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Apoquel or other alternative? Dog with severe allergies.

This is a discussion on Apoquel or other alternative? Dog with severe allergies. within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Originally Posted by Kiara1125 Thank you for all the information. I switched Max's food because he was on 4Health which I thought was really good. ...

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Old 03-26-2015, 06:48 PM
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Thank you for all the information. I switched Max's food because he was on 4Health which I thought was really good. But, he stopped eating it and didn't eat for a week until I switched the food. I can't wet the food (I was originally doing it to help him chew because he only has 11 teeth left) and it gave him diarrhea even with the tiniest amount of after (with any food he was given).

I know all about Dog Food Advisor. This is what he was on:

4Health Dog Food | Review and Rating

Now I switched to Just 6 in hopes to get him eating again and it's all that I can afford. I can afford $1/lb and that's come to be my budget since I have no income. I don't live near ANY pet stores and, unless you can suggest a dog food from Walmart or Tractor Supply that is affordable and high quality, I can't change anything. I haven't found anything better than 4Health. I was feeding him Pure Balance, but everyone started yelling at me for feeding him that because it was by Ol' Roy (even though PB is a 4-star brand). I'm getting torn one way or another and I've even been told to go raw, but Max absolutely cannot handle "people food". I say this because if it's cooked he likes it a lot but he tends to get sick from it. If it's raw, he won't touch it and if he does then he has massive diarrhea and is lethargic. I've even tried giving him a free sample of Canidae and he threw it up ... He's developed a sensitive stomach and so I would appreciate if you could point me in a good food direction (roughly $1/lb but it can vary, right now I'm paying $18 for 14lbs), but right now I have to stick with Just 6.

When I went in to work today, I asked about the Apoquel. The doctor told me that they're being careful with how much they give out, but if they have some tablets that would suit Max (I believe 5.4mg) then they'll let me purchase a bottle. They're supposed to get more in April, so we'll see how that goes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Have you thought about ordering off line? That's what I do and I find the site I use beats both the local pet store and the big box one on prices. The have a good shipping price, but if you order $49 worth of stuff shipping is free. What I do is get 2 months worth of food and then throw in some toys or treats to bump up the order. If nothing else you can use the site to look up ingredients, and check prices, on different foods even if you never bother ordering from them

If Max did best on Pure Balance then let him stay on it, I feed Pure Balance wet food as a topper to Zody and he's never had any ill effects from it and the ingredients are decent. The HUGE problem that I have with them is that I cannot figure out where the food is manufactured at. Did a little digging just now and found this site Walmart Pure Balance Pure Balance Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe, 30 lb : Questions, Answers, How To, FAQs, Tips, Advice, Answers, Buying Guide It claims that it's manufactured in the U.S. by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:46 PM
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Have you thought about ordering off line? That's what I do and I find the site I use beats both the local pet store and the big box one on prices. The have a good shipping price, but if you order $49 worth of stuff shipping is free. What I do is get 2 months worth of food and then throw in some toys or treats to bump up the order. If nothing else you can use the site to look up ingredients, and check prices, on different foods even if you never bother ordering from them

If Max did best on Pure Balance then let him stay on it, I feed Pure Balance wet food as a topper to Zody and he's never had any ill effects from it and the ingredients are decent. The HUGE problem that I have with them is that I cannot figure out where the food is manufactured at. Did a little digging just now and found this site Walmart Pure Balance Pure Balance Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe, 30 lb : Questions, Answers, How To, FAQs, Tips, Advice, Answers, Buying Guide It claims that it's manufactured in the U.S. by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.
He actually didn't do best on the Pure Balance. He doesn't have a "best food". He's good onto a food for a few months and then I have to switch it because he either stops eating or he starts having gastrointestinal problems. I know it would be a lot easier if I could go raw for him, but he refuses any raw meats. I don't know what to do for him.

Also, Max didn't get sick due to the immediately switch to Canidae. I didn't do that to him. I ALWAYS gradually switch his food, just this time it was immediate due to him not eating. I tried to mix his food but he refused and he went to eat Toshi's food instead which is still (but not mixed) Just 6.

