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Apoquel Alert: Serious Side Effects of New Dog Allergy Medication

By Dr. Andrew Jones


There is a NEW drug on the market to control itching in dogs from allergies, called Apoquel.

It has been launched with much fanfare…from Zoetis..

FDA Approves APOQUEL® (oclacitinib tablet) to Control Itch and Inflammation in Allergic Dogs

Zoetis Offers a Targeted New Approach to Rapidly and Safely Stop the Cycle of Itch and Inflammation Associated with Allergic Skin Disease in Dogs

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common allergies in dogs, affecting approximately
10 percent of the dog population. Itching caused by an allergic skin disease can be an
acute, short-term condition or can be recurrent or chronic—all which can impact the
quality of life for both the dog and its owner unless they are controlled with effective

FDA approval of APOQUEL is based on results of two clinical trials conducted in the
United States which showed that APOQUEL was effective in the treatment of pruritus
associated with allergic dermatitis and for the control of atopic dermatitis.

Sounds great, right?

Having treated hundreds of dogs for allergies, it is MORE than welcoming to have a drug that works to STOP the itching without all the side effects of predisone.


A small study of 299 dogs- 50% of the dogs took the placebo medication, and most dropped out of the study.
66% of dogs improved on the medication, but keep in mind that means 33% (1/3) didn’t at all.

Side Effects

Health events associated with the drug were difficult to compare between groups given the low number of dogs in the placebo group at the end of the study.

The rate of adverse events overall was low (<5%) and included
diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy that resolved spontaneously in 90% of cases and did not
require discontinuation of therapy. Anorexia was the only adverse event noted more often
among the oclacitinib group compared with placebo (2.6% vs. 0%, respectively).

While still within reference ranges, mean serum globulin and mean white blood cell,
neutrophil, eosinophil, and monocyte counts decreased among dogs in the oclacitinib group
by day 14. Among dogs in the oclacitinib group, one dog withdrew from the study because
of the development of severe pyoderma (after day 19) and one dog withdrew because of the
development of generalized demodicosis (after day 28). Another dog required
hospitalization for the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia (after 91 days), and one dog
was hospitalized for cystitis secondary to urolithiasis (after day 80 of therapy).

(Source: Cosgrove SB, Wren JA, Cleaver DM, et al. A blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the efficacy and safety of the Janus kinase inhibitor oclacitinib (Apoquel) in client-owned dogs with atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol 2013;24:587-597.)

Translating the above means that for the first 2 weeks of medication the most common side effects are gastro-intestinal ( vomiting/diarrhea), BUT after 2 weeks, there are measurable blood value changes.

Apoquel is suppressing the immune system, and this caused pneumonia, mange, skin infection, bladder infection.

Because most of the placebo dogs dropped out, they really couldn’t compare the groups.

My cautious warning.

If you have a severely allergic dog, you need to be treating them.

BUT don’t consider this pill the ‘answer’

The potential for serious side effects is substantial, and that 1/3 of dogs did not respond in the study.

Here are my 7 most important natural remedies you should be considering:

1.Less Allergenic Food. Feed your dog a simple food that he is less likely to react to. I have found that a commercial diet of fish and sweet potato work very well, and with this there is less itching, and licking. Every dog is different, so you have to try different foods; there is not just ONE right food. But the principle is to think simple, minimal ingredients, avoid artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Try the new diet for 4 weeks.

2.Adequate flea control- ensure that you are not dealing with fleas as a problem. You can use a Natural flea spray that has cedarwood oil, and a safe holistic powder for putting in the cracks and crevices of your house called Borax.

3.Regular bathing- of your dog’s feet as he comes in from outside, and of your entire dog. I am giving my own allergic dog an oatmeal shampoo weekly. In the summer when his allergic signs are more common, I am bathing him twice a week. I have also found that by wiping his feet with a damp towel after he comes in from outside, there is far less itching and scratching.

4.Antihistamines- both natural and conventional. I have used Benadryl for big flare ups of his skin, dosing him at .5mg per lb ( I give 50lb Jessie 25mg of Benadryl at night), and I’ll do it twice a day if needed. Lately I have been trying Vitamin C which has some antihistamine qualities, and his itching is decreasing. The Vitamin C dose is 100mg per 10lbs twice daily.

5.Essential Fatty Acid supplements. IF your dog has allergies, he needs to be on these. I am using my supplement, Ultimate Canine Health Formula, which contains EFA’s in the form of flax oil. The omega 3 dose I suggest is 1000 mg per 10lbs daily- this works out to giving 1 tablespoon of flax per 50lbs daily to your dog.

