6 of 10 People See Only Two Choices for Itchy Skin. Are You One of Them?

Apoquel and The Danger of Either/Or Thinking

Too many of you seem to be stuck in some variation of this illogic I’m calling “either/or thinking,” from reading your comments in this blog:

I’ve EITHER got to let my dog suffer this horrible itch (skin or ears or both) OR give him these horrible Big Pharma drugs with side effects.

I’m gonna be kind. Itching all the time sucks for both of us. I’m getting him on Apoquel or Cytopoint despite what I’ve read and we’ll just have to see what the outcome is long term. He can’t go on this way!
Part of me screams inside when I read comments like this. And they are coming a bit too frequently, especially on two popular articles pertaining to itchy skin and the latest, greatest drugs being pushed on you: Apoquel: Dog Miracle Drug With a Dark Side Cytopoint: High Tech Answer to Your Itchy Dog? Here’s just a recent example, from the comments on my Apoquel post, linked above.

Those of you saying you are going to discontinue, have you found any relief previous to using medication? So you are going to allow you dog to be miserable with the itching and scratching and biting and digging themselves raw? Are you saying that’s better for them? –Tina1

These are usually written by those of you who’ve opted to give the drug, often shaming those who dare to take issue with drug side effects and lack of efficacy. Let’s try to dig a bit deeper, shall we? I want you to be armed with solid information, so you can make the wisest decisions for your animal. (They take what ever you decide they should, right? Better you have all the options available to you to weigh before you see only Suffering or Dangerous Drugs). Either/Or thinking can damage your animals.

The Reality of Allergies: No Easy Way Out

Itchy allergic dog wearing a cone collar

This fixes NOTHING! Now I’m itchy and totally frustrated!

While allergic skin disease or allergy-induced ear “infections” are the #1 and #2  reasons dogs go to vets, the reality is conventional medicine cannot cure either one. Maybe you’ve noticed. We’re talking decades upon decades of trying without ever curing any lingering (chronic) disease, not just The Itch! All at your expense, course. And at your dog’s expense, when you weigh in side effects, many of them more serious than the bothersome itch. Many of the comments on the Cytopoint article are from people who tried Apoquel first.
Wait. Why did they Leave Apoquel for Cytopoint?
  • Apoquel was no longer working to stop the itch
  • They’ve got more serious problems now
I’m at a loss of what to do with my rottie. She was on Apoquel an dit worked til it didn’t (8months). Then they switched her to cytopoint and it worked til it didn’t (11 months every 30 days forking out $100 a month on the shot). The only way cytopoint works is if I couple it with pred every three days or so. — Carolyn2
Before Apoquel, your latest, great Itch Fix was chemo (cyclosporine, aka Atopica). And before the chemo, you had the steroids, like prednisone, cortisone and Depo-Medrol. All three classes of drugs are aimed at suppressing the immune system. Does that sound like a good idea to you? That’s the system that fights infectious disease and cancer, right?

Oh! And the Side Effects!

It would appear Mother Nature is answering my immune suppression question directly:
Mess with my well-tuned work and you’ll pay! — Mom
Less Itch (with a side of tumors)
I have a 10 year old boxer who has had allergies and just suffered with itching, chewing of the paws. I tried so many different expensive foods, coconut oil, pumpkin, teremic, and just on and on…put her on that apoquel poison crap, and now I have real problems on my hands! She was diagnosed yesterday, cancer. Tumors, knots, skin tags just sprouting everywhere. — Sylvia3
Lately, the cancer showing up appears to be lymphosarcoma. That’s cancer of the immune system itself! Gulp.
I gave my dog her first Cytopoint Injection in October of this year. As of this past Tuesday, my 3 year old miniature schnauzer has full blown lymphosarcoma, acute, and is not going to make it. –Erin
In what universe does a 3 year old dog get cancer? Welcome to the World of Big Pharma.

The Fire Grows While You Hide the Smoke

Have you heard this word:


It’s what conventional medicine does best, including all the “Itch Fix” meds. The itch may go away for a spell  (the symptom, the “smoke” if you will), but the disease only grows, the longer you palliate with drugs like steroids, Atopica, Apoquel, or Cytopoint. One of the commonest signs that the “fire” (the actual disease, the state of allergy) has not been extinguished? Your dog becomes allergic to more things as the years go by. We learned this in practice in the 80’s.

