to do with my baby…

      • Hi Corinne, I was doing some research on Vanectyl-P, since I hadn’t heard of it before. It sounds like it worked pretty well for several years. Our vet mentioned that allergies tend to get worse as pets age and that seems to be the case with Haley.

        Since your Boston Terrier is having digestive issues along with his allergies, have you tried any other changes with his diet? My friend Barbara over at K9s Over Coffee swears by a raw diet for allergies. We’re doing mostly cooked food right now, but I might give it a try soon. Maybe check out Barbara’s site if you want some tips. Another thing that might help is visiting a holistic vet if there’s one in your area. I just hate these darn allergies and seeing our pups miserable.?

    • Ta for writing the blog. Our Rosie is a sable Staffie cross and has always had allergy problems, mainly down to grass seed, so that’s a royal pain when walking her. We’ve managed her through a complete raw diet, wash her feet in malaseb most days, bath maybe every couple of months with it as well. Yudigest, yumove supplements. She was doing fine until this winter when she started ton struggle again. Vet suggested Apoquel and Yumega supplement and the difference is astonishing. So much more bright and energetic walking now, no side effects whatsoever, so reckon we’ll finish the course and give it a few weeks of just adding the Yumega and see what happens. If she starts to struggle then I think it might be worth going back on it, though maybe lower the dose. She’s 10 now and would like to make he later years just as comfortable for her.

      • Thanks for sharing the tips about Malaseb and Yudigest, Steve! I would love to hear back about whether Rosie’s able to get along well without the Apoquel after your first course. Since you’ve been feeding her a raw diet for a while, how effective do you think it is/was in managing her allergies? I’ve heard great things about the raw diet for allergies, but since symptoms tend to get worse as dogs get older, maybe Rosie needs something a little more now that she’s ten. It’s such a struggle to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. I’m glad you have Apoquel in your arsenal though if you need it. Hugs to Rosie!?

    • We have a 10-year old sheep dog that was plague with all sorts of allergies. (She was a rescue at 18mos with a mild ear-infection that turned out to be allergies.) We had tried everything including cool baths, change of diet, creams etc. Out vet suggested a dog allergist.
      So she (Mayo) was truly allergic to everything and had a few different infections in her skin and ears due to scratching. She has been on Apoquel now since it came out. What a difference. We can let her hair grow out now, her skin is beautiful, eyes and ears clear. She has been on it from the time it hit the vets. I am constantly looking for side effects but after 3 years, I am happy to say we have had none. I know every dog is different but our experience is nothing but positive.

      • Thanks so much for sharing this, Mary. There aren’t that many commenters whose dogs have been on Apoquel for a few years so it’s nice to hear Mayo’s still having good results and no side effects with Apoquel. Haley’s doing really well on it too and it’s been a little over a year now. It’s so helpful for dogs like Mayo that seem to be allergic to everything or have such problematic symptoms. I’m glad she’s feeling so much better and thanks again for sharing your experience. Hugs to Mayo!?

    • My 13 year old Cairne Terrier has been on Apoquel for well over a year now. She has contact dermatitis, and had previous treatments of steroids and antibiotics when it got bad. I was excited when my Veterinarian found Apoquel to try. She started on 1 tab twice per day, then 1tab once per day. I find the last few months I can get away with 1/2 tab per day and all is well. I do notice she starts getting itchy if stopped for a couple of days. I am guessing she will need to be on it for life. So far so good as far as any negative side effects or other health concerns.

      • I’m glad it’s working so well for your girl, Tansey! I’ve tried the half tablet a few times and I noticed Haley’s symptoms got a little worse, but not as bad as when I’ve stopped or forgot for a day or two.

        The last time we were at the vet’s office, I mentioned that I was giving Haley a half dose and he recommended not doing that because it might make the drug less effective in the future. I haven’t read about that anywhere else, but I thought I would pass it along. Since vets make a good profit from prescription medications, it’s always smart to try to do as much of your own research as possible.