6.Probiotics are increasingly being used for dogs with allergies. These beneficial bacteria play a role in normalizing the overactive immune system. You won’t see an instant response, but you may see some marked decrease in allergic signs after using probiotics for 4 weeks. I am using my supplements with lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, but you can dose lactobacillus at 1/4 capsule per 10 lbs of body weight twice daily.

7.The last increasingly used ingredient for allergies is colostrum. Research has found an ingredient known as praline-rich polypeptide (PRP) in bovine colostrum; it appears to be what is helping decrease the allergy symptoms. The colostrum dose for dogs with allergies varies based on the company; I advise giving ¼ of the human dose per 20lbs daily. My supplement, Ultimate Canine Health Formula contains bovine colostrum in adequate levels for your dog.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to help your dog’s allergies, I suggest you try my supplement, Dr Jones’ Ultimate Canine Health Formula. It contains essential fatty acids, probiotics, and colostrum, but more importantly it has helped thousands of dogs. See what it can do for your dog here: http://www.thedogsupplement.com

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Topics: Dog Health, Pet health | 94 Comments »

94 Responses to “Apoquel Alert: Serious Side Effects of New Dog Allergy Medication”

  1. Susan Says:
    July 22nd, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    My dog was on Apoquel for several months. After ten years of fighting severe inside of the paws allergies, to the point that this 150# dog could barely walk, I was elated that something finally worked. BUT…..then it started. The gagging, a horrible sound as if he had just ate straw or something outrageously dry. Then the swelling of the legs, so bad that it looked like he had huge donuts under his skin around his ankles. Due to the fact that he is a rescue and we have always wondered exactly his breed(s), we chalked it up to him being part Shar-pei (that we knew for sure Shar-pei is part of him: Swollen hocks is a big problem with that breed)
    But it continued, the swelling, around the legs, his body was swollen, around his eyes. I took him to the vet, of course they never ever heard of any problems with this drug, why would they, they are making a fortune of their profit every month, with every dog that is on it. They “assumed” that he must have a tumor, so, we scheduled an Ultrasound. VERY STRESSFUL, to get this large of a dog sedated and onto a table, he panicked as he was losing his ability to stand, the fear in his eyes made me lose it. I never, ever, leave my dogs side when they are a procedure until they are out, but this one was brutal. Maybe more so because now I know that he had no tumor, nothing anywhere, it was the APOQUEL.
    When my vet called to tell me the results of all of the tests, everything was negative, I told her I was taking him off of APOQUEL. She then proceeded to tell me that in the past week she had two dogs pass, that she suspects were from this drug.
    I talked with a Homeopathic vet about my dog and this med and she said that she is seeing at least 4 dogs a week that are coming to her because of reactions to APOQUEL. Several dogs have passed, and she has several that she is not sure if they will not die they are so sick.
    I went to the FDA website and there is not one complaint that I can find from any vet or pet owner. Where do you find these complaints on the site? Or, where on the site do you file a complaint? We all need to do our part to get this drug off the market. Zoetis has made a fortune on this drug, it is time to stop the suffering.

  2. Melissa Says:
    July 26th, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    My 4 year old red lab has been on Apoquel for about three weeks. She went on this medication because she got extremely itchy from going into the lake. This medicine stopped the itch and it had wonderful results UNTIL recently she had 2 seizures!!!! I took her to the vet and they ran tests which all came back negative. I’m convinced it’s from this med!!! She is a young dog from a breeder with no history of seizures. Read all the reviews on this page!! It’s incredible how this drug is not off the market!!

  3. Margaret Says:
    August 1st, 2016 at 6:20 am

    We have a coon hound with skin allergies. The vet recommended Apoquel “new improved antihistamine drug”. After six days our super energetic dog became extremely lethargic and will not eat, we stopped administering the drug. We are very concerned as she has been like this for four days. The vet could not detect what was wrong with her so this means a whole lot of blood test. To all dog owners WARNING do not give your dog Apoquel .

  4. Michael Says:
    August 3rd, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Dr Jones. I appreciate your information. We have a small medical practice (my wife is med director.)

    The mission is integrative and functional. Use the best of all forms of proven, safe and effective methods to find underlying causes and correct them. Avoid synthetic drugs unless there is no other way.

    By example, many that are on chemo come to us for high dose IV vitamin C (50g-150g/infusion)
    Is there such a movement in the veterinary world? You can check http://www.orthomolecular.org for more research and info. Also KU Medical center, dept of Integrative Medicine. And Univ of Iowa is now under clinical trial for past 4 years.

    Even though dogs and cats produce their own vitamin c, (we humans as you know do not) are you aware of anyone trying this approach in the animal world? IV or liposomal?

    Just curious? Someone called us today to ask if we knew more of this approach for her dog. She mentioned the dog was also on the drug being discussed here. How we found you.