We’ve Got the Cure! OH, Wait…

Hand feeding a dog. Can diet alone cure allergies?

Cure my allergies with a fancy food? I’m IN!

Itchy dogs were magically “cured” by putting them on a lamb and rice diet! “Hallelujah! At last, an answer to our prayers!!” (said every practicing vet, everywhere). Brand after brand of pet food rushed lamb and rice foods to market. When the other shoe dropped (i.e. the itch returned), the poor dog was now allergic to… … lamb … or rice … or both! Hence the current fixation on more exotic proteins, including venison and kangaroo and modified proteins in the multi-billion dollar pet food industry. “More allergies” in this palliation-induced state often include not only myriad foods, but tree pollens, grasses, and more.
Our daughter’s 5 year old Boxer has had increasingly bad allergies over the years. We sent him to an allergist who found he’s allergic to 32 of the 60 things tested all environmental – human and cat dander, grass, and 5 different types of mold to list a few. He’s had numerous ear infections which of course has caused numerous hematomas 2 of which have had to be dealt with surgically. — Dana4
Human dander? Seriously?? This is the hidden cost of palliating disease instead of curing it. (Most vets (and MDs) have no understanding of this, by the way. We weren’t schooled in cure vs palliation or suppression.) What’s next when your dog is allergic to everything in the environment? A “boy in the bubble” life, perhaps?

The Other Dirty Secret Your Vet Never Tells You

syringe drawing up a vaccine

Vaccines causes untold mayhem, but it may not begin to show for the first month.

Here’s one Dr. WhiteCoat tends to bury his head in the sand on: The majority of allergies are caused by vaccinations. They usually show up roughly one month post-vaccination! Read this page to see the correlation and even a published research paper on something far more serious than The Itch, and you’ll probably know more than your vet does. Or, maybe more than he cares to hear…

The Buried Solution

There is a very effective alternative to this either/or thinking: Homeopathy. Curing long term, lingering diseases (like allergies and worse) for centuries now. I’m not talking DIY homeopathy with a grocery store combo remedy. It takes a trained professional to cure anything chronic.
Have you seen my Apoquel Alternatives Report yet? It tells you how to locate good professional homeopathic prescribers. Hint: it’s part of your free Vital Animal Pack membership.

Damn the “Either/Or.” Think Outside the Medical Box!

It starts with prevention. It’s not EITHER “no drugs, no vaccines” OR death from heartworm or parvo. And it continues if you’ve already found yourself with an animal in the throes of post-vaccination allergic Itch. It’s not EITHER steroids/Atopica/Apoquel/Cytopoint OR a crazy miserable itchy dog, either. (Though Big Pharma and its shareholders are tickled pink when you think small like this. They know you’ll be a customer for years and years.) Sometimes, it can be as simple as feeding a balanced raw diet, like this one. I can’t tell you how many times you’ve told me The Itch has gone away when you took that one simple step!

Call on Real Medicine: Homeopathy!

Sometimes, a raw diet is not enough. That’s when you look for a professional, a trained, qualified homeopathic vet to steer your animal’s course to cure. While you’ll have to roll up your sleeves, turn up your patience, and tune up your observation skills to help your homeopathic vet, cure is possible with homeopathy. I tell you how to find a qualified homeopathic vet in that lovely blue box you can scroll back up to. It’s spelled out in my Apoquel Alternatives Report. Join us in the Vital Animal Pack, and you’ll see that’s one of the free bonuses for joining (and joining is free, too). Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen the failures of Apoquel or Cytopoint yet, and if you’re ready to jump out of the confines of the either/or box. Your animal will be all grins and wags when you are free.

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  1. Rebecca on August 7, 2018 at 1:11 am

    It seems most of us here are struggling to find an answer to our itchy dogs, and doing the best we can within our means. I, too, have refused Apoquel. I am taking care of my itchy dog as best I can with diet and supplements. We read here how it is important to see a professional homeopath for the itch problem. Like some others here, I do the best I can with the $ available, which does not allow a visit to a professional homeopath. I AM very thankful for all the info that Dr. Falconer provides here. Is there anyone out there who would be willing to share a success story for homeopathy? That it actually cured your itchy, smelly, balding dog? I believe in homeopathy. It would be really inspiring to hear a success story. Anyone?