        Thanks for sharing your positive results with us and I’m so glad your Cairne Terrier is doing well!😊

    • Yes dman tell us what happened!!! I’m taking my newly acquired itchy 16 lb pooch to vet in the morning and I suspect she’ll prescribe it. Thanks.

    • I have a Bichon Frise, Capone has had trouble with allergies for the last 4 yrs and we live in Fl. it seems like twice a year he gets where he itches his body, he gets ear infections. he can’t sleep at night and neither can I. We have tried every thing changing food, new shampoo, ear wash and drops. Finally my Dr told me there was something new out and that was Apoquel, it is the best money I have ever spent and is cheaper then all the vet visits and products, I have spent over the years. Capone has had no side effects. MY QUESTION to all on here, are you giving Apoquel with food? I hide it in my dogs food. I do not give any medication to my dog with out putting it in food. Thanks, this is a great website and Iam so glad I found you 🙂

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Hi Joy! I’m so happy Apoquel is working great for Capone. I give Haley her pill with food and have to pretty much cover it with cheese spread or peanut butter, otherwise she’ll spit it out. I give it to her right after breakfast since I think it’s better with food too.

        On a side note, today I decided to try something new that my vet recommended for her allergies. It’s an injection called Cytopoint and it looks like it could be a better option than Apoquel. We’ll see how it works for Haley over the next few months.😊

    • Hi ! My 9 year old cocker spaniel has been taking Apoquel off and on (availability issues) for a couple of years. The medication has truly been life changing for her, because her itchiness was causing her to suffer terribly. As a matter of fact, I was just praising the miraculous transformation to the vet at her annual exam – until I noticed my vets expression change as she found a lump in her abdomen. It is cancerous and malignant. Then someone told me that there might be a connection between the growth and apoquel. While it sickens me to think that something I gave her may have caused this, I know that she had no quality of life with her allergies. I have a lot of decisions to make now. Emotionally , this is especially difficult ,as my son has cancer and is in a trial with immunotherapy drugs. My fear level over what may happen to him has now been severely intensified.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Gigi, I’m so sorry to hear about your Cocker Spaniel and the heartbreaking diagnosis, especially when you’re already dealing with such a difficult situation with your son’s health issues. My heart goes out to you and I’m certainly sending prayers to all of you. There’s really no way of knowing with certainty what may have caused the abdominal tumor, so please don’t feel responsible. We’re all trying to do what’s best for our pups and that’s what’s important to remember.

        Please keep the faith in the days ahead and know that there are many of us sending our good thoughts and prayers.💗