    Michael (would be happy to share more in private with you.)

    PS: Please keep your head down.

  5. kerry holton Says:
    August 6th, 2016 at 4:55 am

    My 12 1/2 yr old westie has been very healthy for his whole life until last august . He has been on apoquell for a few weeks for itchy skin. He has woken up several times in the middle of the night to go outside and have diarrhea multiple times, then he strains and lays down on his stomach. Poor little guy. I have noticed he has been very hungry and is peeing a lot. I thought it might be his food, or too many treats, and last night I finally figured out it was the apoquell. I looked up side effects and was horrified. I am taking him off of apoquell immediately.
    My story started a year ago last august when he scratched his jaw bloody on both sides. The vet did tests and claimed he had ringworm, which I don’t think he ever had. They treated him with holistic drugs. I think he had an overgrowth of yeast, so in february I tried nzymes.com. This is also holistic and works by making the yeast exit the body through the hair follicles. They say it can take a month per year of your pets life to work. Well after about 4 mths I couldn’t take it anymore. He kept breaking out in scabby smelly yeasty sores which would eventually turn the skin black and constantly itching and scratching. I was also giving him baths with malaseb or microtek shampoo every few days. I went back to the vet and did an allergy test where we found out he is allergic to 19 things, including fish which was what he was eating. He is now getting allergy shots and we’ll see how it goes.
    One more thing I would like to say is that he was eating those CET dental sticks for about a year and a half before this whole skin issue started and I wonder if they caused anything to happen with his skin?

  6. Kimberly George Says:
    August 15th, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    My dog has very bad allergies. I put him on Apoquel. After 3 pills he started having seizures. I stopped the pills immediately. He is now on phenobarbital for life because the seizures never went away. He had to have the dosage raised today after 2 seizures this morning. Vet said it was not the Apoquil. I don’t believe it. What should I do ? I contacted the makers of this pill. They contacted my vet. I never heard back because the vet told them it wasn’t the Apoquil.

  7. Nikki Says:
    August 18th, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you so much for some holistic suggestions. My 12 year old German Shepard mix was prescribed Apoquel for seasonal allergies after Zyrtec wasn’t effective. He has intermittent hotspots and a rash. Has been on short term antibiotics and steroids for secondary skin infections. He chews at his hind quarter, scratches at his paws and ears keeping me up at night. I also wonder if advantix 2 would be responsible for his rash. His food has been changed to a taste of the Wild salmon and gets fish oil and vitamin e supplements without much relief. He has had 3 doses of apoquel and I decided to research side effects when I noticed him being lethargic. I am so glad I did and came across these suggestions. I was at my wits end after failing to relieve his itch, but I refuse to subject my love to seizures and liver damage.

  8. CathyM Says:
    August 19th, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    My 10 years old English Bulldog Sophie has the worst allergies..Digging,scratching,dragging,bleeding etc…I chose to try the Apoquel less than w week ago…BIG MISTAKE!!!! She will not go out ,will not come out of her crate,will not eat and barely drinks…I am 100 % sure it is from the Apoquel as 5 days ago she was her normal itchy self and now she has a hacking cough,skiddish etc…DO NOT USE THIS DRUG IF YOUR DOG MEANS ANYTHING TO YOU!!!!

  9. Brenda HC Says:
    August 21st, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    My 4yo Yorkie has been on Apoquel for 5 months. I’m heartbroken that I didn’t do my due diligence on this medication. I’ve taken her to the vet 4 times in less than 2 weeks. I was never told this drug is an immunosuppressent. My little girl now has ringworm, extremely high levels of protein and blood in her urine, low albumin. She now has glomerulonephritis, a form of kidney disease with a poor prognosis. I’m just sick. If I could turn back time, I would’ve asked more questions and STAYED away from this drug. I’ve been looking for others with the same diagnosis. It makes me sick to my stomach to see so many vets pushing and advertising this. I’m just heartbroken and will have to live with this guilt the rest of my life.

  10. Sandra Says:
    August 22nd, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Let these people talk about what they think about this drug. This is where we get our information. It is just like our medication do you honestly think the side effects are listed for us ? No they are not some very serious side effects have not been listed. That’s where the court issues come from. I hearing some of the same things over and over with this drug.
    We have to be careful sometimes we give this drug because it eases our mind about our dog itching and being uncomfortable . We think it’s the right thing to do. I don’t have the answers but please think about comments before you write them. We must consider what people are saying.
    We need our own check list to take a survey on this drug.

