Part Two: Apoquel Side Effects
“Too Good to Be True”
You’ve seen this saying over and over again in medicine, haven’t you? Big Pharma spends multiple millions of dollars to bring its latest wonder drug to the market. In a few short years, we’re reading of damaging side effects.
The drug may even be taken off the market, like the human anti-inflammatories Vioxx and Bexxtra, after they were found to increase heart attacks and strokes.
Now, after the amazement of the disappearing itch, we’re seeing Apoquel side effects.
After less than a year on the market.
None of this should be surprising. The veterinary drug market is even more fraught with problems, as the study period to trial new animal drugs and the size of the studies are both smaller than in human medicine.
Rimadyl and Trifexis are drugs associated with many deaths, especially the latter. They are still being widely sold.
ProHeart 6, the injectable six month heartworm pesticide, was pulled from the market for four years after “thousands of adverse events including death.”
It’s back, selling thousands of doses since 2008.
Oh, and the maker of this?
Zoetis. The same “animal health” giant that makes Apoquel.
What Really Causes Itch?
In Part One of this series, you saw a board certified veterinary dermatologist quoted, saying itchy dogs are caused by things like flea allergies and food allergies.
That’s a bit like saying pus is caused by abscesses.
Or high blood sugar is caused by diabetes.
Breaking News: Leading Scientist Discovers Sore Joints are Caused by Arthritis! Story at 6!”
Let’s assume for a minute that there’s not some angry being in the sky choosing your dog to get a wildly itchy allergic disease. Causing him to tear his skin to a bloody mess and live in torment for large parts of his days and nights.
While it often seems that’s precisely how Dr. WhiteCoat thinks, you know in your heart there’s got to be something deeper, right?
Allergies are Not Random Occurrences
Immune confusion, aka allergies, is entirely a man made disease.
Why do I call it immune confusion?
- When your dog’s immune system responds with a full-on inflammatory response that threatens to turn him into a bloody, itchy pulp, and that response continues into weeks and months and years, you’re seeing immune confusion.
- When your dog (cat, horse, child) reacts violently to everyday things like
- flea saliva (even from one solitary flea)
…which a normal animal takes in stride, you’re seeing immune confusion.
Let’s face it, the immune system should not attack one’s self or react wildly and dangerously to normal things. When there’s a dangerous virus to be fought, sure, pour it on, turn up that inflammation, block it from reproducing, and kill that invader, for good and all.
But having a similar response to fleas and foods and plants outdoors?
That’s crazy. That’s immune confusion.
What Causes Immune Confusion?
Now you’re asking the keener question. The answer has become clearer to me over the years in holistic practice. And it’s quite evident now, and should make immediate sense to any thoughtful person.
We all hope we’re somehow helping dogs, cats, horses, and human babies by injecting foreign viruses into them. In theory, sure, we’re building immunity.
“If you ever see this virus in the real world, you will now be primed to kill it quickly and efficiently. You’ve been vaccinated, immunized against it.
Would that this were true.
Instead, we see a state of chronic illness resulting from the vaccines. Even with a long list of seemingly different disease names, like
- flea allergy dermatitis
- atopic dermatitis
- food allergy dermatitis
- renal failure
- inflammatory bowel disease
- autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- autoimmune thrombocytopenia
The common thread among all of these? Immune confusion.
And most of these can be tracked back to one or two causes.
- Vaccinations (often occurring a month earlier)
- Certain chemicals, most often the pesticide based heartworm “preventatives.” Many are linked to these dangerous diseases, though Trifexis seems to be out in front of the rest of the pack.
Both of these interventions are sold as “prevention.”
You are told to get these vaccines and buy these heartworm pills to be a responsible pet owner.
I submit that, until you question that premise deeply, you are being a very irresponsible pet owner.
Oh, I know. You’ve got lots of company. But until you start to connect these dots and take charge of your animal’s health decisions, you’re skating on thin ice.
Apoquel side effects are merely the tip of the iceberg.
True Prevention Always Beats Treatment, Hands Down
But, we’re talking about a drug to deal with the aftermath of that immune confusion, aren’t we? Isn’t that what Apoquel is sold for, after all?