    • Shannon on August 7, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Hi Rebecca,
      We are currently in month 6 with Apple Pie and Dr. Lindsay in North Andover, MA. She was a “regular” vet for 20 years before one of her clients opened her eyes to homeopathy. She’s been doing it for about 12 years now I believe. We were spending $1000s with our regular vets on Apple. I have to say, that in the 6 months we’ve been seeing Dr. L, it’s actually been cheaper than the money we were spending on drugs, the “newest and best” food, “grain free” food, etc.

      At one point Apple had lost almost ALL Of her fur. She had yeast overload and was so stinky! I mean really bad! We couldn’t stand to be around the poor thing. About 2 months ago she started getting peach fuzz on her head 🙂 We were thrilled. She also no longer smells. I believe we are over the yeast hump!

      It is a LONG process. Dr. L said 1.5-2 years turn-around time for Apple since it took her almost 4 years to get to this point. Dr L said most people just give up. We were not going to do that, and we haven’t. It’s been a huge adjustment and Apple’s health has definitely been a strain in more ways than one. We just recently started the homeopathic “medicine” phase of homeopathy and in doing so, I had to do a timeline of every medication Apple was on since coming to us in June 2014 as a foster. I was completely appalled by the crap the vets threw at her and had her on. Med after med after med… It’s no wonder her immune system is zilch and she can’t fight anything off! And every time we’d bring her in, it was “let’s see what drug we can put her on now”, instead of getting to the root of her issues or taking a look at what could have caused the condition she was in.

      We are no longer vac’ing her either. We will do titers. In fact, she was supposed to get her 3 year rabies this June. We were able to get an exemption letter from Dr. L and also got one for our 12 year dog from his oncologist because he was diagnosed with cancer in February.

      Apple was never supposed to be our dog. She was only a foster. She’s ours now and after months and months of research, we will never ever put her on any of the crap that’s out there, again, both med-wise, commercial food-wise and vaccination-wise. I’ve learned too much about the damage we are doing to our “best friends” to go back to that point.

      My grandfather grew up on a farm in OK. They had dogs on the farm that would live to 15+ years old. He just recently passed this year at age 95, but I still remember the stories he would tell me. I truly believe it’s because they didn’t vac and fed table scraps (not commercial dog food). I think there was something to be said for the way they lived then. I’m NOT saying “oh my god, I’m never taking my animals to the vet again!” There are definitely times you need a vet for care. But, what I am saying is that I’m going to be much more cautious in what goes on and in them.

      • Rebecca on August 8, 2018 at 12:56 am


        Thanks so much for taking time to tell us about Apple. Sounds like you are on the right path now. Although it may be a long road, I am hoping she will continue to get better and better.

        I also have heard stories of dogs which lived 14-15 years, mostly on table scraps! But as you mentioned, no vaccines. I am betting vaccines are the cause of many of our problems here.

        Take care, and best wishes on the healing journey!

  2. Kristy on August 6, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    My issue is with finding a homeopathic vet. You are the one closest to me. I do wish you were at least taking phone appointments. The vet you suggested I call never bothered to return my call.

  3. Erin Bottenberg on August 6, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you Dr. Falconer for posting my story on my miniature schnauzer Gidget and passing away of Lymphosarcoma this past January, at three years old. I do firmly believe and also filed reports with the FDA and USDA, that Cytopoint contributed to the onset of her cancer. Sad thing is, barely any studies were completed on Cytopoint, on Beagals, who rarely have reactions or health issues, and for a very short time, it was approved. Big Pharma is what most vets are all about. Since this has all happened to me and so suddenly, I have really been on the bandwagon of staying away from this stuff, never will I do something like that as recommendation by a vet, over immunizations and visiting every year for same shots, feeding kibble, I am now a fresh food raw feeder to my dogs owner, and overall, I am making many aware to stay away of these bad practices many vets are doing to our precious pets. I so so admire you and your visions on practicing homeopathic and holistic veterinarian practices. I also wanted to mention that I made an appointment for my puppy check up with Dr. Dodds, who also appeared in the awesome series, the Truth about Pet Cancer, as you also starred in. Thanks for all you do!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      Yes, Erin, both of these drugs (Apoquel and Cytopoint) have no longe term studies on safety. Perhaps worse, the only data we have on them is from the companies who make them! Fox guarding the hen house or what here?

      Thanks for your dedication and for spreading the word.