I've thought about ordering off-line, but everything is still so expensive. The prices online (unless at a place like Petsmart/Petco) are the same as they are in the store, so it doesn't make a difference to me if I buy it in the store or order it. Sometimes it's more expensive to order off-line. Tractor Supply wants $35 for 35lbs of Diamond Naturals while Amazon want $45 for a 35lbs bag. Crazy!
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:12 PM
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He actually didn't do best on the Pure Balance. He doesn't have a "best food". He's good onto a food for a few months and then I have to switch it because he either stops eating or he starts having gastrointestinal problems. I know it would be a lot easier if I could go raw for him, but he refuses any raw meats. I don't know what to do for him.

Also, Max didn't get sick due to the immediately switch to Canidae. I didn't do that to him. I ALWAYS gradually switch his food, just this time it was immediate due to him not eating. I tried to mix his food but he refused and he went to eat Toshi's food instead which is still (but not mixed) Just 6.

I've thought about ordering off-line, but everything is still so expensive. The prices online (unless at a place like Petsmart/Petco) are the same as they are in the store, so it doesn't make a difference to me if I buy it in the store or order it. Sometimes it's more expensive to order off-line. Tractor Supply wants $35 for 35lbs of Diamond Naturals while Amazon want $45 for a 35lbs bag. Crazy!
Which Diamond Natural are you considering? I order from chewy.com and they are selling the grain inclusive ones from $31.35 to $35.79 for 40lbs and the grain free is $41.29 for 28lbs.
Here's the link if you want to check it out Diamonds Natural - Free Shipping at Chewy.com

If you were considering the grain inclusive ones it might be worth it to buy 2 of the formulas and just switch between them every week or two.
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Old 03-27-2015, 07:58 AM
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Diamond dog food

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Originally Posted by Kiara1125 View Post
He actually didn't do best on the Pure Balance. He doesn't have a "best food". He's good onto a food for a few months and then I have to switch it because he either stops eating or he starts having gastrointestinal problems. I know it would be a lot easier if I could go raw for him, but he refuses any raw meats. I don't know what to do for him.

Also, Max didn't get sick due to the immediately switch to Canidae. I didn't do that to him. I ALWAYS gradually switch his food, just this time it was immediate due to him not eating. I tried to mix his food but he refused and he went to eat Toshi's food instead which is still (but not mixed) Just 6.

I've thought about ordering off-line, but everything is still so expensive. The prices online (unless at a place like Petsmart/Petco) are the same as they are in the store, so it doesn't make a difference to me if I buy it in the store or order it. Sometimes it's more expensive to order off-line. Tractor Supply wants $35 for 35lbs of Diamond Naturals while Amazon want $45 for a 35lbs bag. Crazy!
Diamond products have historically had a lot of recalls. Recalls are usually because it made dogs sick or they died. Other name brands are made at the Diamond plant and are subject to cross contamination. Most brands do not have their own plants. They have their own recipes and packaging. It's a matter of making sure the plant or the feed doesn't have a history of recalls. Some of the recalls are forced upon the brand while some are voluntary "just in case". Do you have to change food because it is making your dog sick or his allergies worse? Corn and wheat were the biggest allergens for my dog. They are all different but corn seems to be the biggest.

The bad Rachel Ray I was talking about had corn in it. I wasn't aware there were other recipes available now. If you have a food that works, forget what other people say and use it. You can read anything on the internet. I will try to find a list of food with past recalls. I know the manufacturer Diamond and some of the other brands mfg at their plants are repeat offenders. The price of the food I gave my dog didn't make any difference. All of them had something in them that she had an allergic reaction to.

My last dog used Diamond chicken and rice from a feed store. Later, I had to switch him to a Vet Rx food because he developed kidney disease. He still lived to be 14 yrs old. They never said that the Diamond food had anything to do with it.