    • Hello everyone, I’d like to share my wife and I’s story about our little girl Merry. 11 year old Shiba-Inu (White in color) and for those of you dog owners that don’t know this just like we didn’t. A pure bred dog that is WHITE in color is 75% more likely to have mild to severe allergies. So, Merry didn’t start to really display any symptoms of having allergies until she was
      4-5. However when she did they were not bad, mild itch, mild scratching. Nothing that would raise an eyebrow, I wish we were back there as far as symptoms and her quality of life. The following spring, she was noticeably itching and chewing more. So much more that one morning she limped outside because she had chewed her back paw raw. To the vet we went, he gave us a shampoo and cyclosporine. Told us that it was seasonal and would clear up. For the first year this combination of medication and shampoo worked! Until the following spring, again digging like she buried a bone in her front paws or side of her muzzle. Scratching her fur off until she is bleeding, not to mention discoloration on her tummy along with a yeast smell. Back to the vet we go, this time she was given an anti-fungal medication for her tummy. Cyclosporine (again) along with Prendisone and a large dose of HOPE that again this is seasonal and will go away. She puts on 10 pounds from the prednisone immediately, but things do clear up. However our vet never tells us to discontinue The prednisone after her symptoms clear up. So we continue to give her it for roughly 4 months as a maintenance routine. She gets low on her medication, call the vet for a refill. It is given to us(her) no questions asked. However, she seemed to be doing really well. So I am to blame, I didn’t pick her medication up for a week. I’m sure
      Some of you know where this is going, abruptly discontinuing steroids can cause RAPID ONSET BLINDNESS IN DOGS! And that’s what happened and I am to blame, however our vet NEVER EVER TOLD US THAT. She only in the beginning lost 90% of her sight in her right eye. Over the next 6 years she has
      Been on every single medication to treat allergies, had every test done. Due to losing her sight, she has broke both of her hind legs / tore her ACL in both hind legs / Gained 20 pounds / Has no whiskers left anywhere on her face / has permanently removed the fur from the last 2 inches of her tail / can NO LONGER GO ON LONG WALKS / almost drown multiple times. We are not bad dog parents, just on Merry’s care over the span of her 12 year lifetime we have spent almost $30,000 on her care. We have tried everything possible, it’s so hard because anytime we try something new we will see “promising results” in the first month then its right back to the Dermatologist. We are considering Apoquel, she has had every medication available for allergies except this. We are going to try it, as much as it breaks our hearts if this doesn’t work we are going to put her to sleep. She is the most precious dog, the most loving dog that deserves to be free of all of this. We have been a bit selfish, we love her so much that we are always hoping to find something that will finally help. I’d post a picture of her, but I don’t want to hear backlash from everyone. Again I stress that we ARE NOT BAD DOG PARENTS. Until you have a dog with these kind of allergies you have no idea of the world we live in. I’ve had more sleepless nights with Merry than I’ve had with my daughter. So, in short I am really hoping that this medication really does what it says it can. I don’t want to lose my little girl.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Tyler, I’m hoping and praying that Apoquel works well for Merry. You all have been through so much and sweet Merry has been suffering with her severe allergy symptoms. It’s so frustrating and heartbreaking when it feels like nothing works. I have a good feeling about Apoquel in Merry’s case and would love to hear back on how things are going. Finger crossed for you guys.

    • My 6 year old french bulldog started taking Apoquel on 18/3/17 on 2/4/17 he suffered his first seizure on 4/4/17 my little lad passed away. my vets take no responsibility for Ernie’s death as seizures are not recognised as a side effect. If you love your dog please think twice about giving them this. Apoquel will stop the itching but what damage is it doing?

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        I’m so sorry, Kelly.😔 I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is with your loss of Ernie. Did your vet happen to run any other tests after Ernie started having seizures? We all really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and knowledge and we all certainly share in your pain and loss.💗

    • My lab has had allergies for years. Gave her over-the-counter medication, but after awhile, they didn’t help. My vet prescribed Apoquel about 2 months ago. Last month she got an UTI and urinating blood. Today I took her to the vet and she has pneumonia. Be very careful if you are prescribed this medication.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Oh no, I hope she’s feeling better very soon. Did your vet mention if they thought Apoquel could be related to the UTI or pneumonia? I know it’s hard to get an opinion from a vet on something like that, but it would be nice if more of them gave some feedback.

    • My yorkie has been on Apoquel for a little over a year. She has been developing warts all over her body in different areas, but, mostly around her neck and head. It seems where she scratches she develops a lump,so, I don’t know if the lump makes her itch or the itch makes a lump (wart) . I’m taking her off the medication because I am worried they are going to develope on her eyelids or mouth. She never had anything like this until she start with the meds. Grant you it stopped her itching, although the pill lasted only 8hr. So after 8hr. We give her 1/4tab. Temril-p , which actually lasts longer than the Apoquel. Her dose was 5:30am Temeril-p, 7:00 pm Apoquel. Her atopic dermatitis was 90 percent better, but, she can’t continue to get these lumps. And…who knows what else. She is 11yrs, old. So, we will be returning to her old routine of 1/4tab temril-p and a Zyrtec at the evening.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        That’s interesting, Marsha. Haley’s had some lumps pop-up here and there too, but they’ve been sebaceous cysts which I guess are common at her age. I’m wondering too if the itch is causing the warts or vice versa. Since the Apoquel wasn’t quite managing her symptoms anyway, maybe it is best to go back to your girl’s old routine. Hugs to your Yorkie from me and Haley!💗