  4. RT on August 6, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    My golden retriever puppy began itching soon after bringing her home at 8 weeks of age. She got her 2nd dist/parvo shot at 5 mths and her rabies at 6 mths.
    Thats all the vaccinations she has had.
    The itching started even before she got those shots.
    I tried some different dry foods, no help. I switched her to a raw diet, the itching continued. I added probiotics and supplements to help improve her immune system, no help.
    Bathed her weekly, no help.

    I finally got her allergy tested which showed some allergy to a few food items as well as some grasses and dust mites. Impossible to control the grasses and dust mites, so I started her on the allergy serum. After 7-8 months of using the allergy serum, no help, still itching.
    So I broke down and tried some Apoquel to give her some relief and the itching stopped that same day she got her first dose. I didnt like using the Apoquel for obvious reasons and stopped it after 5 days, but it was 5 days of no itching.

    After stopping the Apoquel I waited hoping for the best but the itching returned within a couple of days. I then learned about the Cytopoint product but I still waited trying to get improvement on the itching, but no luck. Itching, hot spots and just a very uncomfortable life for her and us.

    Finally, now she’s a 1 year, 8 month old pup, I got a shot of the Cytopoint. The itching stopped that same day. The vet told me most of his patients stop itching for 7-8 weeks after getting the Cytopoint.
    That was 10 weeks ago and there has been no itching. She is a happy dog and the relief is visible.

    Some dogs, just like some humans, are born damaged, and diet and herbs and supplements are not going to fix it. One must also consider quality of life. Quality is better than length of life. I hope she lives to be an old dog, since my 4 previous Goldens all lived to be 13-14 years old, with virtually no health issues until they developed cancer at an old age. And also they never got any special diets, just plain old dog chow and the normal vaccinations. And Goldens are known to be cancer magnets.

    So anyway, I have tried all I could to control the itching and nothing worked. If the itching returns I will use the Cytopoint. There comes a point where you must do whats in the best interest of the dog. To me, letting a dog scratch herself bloody and be full of hot spots is not a fun life. If special diets, raw food diets, supplements and herbs fail to stop the itching, I dont think anyone should feel guilty about using a product like Cytopoint. I would rather have a happy itch free dog even it means a shorter life than a dog that lives a miserable itchy life.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      diet and herbs and supplements are not going to fix it

      I’m not suggesting this is the fix, RT. I’m talking about going for cure with professional veterinary homeopathy. That means treating your animal’s chronic disease as she shows it, as the individual that she is.

      I suspect you represent many who don’t understand that homeopathy is NOT diet, herbs, and supplements. Two resources to help you get clarity: Here’s a post on words often misunderstood, and on my Resources page, there’s a wonderful free book called “Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine.” Highly recommended! Best intro book on the subject and the MD who writes it shares some of his very interesting cases with you.

  5. Fiona on August 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    My dogs are not vaccinated anymore. With the exception of puppies for Parvo/distemper. THAT’S IT! This area has a high occurrence for Parvo. No rabies (we live outside the city limits) The last case of rabies was 8 years ago in a cat. NO LEPTO! My local vet doesn’t condemn me for not vaccinating…I think she’s patiently waiting for me to come to her with a dog sick from something that “could have been prevented by vaccinations”. That said, I own a doggy store and do grooming and training. I see dogs everyday that suffer from “The Itch”. For the AVERAGE pet owner, the ones that don’t put forth the effort in knowing HOW to care for their companion animals, it’s always “kibble and vax”…and that will always continue because you’re supposed to trust your vet like your own physician. I don’t blame vets! Those poor souls are not only the victims of BIG PHARMA, but also BIG BUSINESS via “education”! Butts on seats! In the 90’s, higher education exploded with convenient hours for working adults, online classrooms, etc. Now, education was available for ALL and it was turning a profit! Have there been advances in medicine?…sure! But it’s the few and not the majority! FDA doesn’t give a crap….USDA doesn’t give a crap…EPA doesn’t give a crap….we’re all lab rats and so are our companion animals! And when we make the decision to research and learn, we’re compared to “religious zealots” on a campaign to convert non-believers. So be it! My dogs are healthier!

  6. Jo Dee Preston on August 6, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I clicked on the Apoquel Report link, but did not find it listed. Is it part of another report?


