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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would pass this along, I've had allergy problems with a lab for years. Tried a lot of different treatments, with little or no results. The one that worked a little was a steroid. It carried health risks with long term use. I tried allergy injections for a year with no results.

Finally tried a product called "Atopica" While more expensive than the other treatments, it really works great. The dog's coat looks good again, and no more scratching, and chewing. He's been on it for a month and a half and looks better than he has for the last four years.

John
 
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John Lash said:
I thought I would pass this along, I've had allergy problems with a lab for years. Tried a lot of different treatments, with little or no results. The one that worked a little was a steroid. It carried health risks with long term use. I tried allergy injections for a year with no results.

Finally tried a product called "Atopica" While more expensive than the other treatments, it really works great. The dog's coat looks good again, and no more scratching, and chewing. He's been on it for a month and a half and looks better than he has for the last four years.

John
I know someone this worked really well for, too. Thanks for sharing...
 

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I have a 5 year old lab that has been through EVERYTHING for allergies, and was looking at a lifetime of steroids also :cry: I work at a veterinary hospital, and found out that novartis was conducting a study for dogs with allergies, the product they were trying was atopica.The nice part was it was at a 75% discount for the study, so I gave it a try, and thank goodness I did, it has been such a great thing for my dog! It is VERY expensive, but if you havent priced it in awhile, novartis did lower the price, but it is still pricey, but worth it if you have been through everything! I did see results , less scratching , better coat within 10 days , so for some it might be worth a try.
 

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Please describe the dosage and how long? Does it by any chance work on people? :D :oops: :oops: Really I have a dog that could use something for scratching and loosing her coat. (Come to think of it I sneeze, scratch, and I'm loosing MY hair, that that hasn't turned grey) Bill
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bill,

The dosage with my dog is 100mg a day for 60 days. He weighs 75 pounds so the dosage is a little lighter than Atopica reccomends. Then we'll try going to 100mg every other day. If that works we can stay with every other day.

His scratching is worse in the winter, so I'll see if he needs it year round.

It is pretty expensive, but I was paying $20 every 10 days for an allergy injection that didn't help. So with a dose every other day it's only a little more than the injections. (We paid $150 for a 30 pills.)

It's on the internet, search Novartis, then find Atopica.

Of course talk to your vet, I tried everything else first, I wish I'd tried the Atopica a long time ago.

And they do make something for humans...

John
 

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Atopica (cyclosporine) is a potent immunosuppressant; it is used for transplant patients in human medicine. It requires close supervision of blood levels and can lead to renal failure. I'm not sure this is a drug I'd use for allergies...
 

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ChrisRobt said:
Atopica (cyclosporine) is a potent immunosuppressant; it is used for transplant patients in human medicine. It requires close supervision of blood levels and can lead to renal failure. I'm not sure this is a drug I'd use for allergies...
Chris,

Years ago long suffering and I had a dearly loved labrador with severe allergies. Besides the dog suffering, endless various veterinary consultations were required. We found Cyclosporine the best treatment.

But for interest, what treatment would you suggest?

Since our drama, I have remained phobic regarding inherited conditions/syndromes/diseases.
 

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I know someone also who has had problems with a dog for years trying steroids, benadryl, holistic cures, and finally the dog has relief on cyclosporin.
 

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Atopica is a great new allergy relief medication out there. The other posts are correct and it is expensive but for the sever cases where other things don't work this medication has worked wonders. In some cases you may also need to supplement with other medications but not at the usual "full dose". We have many patients on it at our clinic and haven't seen any side effects besides one was doing at little vomiting when started. The drug has been through numerous tests in order to get licensed by the fda so I would trust it. We don't monitor blood tests for kidney function since it doesn't seem to cause kidney problems in dogs. It it did we would be watching them more closely.

You start the loading dose and use that for 2 months then you can wean down and you keep weaning down as low as you can get and still keeping the dog comfortable.
 

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John, I have remembered from a decade ago, when one of our labs was on Cyclosporine. It was recommended that we give her grapefruit juice also. No idea if this is still combined nowadays.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Aussie,
Thanks, I'll ask the vet. It will be interesting to see how he takes to grapefruit juice.
John
 

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As said before, there is no need for bloodwork, as with some other long term meds.This is from the novartis web sight on atopica "In contrast to humans, there is no evidence of cyclosporine kidney toxicity and increased blood pressure in dogs." If you look at the insert, even at really high doses the dogs had no problems, with the exception of some GI issues.The grapefruit thing I have not heard, but did hear a derm doctor say that you could freeze the capsules to help prevent vomiting/diarrhea problems, I am not sure what that does, or if it works.
 

