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Apoquel and cancer

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I've been giving our 10yo girl Apoquel for about 6 days and it's bad a profound effect on her night time itching. However I've come across some info on the internet about Apoquel and cancer. Given it's more anecdotal than anything but it's got me worried. 


Does anyone have more info or a perspective on this?

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Not on cancer per se, but I will definitely think very hard about using it in the future.

I had a dog that was on it for upwards of a year - it worked GREAT and I was so thankful I had found something that helped her itchiness and scratching and biting.  But the more I researched about how it works (by basically depressing the body's immune response) the less I wanted my dog on it long term.  Ultimately, we did a food trial to figure out what she was allergic to and got her off Apoquel for good.

So I'm not surprised there may be some sort of link between it's use and the development of certain cancers.  But I'm also sad because it *does* work for dogs that have tried everything else with no success.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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I heard it is wonderful when FIRST used but with long term use actually seriously degrades the dogs health and stops working anyway. For that reason I put it on my personal do not use list. No point in asking a vet because they will simply say it is wonderful and anybody who thinks it isn't is nuts hehe.

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My Stan took it for 3 consecutive years.  He did develop osteo when he was 11 years old but, let’s face it-as a greyhound osteo is never a surprise.  Apoquel  kept him from being absolutely miserable for those 3 years and if asked if I would give it again my answer is a firm yes.

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The veterinary dermatologist we see (and love) feels it's safe. Skye has been taking it for a few years now. When I tried to back down the dose the issue we were having came back so we won't so that again. Her allergies are environmental so there's not much we can do.

ETA: I shouldn't say feels. He had a lot of good information to support its use and safety on top of his plethora of experience with it.

Edited by NeylasMom


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Our galgo Rhythm gets seasonal allergies resulting in red, itchy paws. He was on Apoquel last year for a few months. Our vet would prescribe it in 30 day increments and required bloodwork before the next refill. They definitely had concerns about its impact on his system, but did not mention cancer.

After that experience, we switched them to Fromm Four Star feed and switch out the protein sources with each bag. It hasn’t had a negative impact on their systems and our two galgos seem to appreciate the variety. I can’t say that it helped with Rhythm’s allergies though as they did come back this past month, although not as bad as last year.

I’m still holding off on putting him back on Apoquel. We tried adding natural local honey to his feed from a friend’s farm, but that didn’t make any difference. More recently, I started him on this supplement from a company that makes my horse’s supplements. I’ve seen real improvement from the supplement I give my horse, so it was worth a shot. He’s only been on it for a few days now so it’s too early to tell. As of right now, Rhythm will still chew on his feet, but it’s not constant.


Edited by winnie

Laura with Celeste (ICU Celeste) and Galgos Beatrix and Encarna
The Horse - Gracie (MD Grace E)
Bridge Angels Faye Oops (Santa Fe Oops), Bonny (
Bonny Drive), Darcy (D's Zipperfoot)



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  • 2 weeks later...

My vet will start with Apoquel for the first month, then switch to CADI injections (cytopoint) which has fewer side effects long term.  I know a couple dogs who are on Apoquel long term and they have a blood panel done every 6  months to a year.

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