  7. Cheryl on August 6, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I adopted a senior Lab Oct. 2015. Itchy/scratchy/ear yeast infections and alopecia in the shelter, etc. I went the Apoquel route because it was recommended and I had never owned a dog with allergies. Bear did well on it but Sept. 2017 he had two days of unexplained illness. Tests were run, ultrasound, etc… NADA. He came through that fine but his liver #’s had increased from Aug 22nd to Sept. 22nd. I immediately stopped Apoquel. He has always eaten quality food. I give him milk thistle, a multi vitamin, vitamin c, pantothenic acid and flax oil. He gets a bath (HATES THEM) every 3-4 weeks. He’s doing GREAT 🙂 Scratches a bit from nerves when I have customers at the studio. Light scratching, nothing major. He is a HEALTHY 13 yr old, runs around like a youngster 🙂 He gets a check-up next Monday. I am stopping vaccinations. Keeping the Lepto because we are surrounded by wildlife here. I never did buy into the Lyme and Kennel Cough vaccinations. I need to read more about the heartworm. He gets preventative because we see mosquitoes here year round. They count on US to do the right thing for them. We all need to educate ourselves as much as possible.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

      Hey Cheryl, I like where you’re heading, but Lepto: no way. Just google that word and “problems in dogs” and you’ll see why in short order.

      My drug free heartworm protocol is the only one I know that makes those on it healthier the longer they are on it. No drug “preventative” can come even close to that claim! They are all neurotoxins, by the way, also associated with more risk than benefit.

      You’re doing somethings right to have a frisky 13 year old like this! Take it another couple of steps and let us know the differences you see!

  8. Kristy King on August 6, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    The closest homeopathic vet to me is you, Dr. Falconer. I wish you were at least taking phone appointments. The vets you suggested I call have still not returned my phone calls. It’s quite discouraging.

  9. Encie Gage on August 6, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Good Morning,
    My sheepdog is itchy, I finally went to the dog dermatologist. She put him on antibiotics for 4 months. Skin got better but still itchy. She told me the only alternative was apoquel. I said no for months. Then she said unless I do apoquel she could do no more for my dog.I did the apoquel on the third day my 9 year old Sheepdog fell over in the kitchen. Was standing in the middle of the kitchen and just fell over. I called the vet, they never called back. He was okay so I kept him quiet all day. Stopped the apoquel. He is fine now but still itchy. The Vet called 6 days after the incident, I told her what happened and that I stopped the apoquel. She said but did it stop the itching. No more dog dermatologist for my dogs.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      OMG, Encie, I’m so sorry you had to go through a trial like this. I also see the fire in you now, that may not have been kindled had you not seen this up close and personal, so maybe there’s a silver lining.

      Be sure to grab the Apoquel Alternatives Report and get a proper homeopathic vet hired if you’ve done everything else I mention inside.

      p.s. 4 months of antibiotics?? As if that could cure itch?? So much for dermatology… Be sure you’re using generous probiotics long term (life long, really). You’ve got to rebuild this poor dog’s gut microbiome. Raw green tripe is worth hunting down for a natural source.

      • Encie Gage on August 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm

        Thank you.
        Also this skin issue started after his last rabies shot.
        He’s due again next year.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 9:23 pm

          “Due” is a word worth evaluating, Encie. Keep an eye out for my rabies course, Rabies: Knowledge is Power. Lots of smart folks on board there who no longer buy that “he’s due” idea, and they’ve stopped putting their dogs at risk as a result.

  10. Rosemarie on August 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    The problem is finding a Homeopathic Vet near you.

    • Jeanne on August 6, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      Most will work via phone so you don’t have to be close to one.

  11. MsMoneypenny on August 6, 2018 at 8:09 am

    I adopted my dog end of February. From his records, I saw that he was overvaccinated (DHPP, Lyme, Lepto, Flu, Bordatella- all on the same day! Also something called a “dental vaccine”- huh? He got the rabies jab two weeks prior to that) The itchiness was pretty immediate and is rather constant. I’m just making note of things/conditions that seem to make it better so that when I can work with a homeopath I can impart that information. I will by no means ever give him Apoquel, etc. I am tempted to try Histaminum (single remedy) if only to see if it might help, as long as if won’t compromise anything else he might be prescribed down the road. I will not set foot in a conventional Dr White Coat office! My limited experience with them during my last dog’s illness lived up to my worst fears about them and beyond. They couldn’t even give me a diagnosis which is all I wanted from them. It was a nightmare. I need to learn more about all the natural ways to resolve problems. Conventional vets just cause problems.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      Hey Susan,
      You won’t do any harm for a future professional homeopath if you try histaminum in low potency now. A 6C daily for a week will tell you if you get any relief. In the end, this level of damage (not unlike so many others in the world of Dr. WhiteCoat’s “prevention”) will need that case management skill that a professional homeopathic vet has.
      All the best moving forward. I applaud your commitment and empowered stance to do no further harm in the name of “medicine.” You got this.