  11. Loretta LaPorta Says:
    August 25th, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    My Rocky is a Staffordshire Terrier. He has been on Prednisone since he was 10. He’s been to Cornell, and we have tried just about everything. He has symptoms of Cushings from longterm use of the Pred and he has a heart murmur. The vet started him on Apoquel and his itching stopped immediatly. He was on it for about 5 months and then he began having stomach trouble. I began coming in from work and finding that he had been sick in several spots. One morning I got up and he was shaking in his cage and couldn’t lift his head. I called the vet and they did blood work and checked him. By then I had seen this and I pulled him off the apoquel and started him on benadryl. The only thing the bw showed was that his body was basically starving. She said if he was human, they would say he was anorexic. She gave him different food and Hydroxizine, along with antinausea pills. A couple of weeks later, she called me and talked me into starting him on 1/2 dose as the hydroxizine wasn’t working. He was on it 1 week and he started terrible diarhea in my house and outside. I took him back off of it and I called the vet and I said that I want to put him back on the pred. I am still waiting for a call back. He still has the runs. I do want to note that when he first started on the apoquel, it worked really well. He seemed to be cured. After about a month, he began itching again, and it got steadily worse. No, I don’t think I will give it to him again.

  12. Scruffy Says:
    August 26th, 2016 at 7:49 am

    My terrier-mix dog has been on apoquel for about 2 months. The first month he took the full dose of 5.4, the second month we halved it. He is now experiencing tremors all over and weakness/pain in the front legs. He can’t come down the stairs or jump on the bed. He stares blankly without focusing. He is lethargic and seems to have aged rapidly. Apoquel is the culprit. It’s poison to his body but he did stop scratching. What is the lesser of the two evils? No more apoquel.

  13. Brenda HC Says:
    August 26th, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    After taking my 4yo Yorkie off Apoquel 2 weeks ago, (see my comment on 8/21) my girl’s UPC and albumin have greatly improved. Her creatinine went from 8.0 to 0.3 – almost normal!! Her albumin went from 1.5 to 1.9. Normal is 2.5 – 4.3. Her itching is in full force but we’re having some success with tea tree oil massages. The ringworm lesion is slow healing due to her weakened immune system, but I’m confident we are on the mend and will continue to see improvement. My vet is reporting my Yorkie’s side effects to the makers of Apoquel. Not sure it will make a difference or if they even care, but I hope this message will bring hope to others who are currently experiencing the downside to Apoquel.

  14. Jean Mauser Says:
    August 28th, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    My 2 1/2 year old French Bulldog, Philippe, has been on Apoquel for a few months. We live in Florida and this past winter he had no skin issues. As soon as spring arrived, the scratching and paw licking began. He takes 16 mg. daily and the scratching has almost stopped. Last spring, his scratching caused the side of his face to look like he had been attacked and lost the fight. I bathe him weekly and this helps. I’m concerned about his weight gain…he’s up to 36# which is big for a Frenchie. He walks daily and plays with is two sisters. We did try a restricted diet and the diet didn’t affect his scratching. He’s on a limited ingredient food (Dick Van Patten’s). I can’t wait for “winter” so I can see if I can take him off Apoquel and see if his weight goes down. My English bulldog’s vet (different vet from Philippe) also prescribed Apoquel and it works for her. Both need to go out more often to pee.

  15. Lindsey skocik Says:
    September 7th, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    This is a awful drug. My dog died this past Sunday and had all of the Symtoms I have seen in most of this comments, he was clumsy and peed in weird places out of nowhere I knew what my dog ate and how heathy he was until this drug was giving to him. THIS DRUG KILLED MY DOG. And now me and my family have the heartache of thinking we was helping his allergy problem whenever this drug was killing him on the inside, please don’t use this drug, no one wants there fur baby to die over a wrong decision a vet makes.

  16. Danielle Says:
    September 10th, 2016 at 5:27 am

    My 11 Yorkie mix has had allergies…itchy feet mostly but all over at times, that we have tolerated as holisticly as possible his whole life…with the occasional Benadryl. This past year he was expieriencing anal gland infections almost every week…we were constantly going to the vet for relief…he was iching his butt, gland would fill up quickly, he was always uncomfortable and couldn’t sit still due to the discomfort kept us up all night most nights. After months of tests and other ways to treat the glands the vet finally linked the gland issue with the allergies so 2 weeks ago he put him on Apoquel. We saw great results by the 2nd day and by now his gland would have flared up and has not, we were all getting to sleep at night! BUT… 2 days ago he has started having breathing problems…never had that before. It’s like there is flem in is throat and he can’t catch his breath. The first day I thought he had something stuck in his throat but since then it hasn’t stopped so here I am… I decided to look up the side effects and found this site. He has also been drinking excessively since we started him on the drug and peeing in the house as well. I thought I had found relief for him and for us but obviously not. Thank you Dr. and for the shared testemonies…I assumed their were possible side effects but I think every dog reacts differently.

