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September 13, 2015.......................................................................................................................Back to Apoquel Mood

I too started seeing changes in my senior dog that I [had] not been seen before after three month's use of Apoquel. I rescued my best friend from a shelter in 2001 and he developed seasonal allergies 5 years ago. His itching would start in fast and furious, and hitting it hard with Prednisone, was the only drug that would get it under control. As he aged, the allergies worsened and maintaining a low dose of Prednisone was needed for most of the year. Knowing the long term risks of using Prednisone, I was so excited on learning of a new alternative and was impressed with just how quick Apoquel worked to control his allergies. Started him on Apoquel in May and discontinued its use on Sept 5 after experiencing the following changes: About mid August, his itching started back in and Apoquel seemed to be less and less effective. Also, his behavior was getting very unusual and increasing in severity each day. He became increasingly restless, he would sleep for only short amounts of time, then go outside straight to the flower bed and start digging (this dog has never dug in the dirt) He would dig for 5 to 10 minutes then walk around the perimeter of our 15k sq ft back yard and come back in. He has 7 stairs to climb, so after doing this in and out of the house, with the intervals getting closer, he would get stiff, sore, and extremely exhausted. He weighs 80 lbs so I could only assist him on the stairs, not carry him. Even though exhausted, he was extremely restless and he no longer followed his normal sleep pattern.

I first thought this increasing odd behavior might be he was going senile as he is older but the restlessness had reached a chronic stage and the itching wasn't improving either. It was 2am on Sept 5 and I was at a loss on how to help him so decided to research info on Apoquel when I came across your website and read all the reviews from other dog owners. Needless-to-say, I was extremely interested in the ones with the odd behaviors. After reading all the posted reviews, I immediately stopped using the Apoquel and started him back on prednisone on Sept 6. Within 24 hours I started seeing an improvement and he was able to rest. Most importantly, the odd behavior subsided and he is back to acting like himself again, even though still itching a little throughout the day. In my dog's case, extended use of Apoquel became less effective for allergy symptoms and appears to have affected him psychologically.
......@aol.com, Page, Arizona
Sent from my iPad


December 20, 2015

Our minpin is around 13. After 3 skin infections and several antibiotics this spring, we agreed to try Apoquel. We started with 2 pills/day and tapered to 1 after 2 weeks. We did see good results for the first month-6 weeks; however as more weeks past she did begin itching again although not as severely. Around the same time, we also noticed behavior changes. First, as a voracious eater, she has used a slo-bowl for years to slow down her eating; however, all of a sudden, this dog that never missed a meal and just about had it finished before you put it down, just stared at the bowl perplexed only picking at it and then walked away. After a couple of days of this, my husband watched her attempt to eat and said it looked to him like she couldn't figure out how to navigate the slo-bowl to get her food out (never a previous problem). So, he picked up her bowl and switched to a regular dog bowl and she immediately started eating. In the same time frame, she started becoming extremely irritable and aggressive to our other animals and us (again, never an issue before).She also become very nonsocial choosing to lay in strange places in the house by herself although she had always been a lapdog who spent every evening in my husband's lap. Additionally, the dog who had joyously ran over to my mother's house to stay with her every morning when we left for work began refusing to go into the house and when we forced her, would not go anywhere near her beloved orthopedic bed, but would hide on the other side of the guest bed or in the bathroom until my mom brought her home. At first, we didn't think of the possibility of a connection between her sudden behavior changes and Apoquel especially since she is a senior dog who could be more prone to behavior changes, but over time, as her behaviors grew more odd and the Apoquel became less effective, we started to wonder. So, we took her off the Apoquel about a month ago and have been amazed to see her begin to revert back to our old friend. It took a couple of weeks, but now she is once again happily begging to be put into a lap every time someone sits down. She is also once again eating normally and sprints over to mom's house like before. So, while I can't prove that Apoquel was responsible for the changes we saw in our dog, I suspect that it was.
Feel free to post to your site if you deem appropriate.

R.K. , Indiana


January 17, 2016

Our 2 year old [mixed breed] 50 lb boy Rex has allergies and has been thru the ringer with steroid shots, pred etc. normally year round but that seemed to take care of the flareups. [] Yesterday, our vet recommended Apoquel. Said it is new, very safe and [she] would give it to her pets. She said this was one of the couple of options we could use to wait another month (needed to wait 8 weeks off prednisone) to have the allergy (blood) testing done. So I agreed not really knowing much about this new drug.

I gave Rex his first half a pill (8mg of 16 mg pills) yesterday about 12 noon [] and it really almost knocked him down. He was glazed eyed and all he wanted to do was cuddle with his momma (my wife) all day in bed. We could tell he was way down on energy and even once I noticed him half jump on the bed like he couldn't get all the way up and this dog can absolutely fly (can jump up onto a 5 foot wall). Later on, about 8 or 9 he came back around and wanted to play and seemed more like himself he is normally a chill dog but his breeds show when he wants to play and have some fun. He ate and we played for a while and then I gave him the other half of the pill and he was knocked out again pretty quickly.

[] I spoke with my wife and we decided to not give him any more after the first pill. He is only 2 years old and his flareups have been mostly fixed by changing his food to natural balance fish and sweet potato and only those treats and marshmallows for his pills. We do supplement [with] fish oil and apple cider vinegar to help keep his ears [stay] clean and clear. We will hold [of on] the meds. If over time his needs for anti-itch meds increase [we will reconsider giving it].

Bret, Louisville, Kentucky


February 15, 2016

Good Afternoon,

I was looking for information about Apoquel and any possible behavior changes in dogs.  I came across your article and the mood changes section that is there.  The reason I was looking is my German shepherd, Titan, recently started Apoquel (about a month to a month and a half ago) and [ ] at first it was great because he no longer needed the steroids to stop his scratching.  Then, within the last few weeks, he started to display odd behaviors.  He would become restless and would not lay down like he normally does.  He would shake uncontrollably like he was scared or anxious but nothing to my knowledge has changed.  When he does sleep he sleeps in a corner, when he normally would sleep in his bed outside my bedroom door.  The biggest concern I have is in 7 years of living in my house he would never leave my sight when we go outside. But last night he just started walking down the side of my house and when I called him he kept walking.  He ignored all commands and headed for the street.  I have never, in the 10 years I have had him, had him go out of eyesight and not immediately realize it and come back.



June 21, 2016

My poodle mix has had allergies since we adopted him five years ago. [] The only thing that helped was Predisone.Then came the Apoquel, which worked well for over a year.[we discontinued it but the itching problem returned so we placed him back on Apoquel] Now he sometimes has this glazed look in his eyes He has started sleeping under the bed also since this second round of Apoquel has been introduced. His appetite has increased, and he seems much more playful.

S.K. Cleveland, Ohio


August 7, 2016

Our experience with Apoquel resulted in significant mood changes in our dog. Like many other dog owners, the vet prescribed Apoquel in response to a severe allergic reaction to flea bites. Our dog was already prone to anxiety, but this was significantly increased during our 3-day stint with apoquel. Every morning, when I would leave for work, he wouldn't want to leave my side. If he wasn't by our side, he was hiding in the closet. Now he loves the closet, but [it] was terribly unusual for him to be hiding there so frequently. After 3 days of this, we took him off Apoquel. My hunch is that Apoquel crosses the blood brain barrier. [he is right about that (ref)]

Sincerely, R.D. Seattle, Washington