    • I was skeptical about using this from my bulldog but within 3 days actually too maybe one day I notice a difference her eyes didn’t have to clean them her foot in it anymore it was amazing the biggest thing was her but didn’t ditch her eyes were clean all the time she was a totally different dog she was even just in a good mood seem like she breathe better just a different dog I’m so glad I found this

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        It does seem to work quickly and I’m glad your bulldog is feeling much better now. We noticed a big difference on Day 1 too.👍

    • Hello, just found your blog when researching Apoquel. How is the Cytopoint seeming compared to Apoquel?
      Are there any safety concerns with Cyopoint as well?

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        Hey, Amy!
        Our vet really likes Cytopoint because it’s not a drug/medication so there’s less risk and side effects. Haley got one injection that should have lasted about 2 weeks, but by the end of week one, she was already licking a lot and scratching her ears which were already getting a yeast infection. I didn’t get a second injection because it didn’t look like it was going to work well for her and we went back on Apoquel. After re-starting Apoquel again, her ears cleared up quickly and licking stopped.

        After a recent vet visit, my vet encouraged us to give it another try since they’ve had good luck with it in other dogs and it takes a little while to build up to the point where dogs can get up to 8 weeks of relief between injections. So, we’re currently three weeks into our restart and on our second shot. I have to say I’m a little disappointed so far because Haley’s ears are bad again and she’s licking a lot and I also have to give her some Zyrtec to get her through until the next injection.

        We’re going to hang in there for a while this time though and hope that it starts working better for her. We’re in the height of allergy season here in Ohio right now, so maybe that’s a factor too. I really would love for this to work for her, but time will tell. I’ll keep you updated on how things are going.😊

    • All Ernies blood tests come back normal vets were treating him for epilepsy 6 and a half years old and never had a seizure before I don’t think they had a clue. In the reply to my complaint I was told that I should of had a autopsy done I had already had Ernie cremated using a different vet.

      • Chasing Dog Tales

        It’s so tough when our dogs can’t really tell us what they’re feeling and then to have no definite answers after something tragic like this happens…it’s very hard to accept.😔

    • I have my French bulldog on apoquel for a few months now but just for a short period time she did get a lot better but i hate giving her any drugs .. She get a nasty rash all over her bully and her fur get dry and red patches and she loses her fur . I see that if I don’t give it to her 1 or 2 days it comes back she has a little on her now so I am giving her baths three times a week also coconut oil can anyone give me any advise on any nature way of doing this please I’ve spend thousand I am current out of work due to operation thank u

    • Apoquel is guaranteed to kill your beloved animals! It works very well to control itching by shutting down the autoimmune system. Any living organism will die without the ability to fight disease, viruses, or bacteria. It is a vital system. Took less than 3 weeks on Apoquel to kill my healthy dog. Research all drugs before administering to your animals. Their are no safeguards in place regarding the approval of drugs for animals. DO NOT USE ANY DRUGS THAT COMPROMISE THE AUTOIMMUNE SYSTEM ON ANY LIVING ANIMAL!!!! Apoquel is the equivalent of full blown AIDS, no exaggeration.

    • Great thanks for keeping us posted! It’s interesting how it helps some and not others, as with many things in life! I just started my Yorkie mix on Cytopoint yesterday and he is definitely much less itchy today, it is actually remarkable..I just hope it lasts and that he will just need it only a couple times during the worst seasons of the year. Obviously hoping to get by on fewest injections possible. I always turn to natural methods, but quality of life comes into certain wellness decisions too.

    • I did all the research and didn’t want to give Apoquel to my baby but he got so bad I decided to try . I’m so glad that I did it works thank god every day.