  17. brian birk Says:
    September 14th, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    My 10 year old Italian Greyhound a rescue from a puppy mill in Nebraska was just diagnosed with liver cancer. 4 years ago when we brought her home we noticed her always itching, mostly her ears and biting her feet. She was allergic to grass and any food that was not grain free. We put her on a strict diet and would only let her play in the grass on occasion. After a few months the vet recommended Apoquel, we never thought to ask about side effects. The Apoquel seemed to stop her from itching but not completely and if we missed a dose which was very rare she would start itching again. Keep in mind she has been on the Apoquel since the spring of 2014 when it came out. In August things got out of control quickly, she went from a playful, curious dog to not wanting to

  18. brian birk Says:
    September 14th, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    eat, no appetite, and started throwing up. We took her to the vet and they did blood work. Everything looked fine but her liver enzymes were elevated. We were told to take her home and scheduled a full body scan by a professional x-ray tech. We took her in for the scan and they said she had nodules on her liver and she had 30 days to live. We even had a needle biopsy done. It was told to us in private that the long term effects of the Apoquel could be the cause of her cancer. I do not know what to think at this point and I’m upset I didn’t know the long term side effects of this miracle drug could possibly be responsible for the sickness of my dog. It has been 32 days now and felt it was almost time for her to go, she stopped eating for three days but was still drinking some water. I felt terrible because she was still itching during this battle with cancer so I kept her on the Apoquel. Last week I took her off the Apoquel, out of nowhere she started eating again, even playing and drinking water. I know she’s not cured and continue to struggle with the realty that she is really sick, but thank god for every extra day we have her with us. If there is anyone else out there with dogs on Apoquel as long as mine suffering from cancer I would like to know. 10 is way to young for my dog to die.

  19. Robin Says:
    September 16th, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    When I researched this drug after a vet suggested it, the info I found said it was not safe for dogs under one year since a high percentage in the study became ill. I was suspect of this drug before I read the study.

  20. Bridget Says:
    September 22nd, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I am reading these comments and cannot believe why this drug is still being prescribed. Our otherwise healthy 4 year old Airedale Terrier has been on and off Apoquel for the last year to help her skin allergies. She has now had two seizures. Bloods came back as normal and vet said it wasn’t the Apoquel that caused the fits. I’m not convinced and will certainly not be giving her anymore. Something has to be done about this!

  21. Joy O'Neal Says:
    September 25th, 2016 at 6:28 am

    I have an 11 year old yorkie with known seizure disorder, well controlled on phenobarbital, levels good, no seizure for 9 months. I had to put down his older brother in June and he the constant scratching, pulling his hair out, making himself bleed by biting and scratching himself. Vet suggested Apoquel. After one week on BID dosing he had a 5min seizure, I just chalked it up to stress. 2 days ago, on daily dosing st this point, he had another. I stopped the Apoquel.

  22. Jennifer Says:
    September 28th, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Hi. I have a 90 pound mixed male Shar pei who has been on Apoquel 3 years now. The drug has been wonderful for the most part. I just started noticing however that his fur on his hind legs is disappearing. One leg even appears lumpy. Additionally, our dogs eyes have been filling with a night green mucus. His nose is cold and his behavior is normal, but we are very worried. Has anyone else has had similar issues? I am taking him to the Vet and will ask if this is “Black Skin Disease, or Cushings”. I hope the drug has not caused this, will see soon what it is.

  23. Tammy Carlyn Says:
    October 16th, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Hi, my sweet grand pup was put on Apoquel about 9 weeks ago for allergies. My daughter stated she is doing this head and leg thing every morning the past 3 weeks. Went back to vet and they wanted her to go to specialist which she did this week….only wanted to run $2000.00 of allergies test…but vet didn’t even put their hands on her….. Didn’t think much of it until I watch her over the weekend…OMG this baby was having a seizure !!!! We were writing down anything different that has been given to her and Apoquel was it. We are stopping the med and taking to vet tomorrow to have full blood work done. She is a golden doodle and only a year and 8 months old . I’ve been searching all day and came across other dogs doing the same. After reading these post I’m convinced it’s the Apoquel.

  24. Vanessa Says:
    October 18th, 2016 at 1:04 am

    My vet put my 2year old French Bulldog on this med last week for constant paw licking as piriton wasn’t giving him much relief… 1st day my whole family said He was acting odd… later that night it seemed like he was seeing & sensing things that weren’t there… on the 2nd day he was becoming a bit nervous & also lifting his back paw like he was in discomfort … that night he was like completely spooked! petrified! … was up all night with the poor little guy, he was panicking badly, jumping into my lap, whimpering, panting,he was doing a weird head stretch thing ,could not settle, drinking loads… stopped the apoquel,took him to emergency vet, had bloods etc checked & they said he was fine…. 5 days later & I still have a very very different dog… He went from an extremely confident, friendly & vocal dog who was running round & playing all the time with my other dog into & nervous wreck …& he also seems to still have discomfort in his bad leg…. THIS MED IS AWFUL & I SO WISHED I NEVER GAVE IT TO HIM!!!!

