And Now They’re Playing Dirty
Hacked! When I first wrote about this very popular drug that shuts down part of your dog’s immune system, Apoquel had already been on the market for several months. It was actually scarce, as demand exceeded supply, and people were buying any size they could and either cutting the tablets or adding tablets together to make it fit their individual dog.
And oh! The promise: stopped itching within hours!
It was expensive, prescription-only and, as I shortly came to find out, quite dangerous.
Hence my post, which I titled Apoquel:Dog Miracle Drug with a Dark Side
That article pretty quickly climbed to the top of the search results for people looking to find more information by typing Apoquel into their Google search field. In fact, the only pieces that ranked higher (and therefore showed higher on the first page of results) were the propaganda pieces put out by the makers of Apoquel, the multi-billion dollar Big Pharma corp Zoetis, who had recently gobbled up Pfizer, the drug’s original designer.
That’s When My Website Went Dark
Comments were pouring in to this article, which is still today my most commented on. Other than a handful of “thanks heavens, this stuff works” (some of which were undoubtedly planted by Big Pharma shills), the two main themes of comments were:
- Apoquel started to work then worked less or failed to work after repeated use
- The side effects were worse than the allergic itch and inflamed ears
The commonest side effects appeared to be, unsurprisingly, related to immune system disease:
- Ear “infections” (really not infections, but inflammation, most often allergy related)
- Autoimmune disease (the dog’s own red blood cells and/or platelets were attacked)
- Cancer, most commonly lymphoma (cancer of the immune system!)
While I was happy to be informing more and more people about deadly Apoquel side effects (like malignant cancer), an odd pattern began to emerge in my email inbox. My web hosting company was generating a number of emails saying my site was “temporarily offline,” and these outages were lasting up to 30 minutes each.
I finally convinced my hosting company to dig deeper and they found dirty trick #1: a DDoS attack was ongoing against my site (you can look that up for the tech explanation if you wish).
In plain terms, I’d been hacked.
Within a few days, the hosting company “hardened its defenses” and I was back online full time, after about 2 weeks of intermittent outages, sometimes as many as 20/day.
Dirty Trick #2
My colleague Don Hamilton noticed this one: when searching on Bravecto, the poison pill Big Pharma would love you to feed your dog to kill all manner of fleas and ticks, (FAST! and for 12 weeks with One Dose!) he found my article, Bravecto: Summon Your Courage for This Killer but there was something funny about how it showed up in the search results.
Instead of the usual 2–3 lines of summary you’d expect to see, was this:
I Never Said THAT!
Well, I knew those weren’t my words, so where did they come from, and why were they chosen to represent what I wrote Bravecto’s own serious side effects?
I searched my article and found the words in a comment (!) from a cornell.edu address (there’s a vet school at Cornell). The thing is, this comment was buried way down under dozens of others! How in the world did the search engine’s blurb grab this guy’s comment?
That’s surely not normal search engine behavior, so the hackers were back on the job.
The Latest Dirty Trick
The most recent Big Pharma trick appeared to be a complete disappearance of my initial post on Apoquel, the one with “Dark Side” in the title.
I discovered this a month back in a routine search (a one word search: Apoquel) in a private window using DuckDuckGo for my search. Why? I didn’t want to see cached results, and I didn’t want Google involved. At all.
I’d seen what they’ve been up to on censoring search results for others who dare to draw a line in the dirt around vaccination and Big Pharma. Sites like GreenMedInfo and Mercola were no longer showing up as they had before. The former has a huge database of free research articles on all things natural.
So, not only was this Apoquel post no longer on page one of SERPs (search engine results pages), I couldn’t find it at all, even when I continued to scroll way out to results pages in the teens.
Hmmmm. Hacked yet again.
That’s when I told my Vital Animal Pack subscribers about my censorship and promised a blog post with more details. And that’s what this is, so I’m glad you’re here. It’s important you understand that the internet is no longer the clean reference resource it once was. And that, when Big Pharma feels threatened, anything goes.
When Profits are at Stake
Why the hacking?
It’s usually a case of “follow the money, honey!” Big Pharma likely doing damage control to staunch the bleeding in its bottom line. Potential customers were being scared off, as more readers commented about the death and damage they experienced after using these drugs.
I was pointing out the significant dangers of these two drugs (Apoquel and later, Bravecto) and there must have been some pressure brought to bear on those revealing posts. The tech used I don’t pretend to know. I just saw its results.
But, I let the cat of the bag in Vital Animal News before I got this blog post written. And so…
Let’s Make This Covert Work Less Visible, Eh?
As I’m writing this, new searches (on just Apoquel, as that’s what most people search on when they want to know more about a drug — its name), I’m back in the SERPs once more.
DuckDuckGo shows my second post on Apoquel side effects appearing on page 3 of the SERPs: Apoquel: When a Short Term Dream Becomes a Long Term Nightmare
That’s heartening, as it links to Part One, the Dog Drug with a Dark Side post. And even that one has appeared again on search. It’s just way down towards the bottom when I get the results, so very few will ever know it exists when they search for Apoquel.
Does Big Pharma read Vital Animal News?
Did they think it might be better not to be too aggressive on the dirty tricks so they don’t get a black eye in their quest to look like the good guys? (They “save” animals from so much suffering, right? Never mind that as the itch subsides, cancer often seems to be right at the doorway, waiting to spring into tumors…)
Want to Help?
I know we’ve got a serious pack of smart people who follow a natural path here. Everyone from the newly begun (often after losing a loved one to “over prevention”) to the seasoned old-timers who dropped out of conventional medicine well over a decade ago and having been feeding raw food, avoiding vaccines, and strengthening their animals’ natural resistance instead of poisoning fleas or heartworms.
You can help spread the word and help another’s pack by letting them know some of these things you already know.
We can turn our backs on the crooks behind the censorship efforts of Google and Facebook and the rest with a very simple act, one you likely know well:
When you share a post like this (or any other that you find of value), the ripples of understanding spread. Lights go on, “a-HA’s” happen, and people change course. They begin to realize they have the power to make wise choices for their animals, independent of Big Pharma and its cronies in conventional vet practice that keep them in business.
That’s a powerful thing! Who knows how many animals will benefit?
Sharing is super easy: there are buttons to click (below every article) to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest if you’re on any of those platforms. Click one or more, login to your account, type a few words to introduce the subject and click once more to Post or Tweet or Pin.
If you aren’t using any of these, the other option is to highlight the URL for the article you want to share and simply open an email to friends and paste it inside, with a bit of introduction.
Let us know in the comments if you’ve run into censorship and have other ideas about how to get the word out while not bowing to the censors.