The latest recalls had to do with contaminated rice from China. Even at the best, all rice naturally contains arsenic. It doesn't matter if is regular rice or organic. The level has to do with where it is grown. Soils have varying degrees of arsenic. But, Asians have been eating large amounts for centuries and they are doing well. So, who knows. Treats have a big problem. I wouldn't give my dog commercial treats even if she didn't have allergies.

I am still looking for a vitamin that my current dog can take because she is allergic to everything I have tried. I know her homemade dog food isn't complete in nutrients. Many of them have corn starch or plant cellulose. When I call the companies, they don't know what plant the cellulose comes from. All I know is they make her worse. I am going to keep trying. I can usually tell within 3-5 days.

It gets expensive to keep doing these experiments. But even some grocery stores and especially Walmart will take most things back if they are a problem.

Ordering on line can be expensive. Even if they say free shipping, it is built into the price. Also, I read that it can be bad on the food when exposed to heat. Also, my vet said buy smaller bags because if it gets stale it can cause problems. You may be able to get around that by freezing it.

My dog is allergic to grain mites. I froze her dry food to kill them but the vet said she could also be allergic to the protein in the mites feces. It didn't help. Even if the food says grain free, it probably is manufactured in a plant that uses grains for other brands. There could be cross contamination. After much research, I recently tired a Dogswell brand, Nutrisca. They would tell me who mfg it. She couldn't eat it. I am still looking after 6 years.

I have a friend who had a big dog who ate grocery store food all his life and lived to be 16. Big dogs don't usually live as long a little ones.

I would say to just use what works for your dog.

Do you have a food that he does OK on now?
Is the biggest problem the sensitive stomach?
Do you think it could be contributing to the allergies?
How much does he weigh?
Are you on dog food alerts recall list?
Would you like for me to help you research foods?
It sounds like you have done a lot of homework.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:16 PM
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I got some Apoquel for Max! I'm really happy that I could grab it. I got 14 of them, so it's a two week supply. I'm supposed to give Max 1/2 a tab twice a day. I'm REALLY hoping he'll do well on them. My vet told me to see how he does for two weeks and if he improves then he'll give me more and set me up for automatic refills and put me on the waiting list. There's supposed to be more Apoquel around April, so I'm crossing my fingers.

In other news, it was $1.65 per tablet, so that cost me $23.10 for them. @[email protected]

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Originally Posted by abbygirl View Post
Do you have a food that he does OK on now?
Is the biggest problem the sensitive stomach?
Do you think it could be contributing to the allergies?
How much does he weigh?
Are you on dog food alerts recall list?
Would you like for me to help you research foods?
It sounds like you have done a lot of homework.
Thank you for all of the information! I never heard of nor thought about grain mites. I've thought about doing a blood panel for Max, but that's $400 ... I can't afford that right now. The Apoquel is a savior, but that's still a stretch for me. Thankfully my fiance told me he can start covering it if/when Max gets put onto automatic refills.

As to answer your questions ...

Yes, Max is doing great on the Rachael Ray Just 6. He eats onto a daily basis again and has normal bowel movements and stool.

I really think it's wheat that's contributing to his allergies. He was losing fur on Pedigree, but I've fed him chicken and rice before and he had no problems with it. May also be corn, but I'm unsure. I've noticed Max also gets sick if he eats bread (my MIL fed him her hamburger bun and I flipped on her for it because he was lethargic and had diarrhea for the rest of the day). Ever since I switched him to Just 6, he's done better. It's not completely grain free, but it doesn't have corn, wheat, soy, by-products, fillers, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Plus, it's lamb which he loves. What I've noticed is this food is a lot different from something like Pedigree. Pedigree smelled disgusting, was powdery, and left an oily feel on my hands. The Just 6 is nice and solid, yet easy for Max to chew (he has very few teeth and the Pedigree is rock hard so he swallowed it whole). It has a nice feel in my hands and it doesn't make me cringe and want to immediately wash my hands. This is the food that has done the best for him. He grew up on Rachael Ray, but my dad switched to Beneful to "save money". Well, him saving money cost me over 2k of my college money to take Max to the vet. Ugh ... Anyway, I'm sticking with the Just 6 as long as he's fine with it. I may try the Zero Grain variety later on when I have more money, but I'll see how Max does on the Just 6.