  25. Anne sheret Says:
    October 21st, 2016 at 4:51 am

    My six yr old terrier mix took Apoquel for six months this summer for his allergies. I would have preferred using prednisone as it has worked well in the past and he didn’t need to take much. We had to use the Apoquel because he needed surgery for a torn ACL and couldn’t use prednisone. He now has a tumor on his neck ( just removed and sent for histopatholgy). My Vet said it looked cancerous when she aspirated it, does not mean that it is malignant but she did sound somewhat worried and talked about the way the nuclei looked under the microscope. It was attached to the muscle and she didn’t cut into it because of the location of the tumor. We will know more next week when the report comes back from histopatholgy. I am very upset. I certainly can’t say for sure that the Apoquel caused this tumor but am quite confident that it probably exacerbated it. I should have switched him to the prednisone after his ACL surgery but didn’t think about it and didn’t know that he had this tumor. It was under the skin, wide but flat so it didn’t show under his hair and wasn’t obvious when patting him.

  26. Maureen Kehoe Says:
    October 30th, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    My 8 year old beagle/basset was put on Apoquell for itching on 10/13/16 and died this morning from liver failure and pancreatitis. This dog was perfectly healthy and suddenly went down hill. I cant prove it was the Apoquell but I was never educated on the side effects. When I looked them up I immediately stopped the drug but it was too late. Her liver enzymes, glucose reading were off the charts. Died in hospital where we had to carry her. This drug should be removed from the market.

  27. Erin Hillstrom Says:
    October 31st, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    This drug should be taken off the market! It is dangerous. And the drug company should be ashamed of there self.

  28. Vince Caprice Says:
    November 7th, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you all, positive & negative on Aproquel. Here is my dilemma. I took my 58#
    8 3/4 yr old unknown mix (black & tan head, white with black spotted body & pink skin) to the vet after almost 8 years. Reason for delay: Vets have killed two of my pets very painfully and believe that the prior vet’s medication killed this one. We were miraculously able to revive her.

    This new vet prescribed Aproquel 16mg (twice daily 14 day supply) for a chronic allergy problem, we think from the cat. It worked almost immediately. After 14 days she was as if she were a puppy again. Noticeably happier and energetic.

    The pills are gone and I am unable to afford another $200+ vet visit plus a larger supply of Aproquel. After 3 days she is back to scratching, licking and bighting again with enflamed skin and a lot less energy.

    I am looking for suggestions on what to do. I certainly want her to be happy but also healthy. Some of the horror stories above are frightening. Please share your comments. Seeing this dog die, eyes open, tongue hanging out, not breathing lingers as if it were yesterday. The bonding after reviving her is incredibly tight.

    Thank you in advance for your response.

    The vet never explained the side effects so I am thankful to you … very thankful

  29. Kate Says:
    November 17th, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Apoquel is very dangerous. Our vet suggested it for our 4 yo GSD to control itching due to an unknown allergy. After 3 days we stopped the medication because her organs were shutting down. She nearly died and has never been the same since. Apoquel suppressed her immune system and allowed a serious infection to start that has resulted in severe diskospondylitis. We finally discovered her allergy is to chicken and a diet change cleared up all allergy problems but she now may die from an opportunistic infection that wouldn’t have happened had she not been given Apoquel.

  30. Ann Says:
    November 17th, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Our Angel was on prednisone for quite awhile. I knew all the side effects and finally was relieved to try the apoquel against my better judgement. I read all the side effects from the study and didn’t know what to do. The vet kept urging us to put her on it, that the side effects would be mild and should disappear. We finally gave in and she has been on it for awhile now, and she does appear a bit lethargic, goes out to pee more, and she does drink a bit more water at one time. She licks at her mouth often which she never did before and sometimes she acts like she is choking on something and has not had anything in her mouth. She has bumps down her back and you cannot touch her or brush without her lowering herself like it hurts. She is licking herself just as much as she did before and she get some kind of black spots on her body, and her skin is full of small scales of dried skin which she never had before. We give her oatmeal baths and it don’t help. She also has a running nose at times and when she is laying down and resting she sounds like she is congested. She had a check up and we were told everything was good. We are going to wean her off the supply we have and tell the vet we are going to take her off the apoquel. I know that an itching dog suffers, but I will try whatever I can to give her to be comfortable, and I know between the prednisone and apoquel she is probably being killed from the inside and I cannot do that to her. The only good thing is that her appetite is still really good.