  12. Kim McElroy on August 6, 2018 at 1:48 am

    After years of dealing with dogs with allergies and vets that push drugs, I researched all the articles I could find on the subject and finally found that yes the only cure is holistic, not drugs.

    I lost my boxer mix too young do to listening to Dr. white coat and now follow my own research and intuition. I adopted a 5 year old ridgeback from the shelter and of course they had given her multiple vaccines. In a few months she had ear infections and allergies including candida yeast infections.

    Long story short, I stopped using oatmeal shampoo which makes it all worse. I switched her food “no peas, potatoes including sweet potatoes, no grains. Tuscan natural is a great one.” I added a nutramax proviable DC capsule daily, and bought petmeds Be Soothed Tea Tree Oil spray and sprayed her a few times a day. I put colloidal silver in her water and cleaned her ears with it.

    She is now doing great and her ears are clear, her fur is growing back in the affected areas and she is much happier. Also no more vaccines, no heartworm meds or flea and tick meds. I use wondercide a natural oil spray every other day in season and no problems at all. In short I am done with Dr. white coat for my fur babies and myself and we are all the better for it! My final jump to the light will be a raw diet.

    Thank you Vital Animal for all you do.

  13. Melanie Swanson on August 6, 2018 at 4:39 am

    My 11 year old Golden Retriever has been itching since just under one year of age. I suspect vaccinosis. Initially she was put on steroids ~ injection and orally. I knew she couldn’t stay on steroids, she was still just a pup. I opted for allergy testing. She tested allergic to several things and I started giving her antigen shots (she had to have 2 each time because she was allergic to so many things). I have been researching this for years. I have changed her food multiple times, even ripped out my back lawn and planted a grass she wasn’t allergic to. Nothing seemed to be very effective. My vet told me about a new medication that was coming out, “an enzyme with no side effects”. I was put on the waiting list. I started my dog on Apoquel when it became available. It really worked, and thought it was a godsend until I started hearing bad things about it. I knew I needed to get her off of it once I found out it was an immune suppressant. I started Lexi on a mostly raw diet (Steve’s Real Food) and have been slowly weaning her off of Apoquel. I didn’t want to send her immune system into shock. She is down to half a tablet twice a week. She has been doing really well with the itching until I went to her current dose. (She was on 3 half tabs per week). Since then I have been trying all kinds of things to help her (Diatomaceous Earth, Tumeric, a honey treatment I used to treat my son’s allergy years ago). I don’t want her taking Apoquel any more. She is developing all kinds of little inclusions cysts as well as other small skin growths. I suspect Apoquel is contributing to this. I’m a single mom and all of this is draining me financially. I would welcome any advice.

    • RT on August 7, 2018 at 10:45 am


      I am not a vet, but have owned goldens for decades and am on my 5th one right now. Goldens are cancer magnets, an oncologist told me their life span now is around 10 years old so you are ahead of the game. My other 4 goldens all got cancer at around 11-13+ years old. Every one of them developed skin issues and cysts at an older age, around 9-10 or so and they were not on any medications and had no prior skin issues.

      It may be a result of some of things you mentioned, it may also be genetically related. I believe there are many very poor breeders out there which contribute to some of the health issues in dogs. They are breeding dogs with chronic health issues and passing it on down the line.

      Anyway, you have an old dog, if it were me I would just want to keep the dog as comfortable as possible and provide relief however I could and if something like Cytopoint gave her relief I would not hesitate to use it. At her age, quality of life is certainly more important than length. You just don’t have the time to try things that may take a long time to be effective.

      I’m not trying to step on Dr Falconers toes here but you asked for any advice and since no one else responded thought I would share my own opinion.
      I appreciate what Dr Falconer is trying to do, but sometimes we just have to do what we think is best and age is a consideration when trying to determine what to do to help out furry friends.

