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So I tried looking through the forum to see if anyone addresses the negative sides of Atopica and while I see many have Shibas with atopic dermatitis and have used Atopica but I can't find much else on the drug itself. I finally had the time to drive down to the closest dermatologist for Rocky. The derm believes he has atopic dermatitis and we are awaiting the allergy test results which will take about two weeks before we can begin any shot therapy and in the mean time I've been sent home with more pred steroids (ugh) and Atopica and I've been reading into Atopica and find that some people report that it has caused further complications which led to death and that makes me very weary to the idea of administering it to him. How do all of you feel about Atopica and has anyone had any bad experiences with it or any input at all?
To my understanding, Atopica is a temporary fix. Like steroids, it is an immunosuppressant, which leaves the body vulnerable to infections and any number of complications including death.
Since suppressants don't fix the underlying problem, I would only consider using them if allergy symptoms were limited to a few times a year, and standard antihistamines didn't work for you. Otherwise you can become dependent on them and are more likely to experience the adverse effects.
Sounds like you did a blood allergy test, as the skin test results would be known immediately.
(I would still advise the intradermal test for accuracy.)
Are you planning on starting allergy shots once the results are known? If you use Atopica in the meantime, that's up to you. But once you start shots, with the goal being to re-train the immune system, any suppressants could hinder your efforts. Immunotheropy leads to gradual improvement over months or a year, so you will still need to manage the allergy symptoms for some time. I suggest you talk to your vet about more long term management solutions.
What is your current management routine?
We have one dog that has been on Atopic product as a single source for aprox 8 yrs and it has worked out fine for our case. Decisions to use really depend on the individual animal and what the full medical work up reveals. I would follow up with your dermatology vet and ask some specific questions about the product in relation the specific dog. Do not limit your decisions based merely on a website or two, or this forum.
Sometimes in severe cases Atopic is the only option that will work. Atopica is used in place of steroids, but they are not the same thing and act differently on immune receptors igE, IgA, vs. IgG …. Talk to the vet about this to get a better picture.
Atopica can be used in conjunction with shots, or during testing, as well during the adjustment period without altering test results. Atopic can also be used longer term than steroids. Steroids should only be in place less than four months at a time.
In any case expect to have urinalysis and blood work done frequently to monitor with use of long time meds. It’s important to note, anything to do with immuno issues tend to have long term impact on the renal system with or without medication, so each dog needs monitoring regardless over their life time.
It’s a matter of what you feel offers the most relief vs. relative health of the dog, vs cost vs monitoring and treatment regime. Again no one here can determine this specifically in regard to your case, the work up you paid for should offer clues to what direction would be best.
Apoquel is another product that has recently entered the market, however, it is limited in production and not available to all vets at this time …..there are side effects to Apoquel too.
Thanks for the input. His dermatologist did do a blood test over a skin test not sure if that was for a specific reason or not but I was advised to manage his symptoms with Prednisolone and Atopica until his allergies are determined so I can begin immunotherapy. I know Atopica is no fix and like any drug has its pros and cons and when discussing this with his vet he focused mostly on the pros as he did with the steroids. My management routine right now consists of more frequent medicated baths to sooth his skin with consistent omega 3 given every other day. Although I hate the thought of giving pred I do so when his itching is uncontrollable and he is in total discomfort. I tried antihistamines, benadaryl and zyrtec and while they make him drowsy to the point he is too tired to itch it has been unsuccessful otherwise. He's already had 3 infections through the development of his allergies so giving him anything that suppresses his ability to fight infection seems dangerous but both his primary vet and his dermatologist keep pushing these drugs his way. I agree I shouldn't rely on info I find here but I just wanted some personal input but I will further discuss Atopica with his dermatologist when they open on Monday.
Sorry for the lack of clarity ....By blood test I mean your dog should have full cbc profile to determine his general health along with urinalysis for starters and rechecks should be on going (at first quarterly) when on any of the meds (Steriod or Atopic). Unfortunately there aren't any better answers and symptoms of problems will vary too when on the meds. Overall treatment varies from dog to dog, case by case. Sometimes you have to try one thing and switch out later if needed : / It's a combo of things that really helped and following the derm vets advice.
Allergy shots worked with our other dog but there was a need for intemed. solution until the body normalized so that dog was also on Atopic until the shots kicked in over 18 months. Be sure to look at the other threads on this too.
Good luck though
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