Max is a stable 15.8lbs. He's stayed this weight for months at a time and if he gets sick then it fluctuates, but whenever he's healthy he's 15.8lbs.

No, I'm not on a recall alert, but I check constantly and I usually check once or twice a week.

I've been researching dog foods and it's really all coming down to how much money I can use for dog food. I can maintain the Just 6 even if I start getting the Apoquel for Max, but if he's onto Apoquel then I can't afford another food right now. Honestly, as for quality brands, if I need to switch Max (and I have the money) then I'll probably pop over to Tractor Supply and check out TOTW or Blue Buffalo (probably Wilderness). At this point it's looking like I'll probably get 5lbs of TOTW at a time and pay $12 for it or maybe doing that as a trial run and then get 15lbs for $25. A 5lbs bag of dog food can last Max a month, so that's only roughly $8.33 a month if I went with the 15lbs of TOTW. I'd be paying $25 rather than $36 for 3 months worth of food.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:29 PM
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I got some Apoquel for Max! I'm really happy that I could grab it. I got 14 of them, so it's a two week supply. I'm supposed to give Max 1/2 a tab twice a day. I'm REALLY hoping he'll do well on them. My vet told me to see how he does for two weeks and if he improves then he'll give me more and set me up for automatic refills and put me on the waiting list. There's supposed to be more Apoquel around April, so I'm crossing my fingers.

In other news, it was $1.65 per tablet, so that cost me $23.10 for them. @[email protected]



Thank you for all of the information! I never heard of nor thought about grain mites. I've thought about doing a blood panel for Max, but that's $400 ... I can't afford that right now. The Apoquel is a savior, but that's still a stretch for me. Thankfully my fiance told me he can start covering it if/when Max gets put onto automatic refills.

As to answer your questions ...

Yes, Max is doing great on the Rachael Ray Just 6. He eats onto a daily basis again and has normal bowel movements and stool.

I really think it's wheat that's contributing to his allergies. He was losing fur on Pedigree, but I've fed him chicken and rice before and he had no problems with it. May also be corn, but I'm unsure. I've noticed Max also gets sick if he eats bread (my MIL fed him her hamburger bun and I flipped on her for it because he was lethargic and had diarrhea for the rest of the day). Ever since I switched him to Just 6, he's done better. It's not completely grain free, but it doesn't have corn, wheat, soy, by-products, fillers, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Plus, it's lamb which he loves. What I've noticed is this food is a lot different from something like Pedigree. Pedigree smelled disgusting, was powdery, and left an oily feel on my hands. The Just 6 is nice and solid, yet easy for Max to chew (he has very few teeth and the Pedigree is rock hard so he swallowed it whole). It has a nice feel in my hands and it doesn't make me cringe and want to immediately wash my hands. This is the food that has done the best for him. He grew up on Rachael Ray, but my dad switched to Beneful to "save money". Well, him saving money cost me over 2k of my college money to take Max to the vet. Ugh ... Anyway, I'm sticking with the Just 6 as long as he's fine with it. I may try the Zero Grain variety later on when I have more money, but I'll see how Max does on the Just 6.

Max is a stable 15.8lbs. He's stayed this weight for months at a time and if he gets sick then it fluctuates, but whenever he's healthy he's 15.8lbs.

No, I'm not on a recall alert, but I check constantly and I usually check once or twice a week.

I've been researching dog foods and it's really all coming down to how much money I can use for dog food. I can maintain the Just 6 even if I start getting the Apoquel for Max, but if he's onto Apoquel then I can't afford another food right now. Honestly, as for quality brands, if I need to switch Max (and I have the money) then I'll probably pop over to Tractor Supply and check out TOTW or Blue Buffalo (probably Wilderness). At this point it's looking like I'll probably get 5lbs of TOTW at a time and pay $12 for it or maybe doing that as a trial run and then get 15lbs for $25. A 5lbs bag of dog food can last Max a month, so that's only roughly $8.33 a month if I went with the 15lbs of TOTW. I'd be paying $25 rather than $36 for 3 months worth of food.

