Part One: A New Wonder Drug for Itchy Dogs?
When you have a crazily itchy dog or cat, I really feel for you. Patients in this state often keep you up at night and drive you crazy dealing with the mad itch during the day.
Scratching, biting, losing hair, often with red, irritated, inflamed skin, these guys often stink, ooze sticky moisture from their skin, and many can’t get comfortable long enough to take a decent nap, let alone sleep the night through.
At the base of wildly itchy animals is the immune system, which is working overtime, is asleep at the switch, or is malfunctioning.
“Dysregulated” is a term used in the scientific papers.
(We have to insert a wink here, because immune system dysregulation is entirely a manmade disease.)
More on that later.
Interestingly, most look right past that important point and seek to “fix” it with powerful drugs.
The latest anti-inflammatory drug to make a splash in the veterinary market is Apoquel (oclacitinib).
Born from the loins of the world’s largest drug maker Pfizer, their former division Zoetis is now the “animal health” giant that brought this much touted wonder drug to market in 2014.
How big is Zoetis? $4.34 billion in revenue in 2012, before Apoquel had even hit the market.
Stops Itch FAST!
The claims, and even the actual results in itchy dogs, are amazing.
Provides onset of relief within 4 hours. Effectively controls itch within 24 hours.”
Apoquel sold like hot cakes when it first appeared. Interestingly, there was quickly a shortage in supply, so the demand was heightened even further, as desperate dog owners sought vets who had some.
“We’ll buy any size you’ve got, we’ll cut the giant breed size to work for our Chihuahua, we just NEED TO GET THIS ITCH UNDER CONTROL!”
One might surmise that shortage was intentional, but that’s beyond the scope of this article.
The company’s research and the experience of many dog owners corroborate this: this wonder drugs stops itching almost immediately.
How Does Apoquel Work?
Ah, now you’re asking a smart question. I love it when you do this.
Pull up a little closer to the campfire for this part, because here’s where the story gets good. [Read more…]