      • Melanie on August 8, 2018 at 2:59 am

        Thank you RT. Yes, I feel quality of life is important at her age, which is why I did not stop the Apoquel cold turkey. She has been through a lot and I was afraid she would be a hot mess again if I did. She has not had a vaccine for quite a while (is due for Rabies, but I’m definitely not going there) and no flea or tick meds for years. I’m doing what I can to try to keep her comfortable and healthy.
        I have heard about Goldens being more prone to cancer and am so very thankful that she is in good health besides the itching. I’m sorry you have had such trouble with your Goldens. They are such a wonderful breed. She is our second.

  14. April on August 6, 2018 at 2:40 am

    I have a 9 month old puppy which I followed Dr. Will Falconer’s protocol with her to build natural immunity to Parvovirus and Canine Distemper. Titers came back positive immunity. I saw the damage vaccines and flea and tick medications did to 2 of my other dogs and couldn’t allow another to experience it. I tell as many people that will listen that immunity can be obtained naturally. I have raw fed for 6+ years and the puppy in question was raw weaned. Thank you for helping educate pet owners.

    • Susan on August 6, 2018 at 5:01 am

      What is Dr Wills protocol? I am thinking ahead to my next puppy. I want to avoid the mistakes the white coats made with my last french girl, as it was quite heartbreaking, I thought I was doing all the right things. Is it possible to get an unvaccinated puppy, at all? I will feed raw. I will not vaccinate. On the fence about spaying? I live in an apt, want a female french bulldog and do not want to breed her. I do not like the look of nipples after the first heat. What about fertilizer dangers? Does fertilizer become less toxic with time because of rain? They also have a sprinkler system here to dissapate it. In the past I took her to neighboring neighborhoods for a peepee but it was quite stressful. I also took her to stay at grammies for weeks. I cant control that here, even though i have asked them not to. Last dog had two bumps on her legs. She died of lymphoma. Seems thats what they are all dying from, after my 10 days $4200 ordeal at VSS hospital. Any advice appreciated!

  15. Darlena Stevens on August 6, 2018 at 2:11 am

    My 8 yr old 90 lb. labradoddle is fighting lymphoma now. He was diagnosed 4 months ago. He is being treated but we have had to change his chemo drugs twice because they stop working. We know his lymphoma will not be cured but as long as he is still enjoying life and not suffering, we keep going. It is taking a big bite out of our finances. He was on Apoquel for nearly 3 years, We had stopped it when I learned how it had a strong correlation to canine cancer. About two months after we stopped the Apoquel he had his rabies shot. Within two weeks his lymphoma showed its deadly head. We are devastated. Our vet never told of the risks of Apoquel and we feel we failed our trusting companion. Why doesn’t the FDA do something about this medication? In addition to my dog’s Chemo meds (currently on CCNU and prednisone) and I have him on a ketogenic diet, DHA, CBD, Probiotic, and turmeric .

  16. Jenn on August 6, 2018 at 2:08 am

    I have a male chi we adopted that had horrible itching from the day we brought him home. He had terrible fur flaking skin sores in his skin under his fur. I had just recently moved over to a homeopathic vet due to our other dog developing cancer at 3yrs old and we were doing chemo and they wanted me to give her her usual vaccines I was all WTH? You can’t give a vaccine to an immune compromised dog! I was so mad. We took our new little itchy guy in and tried many many things to try and get him (and us) some relief. We were making slow progress when she sold her practice to another vet that said he was still learning but was headed down the homeopathic road. He suggested appquel after being there about 2 months. We did try it but I felt awful about it almost from the day I bought the pills home. He did get almost immediate relief but I was concerned about the cost to his health. We did about 2 weeks then I tapped off so he was completely off at week 3. His itching was even worse than when we first started . I finally tracked down a very respectable herbalist and we are finally having more good itch free days. I’m glad we stuck with it to find a cure and i didn’t stick with just covering up his symptoms. If we had kept it up until it stopped working I’m sure it would have taken much longer to get him some relief

  17. jan kase on August 6, 2018 at 1:39 am

    I’m not clear as to what you are offering, but your words are unpleasant to read.

    What ARE you offering?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 2:17 am

      Information, Jan, to help people see there are other options. Maybe you didn’t get the Apoquel Alternatives Report? That’ll give you more tangible offerings.