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John Lash said:
Aussie,
Thanks, I'll ask the vet. It will be interesting to see how he takes to grapefruit juice.
John
John, I am becoming very frustrated, trying to find all my notes. As you know from our past discussions, I had summaries of each and every veterinary visit, canine skin alllergist, heck even the chinese human herbal doctor (what experiences we had with his clients horrified looks when I walked in with a DOG) we consulted over the years.

At the time during our treatment with cyclosporine (2 years), which was told (10 years ago), was recently applied to canines, I know there was another drug which I purchased from the local chemist, which we used in conjunction to keep the drug in her system longer.

Grapefruit juice and others juices are sometimes contraindicated.

I will ring Monday for our records from the skin specialist. I am sure since our experience advances have been made. Nevertheless I can find out the recent news.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Aussie,
Thanks for the concern, and help,"Izzy" looks great, even seems happier. There's a trial tomorrow, so I'll see if he also performs better. ( I wish.)

As you know I asked about skin problems on RTF awhile ago hoping for some help. ( I never thought I'd get it from Australia) I'm still worried about getting another dog with problems in the future, it doesn't seem real common, but it doesn't seem rare enough.

The dermatologist I'm going to now told me to give him 100mg a day to start. That's nearly half the dose of what Novartis suggests,(depending which source you read), and of course half the cost of what the other dermatologist quoted. Still an expense but a more manageable amount.


When I went to the first dermatologist I saw a brochure for it in the waiting room on our initial visit, it described my dog's symptoms exactly, so I asked the dermatologist about it, and he said "It is insanely expensive and I don't know who could afford it." Another Vet took over his practice and after the allergy injections didn't help she suggested this as the best treatment.

He is doing good, truly a miracle drug so far.....He has been on it for two months now. So now we try every other day, I'm not sure how we will be able to tell if it's working, on an every other day dose, obviously we'll know when it's not. If every other day works, they said we can go to every three days. She said probably he'll need it every other day though. She said she has a lot of dogs on it but all small ones. So we'll see.

When your dog was taking it do you remember the dose and frequency?

I don't know who to attribute this quote to but someone said "You can quickly gauge a society by how they treat their pets."

It is pretty amazing the "problems" more advanced societies have...

John
 

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John,

I telephoned the allergy clinic where our dog was treated. The two vets, who incidently are married, have since moved to Germany via the UK and US. (google if you like Sonya Bettenay and Ralf Mueller - apparently both highly regarded in their field).

The drug used, in addition to the Cyclosporin, which helped control yeast and to prolong Cyclosporin in the system was Nizoral.

The combination remains used by the current canine skin specialists, at least in the clinic where we used to visit. Oh the horrible memories of a scratching dog. Our's lost her tail as a result also.

Good luck ++++++++++++++++++++.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Aussie,

Thanks I'll look into that. So far so good with "Izzy"

John
 

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Sorry I could not help you with the dosage John. We used to buy Cyclosporin by the bottle!!!!

BTW, what are you feeding your dog?. We found by keeping our dog on a fish and potato diet the best. She was very sensitive if she accidently ate anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Aussie,
I've had him on a few different brands of food. Doesn't seem to make much difference. Most of his life Purina Pro Plan, I tried "Nature's Variety" someone on RTF suggested it. Seems like good food. no grain, a little more money and an hour drive to get it. That's the worst part.
It would be a good food to "test" or prove a suspected food allergy.

The dermatologist doesn't think his problems are food related, I would agree because it didn't seem to make a difference what he ate, and how he looked.

I have a lot of pines and several hollys that might be some of it, of course everytime I'm sure...that's not it either. My other dog has no problems but sometimes scratches or has some bumps on him from crawling up under the Blue Spruce trees. I could remove the hollys easy enough but don't want to start hacking up all the pines to find it's not that either...Some nice big junipers that the birds find shelter in on cold nights. The dogs of course have to go investigate, I was sure it was the junipers and kept him away from them religiously for months, of course, no difference.

John
 

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Important to note that it is MODIFIED cyclosporin. Best to use Atopica first and see if it helps, then can try other versions of modified cyclosporin, to see if you can maintain the effect at less cost. It seems to have a similar effect as cortisone without the side effects. But it does have its own side effects and is a potent immune suppressor. NOT to used lightly and needs professional supervision.

Not approved officially in cats yet but we are beginning to use it and have had fair to good results. Just beginning to use it and am being reserved about its use until we fell a little more comfortable in cats.

Recently Novartis sent some info about a new cost/packaging of the drug so hopefully that savings is being passed on.
 
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