    • My chihuahua/whippet mix Belle is almost 13 years old. She started biting I noticed the bottom portion of her paws about 9 months ago. At first I thought she would stop, but she didn’t. It just got worse to the point were while she was biting her paw she would make this terrible pain noise and the paw areas were starting to look pinkish/red. I remembered she had allergies 2 years ago (scratching all over) and gave her Diphenhydramine (generic for Benadryl). So I tried it again. Didn’t work. Then someone told me to try Chlorpheniramine. Didn’t work. I then decided to take her to the vet five weeks ago. He started with the medicated bath solution. I had to wash her legs and paws every other day for two weeks–and she hates water, was not a good experience for her, very traumatic her sitting in the shower for 5-10 minutes with the medicated soap on her legs and paws, and it really didn’t work. So then he decided to try the apoquel. It worked immediately! He started with giving her it twice a day for a week then once a day for a week. The vomiting and diarrhea I am reading about did not materialize. I just tried to give it to her every other day, but I noticed she started licking and slightly biting her paws, so I am going to wait. Vet wants me to keep her on it once a day for now. I want to try to wean her off of it, but only when I see she doesn’t need it I told him. The vet said he doesn’t want her on it long term, it’s only meant to be used no more than 6 months. He said if she is still taking it in 6 months we will try to figure out another alternative. I get it. But at least she is back to her normal self.

    • My black lab used to lick his paws raw and we went the usual route, exploring allergies and treating for them. It didn’t work. A dog trainer saw his feet and said her dog used to have the same problem, and after she’d done the whole allergy routine, it turned out to be hydrothyroidism. Her dog’s problem was completely resolved by treating for that. She was right. We asked our vet to test our dog’s thyroid function, and he was indeed suffering from hypothyroidism. Not only that, treating that condition ended his foot-licking problem. So, that’s another thing to explore before treating for itching; there might be treatable disorder that causes it, and the treatment might be an extremely well-tolerated one.

    • After about a year of successfully treating my 13 year old female Maltese with Apoquel, the drug is becoming less effective. I’m now thinking about using Zoetis’s new injectable drug CYTOPOINT. It’s reported to provide a 4-8 week period of relief from pruritus/atopic dermatitis. Has anyone had experience using this new medicine on their dogs?

    • My poodle mix has been on apoquel for over a year. It has been a positive experience until I noticed warts. Started with just a few and now they are growing everywhere. I️ read that Apaquel can cause those because it suppressedsthe immune system. She is 9 years old and i want her to be comfortable. However, it’s my duty as her caregiver to try other natural things in hopes they work. If they don’t work then at least we know Apoquel is available. Just do your research. I will keep y’all posted.

    • My Papillion has been on Apoquel for about 1 year now and has stopped the itching. Recently he had surgery to reattach a dislocated back leg into hip socket. The area was shaved and seemed fine until about 3 months later, he is developing slightly raised black spots on the shaved area. Vet seems to think, while benign, it could be a side affect from Apoquel so we are reducing the dosage in 1/2 (1/2 pill every other day). His breath has gotten really bad too, but that could be due to his bad teeth at 10 years old. The thought of creating a problem while trying to improve my dogs health is scary. Some of the deaths noted in these comments are just horrible. Would love to find something else that works. Benedryl doesn’t do much.

    • We tried steroids for several years for our 8 year-old Labradoodle and Brittany mix. Thought we’d try Apoquel at the recommendation of our vet. It worked for the summer for seasonal allergies – but now that we’ve stopped, both dogs are itching and scratching worse than ever – and the Labradoodle has developed warts. This is not a good alternative and should be researched more thoroughly before vets recommend this. We’re at a loss about what to do now – as we feel that we’ve compromised our dogs’ immune system. Buyer beware!!!

    • I gave my dog as prescribed by the vet apoquel half tablet for five days then she started acting funny , not herself . She was eating but just lying around the house . I decided to take her off the medicine without doctors advice . She was also given eye drops in which I still gave to her for 6 days and her eyes are looking much better already. She did have a few days of constant mishaps in the poop department which is unusual for her . I just want my Piglet well and back to her old self . Any advise ?