      • Linda on August 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

        My Aussie has been having hair loss and severe scratching for the last year. She was rescued from a puppy mill 3 years ago after having 6 litters in 3 years and her hormones were shot so I had her spayed but with the itching, I tried benadryl, depo shot and finally had the allergy testing done and according to the report everything she was allergic to I was giving her such as chicken, Turkey, food with peas in it. So I started the allergy serum in January and now on the last bottle. It hasn’t helped any to what I can see. I make her food, doggy stew, with potatoes, carrots, green beans and beef. But nothing works, I was about to give apoguel a try but now I won’t due to these articles. But what now for my Aussie???????

        • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 2:37 pm

          Hey Linda,

          You’re likely going to need professional help, but not in the drug-prescribing world. Scroll up to the link for the Apoquel Alternatives Report I’ve written and get thee to a qualified homeopathic vet who knows her stuff. It’ll be a longish path, but cure lies at the end.

    • Jess on August 6, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      He’s not trying to sell you anything, he’s trying to help. He offered you information on how to make better choices for your animals. Did you read this article?? There is nothing unpleasant in someone trying to pull the wool off of your eyes. You might not like what he has to say but it’s true. You should do some research.

  18. Nancy Clayton on August 6, 2018 at 1:14 am

    I feel the pain of the person who wrote who felt compelled to give their dog Apoquel. I went through it with my Dachshunds. Nothing helped. Many visits to the conventional vet and several $Thousand$ of dollars, antibiotics, rubbing antiseptic, skin cream, the Cone of Shame, special baths twice a week, Apoquel but they still scratched (although it was better) and had hot spots and swollen bitten paws. Then we sunk the big bucks and had both of them allergy tested. I learned how to give them allergy shots, daily, then weekly and monthly. I was already giving them the most expensive lamb and rice kibble but they still scratched. And scratched. And scratched.

    So I dug deep into the Web and stumbled upon Dr. Will at Vital Animal. I read everything that I could get my hands on. I read other sites to determine if what he said was true. And it was! Every single word! Now I don’t even go to the other sites…Dr. Will’s word is gospel.

    I now have only the one female, 3 1/2 yr old Dachshund and I put her on Steve’s Real food (and other raw food–grass fed chicken and duck eggs, raw milk, duck heads, necks, feet, chicken feet, hearts, wings, etc.,) a raw diet and guess what? No more scratching, no more hot spots no more bitten paws. I threw away the Cone of Shame, the kibble, the Apoquel, the pricey allergy med/shots and needles.

    After digging deeper into teachings, I’ve made the decision to stop all of her vaccinations…rabies, parvo, Bordatella, DHPP-C as well as Trifexis (fleas and worm Rx). I’m done. She’s done. She’s very healthy and has very healthy skin and fur. She’s happy and I’m happy.

    You have more than two choices. My best advice is dump the Apoquel…sure you’re dog isn’t scratching but you are killing your dog! Get him on raw food and follow Dr. Will’s advice. You won’t regret it.

  19. Shannon Cail. on August 6, 2018 at 12:32 am

    Been there, done that, never going back! Our rescue dog was bombarded with vacs and drugs while she was our foster. We didn’t know any better. I knew from the get go I didn’t want her on apoquel though from research. Fast forward to us adopting her because no one was going to want a dog with this many health problems. If they did, she would have been euthanized once they could no longer deal with her issues. We knew that for a fact. Our vet convinced us apoquel was safe, against my better judgement. The oh-so wonderful effects started within 4 hours and lasted all of 3 months, if that. Cytopoint was next. Didn’t last more than a month. January 2018 was our first visit with a premier homeopathic vet. One Dr. Falconer knew of. I knew we would be in good hands. We are expecting a 1.5 to 2 year reboot of our dog’s immune system. We are in month 6. The damage vacs and drugs did to our dog is immeasurable and incomprehensible. I’m disgusted. Never again. I recently had to do a time line of the drugs and side effects since day 1 of Apple Pie coming to us as a foster. My mind was blown away when I actually sat down and went through her records. And I keep everything! Never again. We’re in this for the long haul. We owe it to Apple.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on August 6, 2018 at 2:23 am

      I admire your commitment, Shannon. I can see you’ve got the time factored in (often about half the amount of time to cure a patient, in the true homeopathic definition, as they’ve been ill), and are still committed. Bravo. Apple will once again shine, that’s a sure bet.

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