Apoquel for Itchiness? Any Opinions? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Apoquel for Itchiness? Any Opinions?

Willow has been a feet licker and tummy licker since I've had her. It seems to flair up more during the wet, winter months. At our last checkup, the vet suggested a light dose of Apoquel during the wet months. I've been trying it and it does seem to help. The licking as eased up considerably.

However, I hate to give unnecessary drugs, especially to a tiny dog. I've read about it online and of course there are pros and cons. Do any of you have experience with it or have an informed opinion?



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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 12:54 PM
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Apollo had seasonal allergies that turned into almost year round allergies. We were able to control them with Zyrtec and Hyrdoxozine, my vet said Apoquel was kind of a last resort med if nothing else worked. I do know now there is a new treatment out Cytopoint that is an injection(I think given every 4-6 weeks), less expensive and safer side effect profile.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 12:57 PM
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I have no experience with anything but Hydroxyzine, which I do have for Tucker, and I alternate it with Benadryl.

But here is an article that I found useful about Cytopoint, and it also has a link to an article about Apoquel.

https://vitalanimal.com/cytopoint-answer-itch/

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 02:24 PM
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Kodi is my "allergy boy", and we manage him with diet, daily Zyrtec and if needed Benadryl. I've talked to my vet about Apoquel, and she says she tends to use it only as a last ditch effort, and also, hopefully when dogs are older. She says that side effects are not all that common, but when you see them, they are bad. Add to that the reports of cancers seen in dogs on it long-term, and she only likes to use it when the dog is already old enough that it will most likely die of something else first anyway.

Now, that all said, she tends to be very cautious with meds (which is one of the reasons I love her) and it is certainly a drug that is being used by other vets more frequently. The people I know who have used it have seen a HUGE improvement in their dogs' allergy symptoms. So I think, like every other medical decision, you need to make a cost/benefit analysis. When Kodi was at his worst, he was licking himself raw. But we have mostly been able to control it in the last few years, so I'd rather save the "big guns" for later in his life, if we ever need them.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 08:45 PM
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I agree with Karen. As we review our choices, we have to look at risk vs benefit, and make the best decision we can for our pups.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmmm. Thanks guys. I'm going to talk to the vet again and ask about the Zyrtec and Hydroxyzine mentioned. The vet did mention trying Benadryl but said he didn't see a whole lot of success using it. Willow hasn't licked to the point of getting sores. However, sometimes I wonder if she is somewhat OCD. She will lick, lick, lick but I can sometimes break her from the licking with a distraction. Another thing she seems OCD about is when she greets another dog ad they do the sniffing of the privates. Most of the dogs will sniff a couple of times and then seem satisfied. However, much to my embarrassment, Willow just never wants to stop. It seems compulsive to keep smelling and smelling and smelling. She even got her head peed on once by a male dog! She's a crazy girl but I love her!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
Hmmmm. Thanks guys. I'm going to talk to the vet again and ask about the Zyrtec and Hydroxyzine mentioned. The vet did mention trying Benadryl but said he didn't see a whole lot of success using it. Willow hasn't licked to the point of getting sores. However, sometimes I wonder if she is somewhat OCD. She will lick, lick, lick but I can sometimes break her from the licking with a distraction. Another thing she seems OCD about is when she greets another dog ad they do the sniffing of the privates. Most of the dogs will sniff a couple of times and then seem satisfied. However, much to my embarrassment, Willow just never wants to stop. It seems compulsive to keep smelling and smelling and smelling. She even got her head peed on once by a male dog! She's a crazy girl but I love her!


I was told by my vet that some dogs get “addicted” to licking. Apollo used to lick his paws and also his blanket rhythmically like he was in a trance. His vet said that the action of licking releases endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals in their brains. Once they get into certain habits they do become compulsive about it and it is tough to break the pattern. I could sometimes get Apollo to stop licking but he’d give me the side eye the whole time he wasn’t licking. As soon as he realized my attention was elsewhere he went back to it lol.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
Hmmmm. Thanks guys. I'm going to talk to the vet again and ask about the Zyrtec and Hydroxyzine mentioned. The vet did mention trying Benadryl but said he didn't see a whole lot of success using it. Willow hasn't licked to the point of getting sores. However, sometimes I wonder if she is somewhat OCD. She will lick, lick, lick but I can sometimes break her from the licking with a distraction. Another thing she seems OCD about is when she greets another dog ad they do the sniffing of the privates. Most of the dogs will sniff a couple of times and then seem satisfied. However, much to my embarrassment, Willow just never wants to stop. It seems compulsive to keep smelling and smelling and smelling. She even got her head peed on once by a male dog! She's a crazy girl but I love her!
Benadryl definitely helps Kodi when he needs it. The problem is that you have to give it several times a day to keep it in their system. Zyrtec is only once every 24 hours.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Cmward View Post
I was told by my vet that some dogs get “addicted” to licking. Apollo used to lick his paws and also his blanket rhythmically like he was in a trance. His vet said that the action of licking releases endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals in their brains. Once they get into certain habits they do become compulsive about it and it is tough to break the pattern. I could sometimes get Apollo to stop licking but he’d give me the side eye the whole time he wasn’t licking. As soon as he realized my attention was elsewhere he went back to it lol.
I;ve been told the same thing... that licking can be habit forming. In Kodi's case, though, it is clearly related to his allergies. If he's not truly itchy, he doesn't lick.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-13-2018, 01:21 AM
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OCD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie from Concrete, WA View Post
Hmmmm. Thanks guys. I'm going to talk to the vet again and ask about the Zyrtec and Hydroxyzine mentioned. The vet did mention trying Benadryl but said he didn't see a whole lot of success using it. Willow hasn't licked to the point of getting sores. However, sometimes I wonder if she is somewhat OCD. She will lick, lick, lick but I can sometimes break her from the licking with a distraction. Another thing she seems OCD about is when she greets another dog ad they do the sniffing of the privates. Most of the dogs will sniff a couple of times and then seem satisfied. However, much to my embarrassment, Willow just never wants to stop. It seems compulsive to keep smelling and smelling and smelling. She even got her head peed on once by a male dog! She's a crazy girl but I love her!
Perry has an OCD-like behaviour with his bowl. It only usually happens when there's too much wet in the food bowl (and sometimes if I put a water bowl in his crate - which is why I've gotten a water bottle for him now) OR when he's not that hungry. He does this repetitive motion where it's like he's trying to dump over the bowl OR push something in it, but he does it against the floor by the bowl and/or the rim of the bowl itself over and over and over again. he does this no matter where the bowl is, If the bowl is on the floor then it usually just results in him pushing it around the room. If it's in his crate it will get wedged in the front, but he will also do it even if he's sitting next to me on the couch eating his dinner. But it is like he gets sucked in. He will stop if I stop him and sometimes that's enough to break the pattern and he'll go back to eating normally, but sometimes he'll keep doing it until I remove the bowl for a few minutes.

Last edited by Melissa Brill; 02-13-2018 at 01:35 AM.
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