Sure. But in Part One, you learned that this drug mainly tweaks the immune system. And you read how that was working out for the dogs who’ve been on it for some months.
Immune confusion all over again!
You likely learned enough to be quite concerned about signing up for that miracle drug, right?
What we can surmise from careful scrutiny of all this is an age old axiom that’s every bit as true today as it was in the old days:
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Your job now? Figure out what true prevention looks like and start applying that to your animals.
Far better for your dog to never get to the point of chewing off his toes. Or for your cat to never start denuding and abrading her belly because she itches down there.
Here’s what I see as true prevention, with some links to help you down that Natural Path.
- Minimally vaccinate, if you choose to at all. That is the subject of an entire course, which is periodically re-opened for enrollment. To get first notice, get on the list. If you want to get a head start, I’ve written about this, your most important decision, extensively. You can start here.
- Already dealing with The Itch? No more vaccines for this animal, ever. You’d be throwing fuel on the fire. Good news: you’ve got a waiver.
- Get heartworm pesticides out of the picture. Prevent heartworm without dangerous drugs.
- Feed your animals food that meets their genetic expectations. For the carnivores in your house, that means balanced raw food diets.
- Control fleas and ticks with time proven non-toxic methods.
- If you’re currently dealing with a sick animal, read on. You have choices.
Alternatives to Apoquel (My Dog’s Already Got the #@&¡ Itch!!)
I have good news and bad news for you, if your dog is already plagued with the itch from hell.
The good news: This can be cured. Cure means not only does the itch stop, but the whole animal gets well. And stays that way without continual medication.
The bad news: This will take time and is not DIY (do it yourself).
This is chronic disease, and there’s no “one size fits all” here. Believe me, if there was, I’d be spelling it out for you right now.
I’m suggesting classical homeopathy as a means to cure the itch. I know of no other form of medicine that comes even close to homeopathy’s ability to cure serious disease, including this common one.
The goal: cure the state of being allergic to normal things, while the whole animal becomes healthier and more vital.
It takes hiring a veterinary homeopath who’s been trained in this amazing science. He or she will be looking in depth at not only the itch, but the rest of your animal as well.
- is she thirsty?
- always hungry?
- averse to getting her feet wet?
- always jerking and twitching in her sleep?
All these questions and more will be asked by a good homeopath, as we seek to find the best remedy for your individual animal’s state of illness.
Case management is important here, as we know at the outset that it’ll take more than one remedy to cure a chronic illness. Which remedy given when, at what potency, when to watch and wait, when to repeat, when to change remedies, all of that comes with professional training and experience.
And all of that skilled case management is what gets your animal cured in the end.
Of course, you’ll have to be very involved in the entire process. You are the eyes and ears on your animal and you will have to keep track of the many symptoms your homeopathic vet points out to you as being important to your animal’s shift towards cure.
Finding The Best Help
The best veterinary homeopath for you is likely to be someone whose practice is mostly if not totally homeopathy. He may not even be in your town. Or your state or province.
Fear not: If you can describe symptoms well (and most of you can), you can work with someone at a distance and finally get the itch cured.
A great place to start your search is my Recommended Resources page. Scroll down to find the AVH list there. The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy is the home of many vets who have taken what I consider the best post-graduate veterinary training available: The Professional Course in Veterinary Homeopathy.
The AVH also certifies graduates of this course who’ve gone the extra mile to pass exams and submit case reports for peer review. You’ll see a notation at each vet’s listing as to whether they are certified by the AVH or not.
In addition, each member is asked to list the percentage of their practice that is homeopathy. A good bet: hire someone who practices mostly or all homeopathy. They don’t “have a foot in two canoes,” you see?
They think homeopathically about each patient. That’s valuable to you if your goal is cure.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve been through the itch and have gotten it cured with the help of homeopathy. Or if this year will be your year to get started down this path of cure.
And, to keep learning more on the Natural Path, join us in the Vital Animal Pack, just below. Hope to see you on the inside!
p.s. If you missed Part One of this series on Apoquel, be sure to check it out here: Apoquel: Dog Miracle Drug With a Dark Side. There you’ll also find my free Apoquel Alternatives Report.