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Immunotherapy vs Apoquel

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Vars1983, Apr 4, 2017.


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Immunotherapy vs apoquel

  1. Immunotherapy

    33.3%
  2. Apoquel

    66.7%
  1. Vars1983

    Vars1983 PetForums Newbie

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    I am looking for some help/advice. I have an 8 year old labxcollie who I've had since he was 6 months old. In August 2015 I moved into a new house and in October 2015 he started itching his stomach terribly. I took him to the vet who gave him a course of steroids that stopped the itch.
    In June 2016 he started scratching again and chewing his legs. I tried everything including dog coats which made little difference. It seemed to improve over the winter.
    This March he started again so I took him to the vet who put him on apoquel and took bloods. They have come back saying he's allergic to 4 things - dust mite d.farinae, storage mite T.putrescentia, storage mite acarus and penicillium notatum.
    The vet has given me more apoquel and says he can stay on that forever although I'm not sure given what I have read about this drug. They have also offered immunotherapy. Does anyone has experience of immunotherapy and whether it works? The vet says it works on 70% of dogs. I have never had an issue since moving into this house so my final option is to sell up and move! Any help/advice greatly received. Thank you.
     
  2. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Could it be the carpet in your new house? Was your previous house carpeted?

    We have a young Staffy with numerous allergies. She too has Apoquel, but we only use it when needed, as most of her allergies are food related.

    I have no experience of immunotherapy and it hasn't been suggested to me. I too would be interested to hear if anyone has experience of it.

    Is your dog insured?
     
  3. planete

    planete PetForums Senior

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    I have used immunotherapy successfully for several years on Sophie with some added Piriton in the Summer. I would say it is 80 % effective with her and she did not need any steroids while she was on it. Last Autumn it stopped working and she was put on Apoquel. I put her on an elimination diet, feeding her kangaroo meat, sweet potato and nothing else for eight weeks. She came off the Apoquel and was ok for three weeks. Unfortunately, she is itching again and has gone back on the Apoquel. I am now waiting for the results of the latest blood test which should determine whether she is reacting to something not covered by the initial tests as I prefer the immunotherapy treatment. Immunotherapy is harmless long term but the jury is still out about the long term effects of Apoquel which is a relatively new treatment. If you read the leaflet which comes with it, blood tests for various things are recommended after a few months to check the dog is not being badly affected by it. However it works extremely well and gives badly affected dogs their quality of life back.

    If you use the Apoquel for any length of time, I would say it is worth getting a prescription and ordering it online as it is about half price compared to getting it from the vet.
     
  4. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Tagging @Hanwombat as her dog is having immunotherapy & has just recently been put on Apoquel.
     
    Hanwombat likes this.
  5. Vars1983

    Vars1983 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all for your replies, it is all very interesting.
    @Sweety I am thinking about taking up my carpets and only replacing those in rooms that really require them. My old house had carpets so don't think it can be that but they could have lots of dust mites hiding in them - I had them professionally cleaned but not sure this kills them?
    @planete your experience of immunotherapy seems a very positive one - are there any side effects to it at all? I am definitely considered seeing it as I don't like the thought of my dog being on immuno-suppressants for the rest of his life. Does Sophie receive one every month? The vet said some people are happy to inject them themselves whilst other go to the vet, what do you do?
    Does anyone know of any alternative drugs to apoquel? It may sound niave but I'd rather solve the route cause of the allergy than mask it with apoquel.
     
  6. Hanwombat

    Hanwombat I ♥ dogs with eyebrows !!

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    My dog has been having Immunotherapy. Hes on his 6th or 7th session I think at the end of the month. They say it can take 6 months or more to start seeing results.
    I also put him on apoquel last week as he was struggling with his allergies, itching completely stopped but his side effects are retching and drinking more.

    He had a dust and storage mite allergy.
     
  7. planete

    planete PetForums Senior

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    I have not seen any side effects to the immunotherapy. Sophie has one injection every month done by the vets as I do not want her to associate me with it. She is a rescue and was very shy and withdrawn when I got her so I feel I cannot do anything that might jeopardise our relationship. I have a feeling I would start having problems with recall if she was in any way wary of me. I am afraid I do not know of any alternatives to Apoquel.

    We have got rid of all the carpets in the house, even on the stairs, and the dogs are no longer allowed in the bedrooms as human beds can harbour dust mites. The sofas are all covered in washable cotton throws. And Sophie no longer gets dry food. I just hope we can find out what her new trigger is as I really want to get her back on the immunotherapy. Good luck with your dog. I have been wracking my brain to try and find out what may be new in our environment but it is a totally frustrating problem!
     
  8. Lexiedhb

    Lexiedhb Team Ginger!

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    I think I'd defo go with immunotherapy over a life time of Apoquel.
     
  9. vinyl pusher

    vinyl pusher PetForums Newbie

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    I would get a skin biopsy and blood tests done first so you no whats causing the itching otherwise you will just go round in circles like me and spend a fortune if its environmental allergies you cannot get rid of them its how you manage them my dog suffers from inhalent environmental allergies constant face rubbing and sneezing all these shampoos and creams are just for the secondary bad skin caused by the itching they won't stop the allergic reaction which is your dogs immune system picking up on it in the environment I've tried natural antihistamines like quercetin dorwest herbs dermix immune supplements boosters all to no affect I've tried piriton didnt work fish oils which are great for coat but do not stop the itching change their diet which makes no difference if its not a food allergy you also need to rule out yeast infection bacterial infection my dog is now also on apoquel which is better than prednisone which causes calcium build up under the skin over time thats when you start to see the lumps normally on the back of your dogs neck and inside their legs I've just bought denes sulphur drops which are homeopathic and are supposed to be the best for rubbing and itching when all else fails we shall see you can also ask your vet about benadryl which I have yet to try but I'm going to at the end of the day it's about quality of life for your dog
     
  10. vinyl pusher

    vinyl pusher PetForums Newbie

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    #10 vinyl pusher, Apr 5, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2017
  11. magpie

    magpie PetForums VIP

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    My dog Harley had immunotherapy for his allergies, only for about 4 months though as it turned out that he had almost like a phobia of needles, he was completely traumatised by it. We'd only had him for about 6 months at that point so had no idea that he would react so badly to injections. Part of the problem was that he had such a huge list of allergies that he had to have 3 injections of the immunotherapy each time to cover all of them!

    After that he went on Atopica tablets (as Apoquel wasn't easily available at the time) which he was on for about a year, during which we gradually reduced the dosage and then stopped it completely June last year. Luckily he's been fine since!
     
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