  31. Jim Says:
    November 18th, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Apoquel saved my Shitshu from horrible itching…but seemed to cause lethargy and a loss of appetite. A little research showed that the Rx was twice the recommended amount for her.

    I’m going to discontinue and if the itching returns, begin with 1/2 the recommended dose.

    BTW, we cleaned up her diet and such, but some of the “natural” remedies suggested above are almost impossible to administer to my dog. It would be easier or me to inject her with something than get her to eat EFAs, probiotics, or administer colostrom.

  32. Larry Thomas Says:
    November 19th, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Wow!!! My 14 year old Boston Terrier….my best friend in the world had been plagued by itching his entire life. We tried everything with no resolve. Recently we moved to a different side of town in a metropolitan area and needed to find a new vet. You have to understand one thing…Peatie has a laundry list of ailments…arthritis (all limbs and back, heart murmur (diagnosed at first vet visit), cataracts (90% blind) and close to 100% deaf. Aside from all of those things, Peatie still enjoys the simple things like a good scratch, peeing on everything he feels the need to and his favorite treat. When we found the new vet he said he wanted to try Peatie on a new anti-itch drug…pricey but effective. Two days after being on Apoquel, we noticed less itching. After a month we ran out and in two days the itching was back. I ran to the vet and asked for more…$55 later, I had another months supply. Peatie had made a few accidents on the floor we just attributed to senility and a new home. Two days ago (45 days into Apoquel) Peatie woke from a nap and walked around frantically bumping into things, he’s blind, but it seemed more than usual, so I picked him up and he went tight in my arms…kind of like a dog stretching, but I soon realized he was in a seizure when he urinated all over me. Stupid me…I passed it off as a fluke. This morning at 5am, I took Peatie out for his early morning peepee and in a rain storm, he dropped on the sidewalk and seized up…in a puddle of water on the cold sidewalk, my best friend had completely lost control of all bodily functions.

  33. Beth Funke Says:
    November 27th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Beware aspergillosis infections due to Apoquel Everyone! Please listen to Dr. Jones. I’m on this site after it’s too late. My 7 year old male GSD has been on apoquel for 2+ years now for horrible scratching due to atopic dermatitis. It was prescribed by his dermatologist. I was NOT told it suppresses the immune system, but it absolutely does. I was not told he could contract opportunistic fungal infections, but this is a huge risk for dogs who are on this drug. Shame on me for not doing my research. Two days ago, I woke up in the morning and went to feed by dog and he could not walk or stand. He could barely hold his head up and would not eat or drink. I had noticed over the past few months he limped or tripped on his feet a few times, but he has hip dysplasia and we thought his hips were getting worse and that was the reason for the decline in his walking and climbing stairs. When I took him to the vet, he had 106 degree temp (above 102.5 in dogs is a fever) and they couldn’t figure out where the infection was. After 24 hours at one vet and no improvement, I Took him to a teaching hospital today and they laid it all out….he likely has aspergillosis, a fungal infection, that can either cause a nasal infection with drainage, sneezing, bleeding etc, or cause a systemic infection. My dog has the latter. He will not walk again–they think the infection is in his spine now. He ended up in shock and went into V Tach and the cardiologist put him on a procainamide drip to stop the VT and stabilize him, which worked, but who knows for how long. He has a low platelet count. His liver and kidney function tests which were normal 3 weeks ago are now abnormal–likely due to the damage from the infection. We are going in this evening to put him to sleep. A very sad day for our family. As I write this I just want everyone to know….the drug may stop the itching as it did with my dog, but it allows the immune system to weaken and your dog won’t be able to fight off the most basic thing: fungus. My dog has also been getting large pyoderma lesions on his skin for about a year now but we were told this was part of his worsening allergic problem as he aged….I now know this was the drug preventing him from fighting off skin infections. I don’t know what the answer is with severe allergies, but I would urge you all to find a holistic provider for your allergic dog instead of using this drug.

  34. Ann Says:
    November 27th, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Please be aware and do your homework on this drug. Here are some dog owner experiences with it: http://www.2ndchance.info/Apoquel-Comments.htm

    Read about the JAK inhibitors that protect your dog from developing immune diseases, these inhibitors PROTECT your dog, this drug turns them off.

    That’s right, turns them right off, which is great if all you care about is preventing the itchiness but not so great if you want a healthy dog.

    I am a regular pet owner with a 10 year old staffy with chronic allergies, but I would NEVER in my life give this drug to my dog. Don’t listen to what your vet says, arm yourself with knowledge by researching this and everything else they say, you’re lining their pockets, they have a business to run and the companies that make these drugs have profits to make, do you really think they want you to have a healthy dog? Hell no, healthy dogs mean less business.