Changes- Make only one change at the time or you can't tell what is responsible for the results. You just started Apoquel so don't change anything else for 3-4 weeks. Also, you want to monitor the effects of the Apoquel closely. I even wrote down what was happening daily, even if nothing was happening. It really helps you and the vet evaluate any change you make (even food). It's very tempting to want to attack the problem from all sides at once. That would only confuse the issue. It took time for it develop. Be patient and give it as much time to resolve. Also, they told me it can take 3-4 months for the old dog food effects to get out of the system. As long as he is eating and drinking he is probably OK and no need to change the food right now.

Rachel Ray- Old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". If you decide to stay with Rachel Ray you can e-mail them and they may send coupons to you. Sounds like it is working for you. You can contact other brands also. It's amazing the stuff you can get if you just ask and explain your circumstances. Dogswell even sent me a coupon for a free bag. Petfoodtalk.com and Rachaelray.com have coupons. Also, search www. dog food coupons .. there are tons out there...

Alerts- you can sign up for them at FDA.gov, dogfoodadviser, (WebMD.com/dogs good information)

Apoquel--Congrats. It is very expensive but it helped my dog a lot. I don't know if the Vet told you, but my Vet said that things get worse before they get better. What happens is that they start him on one dosage, things seem to be going great and you think it is a mirical. Then, suddenly at 10-14 days, (8 days in my case) he gets worse and you think it didn't work. That's possibly why they gave you 14 days worth. It was like they were getting the levels up high enough to get them going and then dropped the dosage down for maintenance. Hopefully, it will be cut in half like mine was and it will save money. So, if they try to tell you it isn't working, if he gets better then gets worse, just ask them if you can try a lower dosage.

Testing- When I got her tested, she was allergic to dust mites and grain mites. The testing wasn't worth it to me. Just assume he is allergic to everything. The tests aren't that accurate and they are expensive. If you think it may be food (which was a big factor for my dog) then you can test him yourself with an elimination diet that works best to isolate the offending ingredients. I can give you some advice on that. .

Dust mites allergens- Very common. Good luck with that at my house. I got a Neato Botvac robot vacuum cleaner and run it every other day. It's amazing how much dander it picks up. I have a parrot too so we have a lot of dust and dander. When the bird shakes, it looks like a cloud coming off of him. The dog spends most of the time laying on a quilt on the sofa. When she started sneezing, I washed the quilt and she stopped. I wash it more often now. Something that simple can make a big difference. You should see a bird sneeze. It's something you would think about unless you live with one. He is sneezes less too. I wrote a review with photos. go to robotreviews.com, search Roomba vs botvac, click on "Roomba vs botvac review photos 1/28/15", click on "read main topic" ........ that's me....
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:55 PM
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Changes- Make only one change at the time or you can't tell what is responsible for the results. You just started Apoquel so don't change anything else for 3-4 weeks. Also, you want to monitor the effects of the Apoquel closely. I even wrote down what was happening daily, even if nothing was happening. It really helps you and the vet evaluate any change you make (even food). It's very tempting to want to attack the problem from all sides at once. That would only confuse the issue. It took time for it develop. Be patient and give it as much time to resolve. Also, they told me it can take 3-4 months for the old dog food effects to get out of the system. As long as he is eating and drinking he is probably OK and no need to change the food right now.

Rachel Ray- Old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". If you decide to stay with Rachel Ray you can e-mail them and they may send coupons to you. Sounds like it is working for you. You can contact other brands also. It's amazing the stuff you can get if you just ask and explain your circumstances. Dogswell even sent me a coupon for a free bag. Petfoodtalk.com and Rachaelray.com have coupons. Also, search www. dog food coupons .. there are tons out there...