    • Maggie is a Mini American Shepherd; she had pruritus and was placed on Apoquel x4-5 months. Within a few weeks, she became increasingly aggressive and couldn’t be redirected. It got to the point that she was viciously attacking our other dogs, at least weekly but sometimes 4x in one day. I titrated her off and within a week the behaviors were nearly gone (last episode was two weeks after she stopped taking Apoquel). If her behaviors hadn’t abated, we would have had to rehome her to a home with no other dogs or children, or put her down.
      Maggie is a changed dog – she shares her food bowl with no problems, is happy and loving. I would never place another dog on this medication. The “potential side effects” were very real.

    • Anne
      My dog Peggy, is skittish to begin with. She was on Apoquel for 12 days and suddenly became extremely fearful and shaking . I promptly took her off this med. I will try changing her diet and wiping her paws after she’s be out doors.

    • My Charlie has been using Apoquel 3 seasons (actually 2 1/2). His allergies start mildly in spring and ramp up until the first hard frost. Licking, scratching, rubbing. Bleeding. Infection. Wound dressings. With the coaching of a vet we tried all the standard things and at the end of the second year outbreak (2018 is year 4-nothing prior, no changes) the vet prescribed Apoquel. Miracle.
      Or is it? Seems to work less each year and cause more side effects. That’s how I found this site. Since resuming his 100mg dose this season, Charlie has diarrhea almost daily (once) , vomits at least weekly and is having defecation accidents in the house monthly . He’s 100# chocolate lab mix. He looks bloated, has developed lengthy, frequent nightmares, loud, movement. I’ve suffered with the allergies so , don’t know what to do? Has anyone ever tried giving it every other day or have any ideas?

    • Our vet gave us Apoquel (to take for 2 weeks) to help with itching from an ear infection that the vet is treating. I just read where a side effect may be ear infections, and now I am concerned. Luna is a mini poodle, 25 lbs, taking 4mg. 2X a day. Any thoughts?

    • My Shorkie who is now 7 has had allergies as long as I remember. Red eyes, pink belly, hot spots, scratching, digging to releave itching.
      I have tried every limited diet dog food I could find. She has had steroids which I didn’t like giving her until the vet a couple months ago started her on apaquel. I have tried reducing dosage but when I do she starts scratching again. She has no noticeable side effects from the drug but has stopped scratching, eyes are now normal and she has started playing.
      I have recently read that CBD oil can be used for dogs with allergies and you can also purchase a topical spray which settles hot spots.
      Has anyone tried CBD oil?

    • After 10 years of managing allergies through home cooking, at the suggestion of my vet, I put my Frenchie/Boston, Coco, on the allergy wonder drug – Apaquel. Had very mixed feelings about it due to its immunosuppression. It worked well and did improve her overall quality of life. Sadly, she developed a cancerous mass on her leg about 6 months after starting it. The mass was not operable (due to the type of cancer) and within another year had spread to her brain causing seizures. It was with a very heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to my little girl. Do I believe Apaquel played a role in the cancer? I do. Can I say definitively that it was the cause or a major factor? No. Would I ever give it to one of my dogs again? No. If I could go back in time and do it over, I would have continued to manage her allergies with diet and natural supplements.

    • 10 year old English bulldog NOT SCRATCHING OR ITCHING EVER! He does lick his front paws. Has been on 250 mg of Clavamox as needed. Prednisone 10 mg for two years.
      Gets interdigital cysts in between his toes. Gets hot spots than turn scabby and hair falls out (thats when the Clavamox is given to clear that up in approx two weeks) All that being said….. now Vet wants me to taper off prednisone after telling me he would be on it for the rest of his life; and put him on Appoquell. Said prednisone will lead to Cushings disease and side effects??
      So confused!!!!! He has had years of vet visits and $$$thousands in various vet prescribed medications…. Auuugh!!! Just paid over $200 for 100 Appoquell tabs. After reading comments….. if he is not itching or scratching-
      Why the Apoquell???? Any thoughts …. would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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