    I’m not anti vet, I just think everyone needs to do their own research.

    Good luck to all.

  35. Ann Says:
    November 27th, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    If you’re wondering how I treat my dog’s allergies, I focus on diet. Nothing processed, out of a can or a bag, no dry food ever (it’s basically rubbish anyhow). Stella’s diet is I bunch of spinach, 4 carrots, I head of broccoli and 4 sticks of celery, raw, blitz it up in a food processor, add 5 boiled eggs, shells included. 500 grams liver, 2 handfuls of shredded cheese and I serve it up with a dollop of natural yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of Omega blend oil (vets all natural). Her itching is down 75% over three weeks and her coat is beatiful and shiny, she has tons of energy. I am so grateful to have finally found something that works and is healthy for her. If one person can try this and it helps your dog, I would be so happy for you and your dog. Just please don’t pump them with drugs, there is no magic pill but with research I’m sure you too can find a natural solution that will help. 🙂

  36. Ann Says:
    November 27th, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Oh! I forgot you add the above food mix to 3kg of chicken or turkey mince. Mix all together and freeze in portions and Voila!

  37. Michelle Says:
    November 30th, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    My dog Stella went on this pill in July 2016, she started to gain weight right away. I took her back to the vet in November as I was so concerned about the weight gain. She had gained 17lbs since July. The vet was sure it was her thyroid and we did all the tests and they came back negative. I have since taken her off of the pills and I can already see that her weight has gone down. Unfortunately the itching has started back up. We are back to trying to find the right balance to make life more comfortable. I think I will try the lady Ann’s recipe and see if that helps her. I have put her on a probiotic to see if that gives her some relief.

  38. Lynda Reed Says:
    December 3rd, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I paid $10,000 or more 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, sweet potato with vitamins daily added to food like Genestra brand Acidophilus HMF intensive powder, most important 15 mg 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 Genestra Super Flavonoids 1 capsule) all 3 work together. 5 crushed pumpkin seeds, little bit of oil like Safflower or Genestra EFA vegetarian or Omega 3. Genestra Vit D drops 800 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) 1 month. 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. Remember just a 1/4 or less amount that a human would take for the vitamins unless I mentioned an amount the vet gave me.

  39. Susan hahaj Says:
    December 7th, 2016 at 3:57 am

    My dog has severe allergies and has been under treatment by a dermatology vet for almost two years.. After switching up his allergy shots and exhausting medications including steroids she put Ollie on app quell.. He had a yeast ear infection when she did this.. After about a month of medication he still had the yeast infection so I looked up his medications online only to see that app quell can hurt a dogs immune system. I was angry I was never told this when she gave me the med. so I went back to my regular vet I trusted who pit Ollie on ever increasing steroids to try to kill this yeast infection. After two months and weight gain and labored breathing on steroids Ollie still has this yeast infection. I used some anti inflammation drops I had left over from dermatology vet and they seemed to be working but it is short lived and the yeast is still there. I feel apoquel has destroyed his ability to fight infections as before Ollie always responded well to treatments and now not at all. I’m at the end of the road here in my hopes for Ollie to be healthy. Ollie is a sweet beautiful springer spaniel.

  40. Dorothy Sinkler Says:
    December 14th, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I have an 8-year-old Shih Tzu who had more or less uncontrollable itching, mostly she would bite at her paws but then the itching became worst all over. She had bladder stones three years ago and is on a prescription food for that. My vet prescribed Apoquel for her and she immediately threw up and became very listless. I called the vet and was informed to “Keep her on the Apoquel and give her boiled rice and chicken for her vomiting.” I gave her the boiled rice and chicken but I immediately took her off of the Apoquel and her vomiting stopped. She is on Revolution and I have never seen a flea on her. Apoquel incidentally never stopped her itching and I will never resume the Apoquel.

  41. Inna Sumajin Says:
    December 16th, 2016 at 5:41 am

    Our dog, Casey, 15.5 years old ,bishon, has severe allergy problems. Apoquel helps him -100%, bur increase thirst and he urinated more often then normally.

  42. Hector Says:
    January 19th, 2017 at 9:14 am

    My Shepard has bad itching and was given apoquel yesterday and I’m taking him off after two pills and reading these comments, I’d rather have a dog that’s itching than having to bury him, i’ll do the holistic thing for now until he gets relief. I don’t trust drugs and I don’t trust doctors, or car sales men, or lawyers for that matter. besides, he’s strong and healthy overall, maybe a little miserable at times but we could live with that. Thank you Dr. Jones, you’re one of the good ones.


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