Alerts- you can sign up for them at FDA.gov, dogfoodadviser, (WebMD.com/dogs good information)

Apoquel--Congrats. It is very expensive but it helped my dog a lot. I don't know if the Vet told you, but my Vet said that things get worse before they get better. What happens is that they start him on one dosage, things seem to be going great and you think it is a mirical. Then, suddenly at 10-14 days, (8 days in my case) he gets worse and you think it didn't work. That's possibly why they gave you 14 days worth. It was like they were getting the levels up high enough to get them going and then dropped the dosage down for maintenance. Hopefully, it will be cut in half like mine was and it will save money. So, if they try to tell you it isn't working, if he gets better then gets worse, just ask them if you can try a lower dosage.

Testing- When I got her tested, she was allergic to dust mites and grain mites. The testing wasn't worth it to me. Just assume he is allergic to everything. The tests aren't that accurate and they are expensive. If you think it may be food (which was a big factor for my dog) then you can test him yourself with an elimination diet that works best to isolate the offending ingredients. I can give you some advice on that. .

Dust mites allergens- Very common. Good luck with that at my house. I got a Neato Botvac robot vacuum cleaner and run it every other day. It's amazing how much dander it picks up. I have a parrot too so we have a lot of dust and dander. When the bird shakes, it looks like a cloud coming off of him. The dog spends most of the time laying on a quilt on the sofa. When she started sneezing, I washed the quilt and she stopped. I wash it more often now. Something that simple can make a big difference. You should see a bird sneeze. It's something you would think about unless you live with one. He is sneezes less too. I wrote a review with photos. go to robotreviews.com, search Roomba vs botvac, click on "Roomba vs botvac review photos 1/28/15", click on "read main topic" ........ that's me....
The link to my robot vacuum cleaner review. It's amazing to look at even if you aren't in the market for one. I vacuumed my carpet with an upright at the most sensitive dirt alert setting. It looked clean. I was shocked. The paper towels are regular size.
Roomba vs Botvac Review Photos 01/28/15 • Robot Reviews
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:52 PM
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I brought Ollie to the vet yesterday. They had just received a new supply of Apoquel, so my vet put Ollie on it, a 14-day supply at twice a day. If it helps, we will continue with it on a once per day basis. There shouldn't be any more shortages of the Apoquel, which is a blessing for the many dogs that it works for.

Not sure if it will work for Ollie, as most reviewers have stated that their dog stopped itching within 4 hours of the first dose, and Ollie is still itchy after 3 doses.

This drug is our last hope to give Ollie an itch-free life, as our vet has tried everything else that there is.
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Old 04-08-2015, 06:41 PM
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I brought Ollie to the vet yesterday. They had just received a new supply of Apoquel, so my vet put Ollie on it, a 14-day supply at twice a day. If it helps, we will continue with it on a once per day basis. There shouldn't be any more shortages of the Apoquel, which is a blessing for the many dogs that it works for.

Not sure if it will work for Ollie, as most reviewers have stated that their dog stopped itching within 4 hours of the first dose, and Ollie is still itchy after 3 doses.

This drug is our last hope to give Ollie an itch-free life, as our vet has tried everything else that there is.
Are you sure Ollie isn't getting bit up by fleas or mosquitoes? I live in FL, so it's a year-round problem. Apoquel is a miracle for Max. He stopped itching and now I have a 2 day supply left. I'm leaving soon for vacation and bringing him, so I'm going to need to buy a one month supply, so that will cost me roughly $50 ... O.o
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Old 04-09-2015, 06:55 AM
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Yes, I am sure it's not fleas or mosquitoes. Ollie takes Nexgard monthly, and we haven't had any mosquitoes yet to speak of.

Ollie has been paw licking snd chewing for over a year now, and has developed Seborrhea on one side of his body from atopic dermatitis, with flakiness and quite a bit of hair loss.

Also, Ollie gets a medicated bath every other night per our vet's instructions to try to keep the seborrhea under control. We would have seen the fleas or mosquito bites when bathing him, as his hair is so thin. It is a shampoo that in non-drying to the skin and can be used daily.

Ollie has been checked for everything, Demodex, yeast, fungus, etc. and our vet is convinced that he has inhaled allergies. If the Apoquel doesn't work, we will have allergy testing done in June.
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