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  #31  
Old July 29th, 2011, 12:22 AM
sonflower323 sonflower323 is offline
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Unhappy Atopica - Be very wary of this medication!!!

I am very glad to have found this forum & learn that I am not crazy after all...

Like most of the people posting here, my dog developed a severe itching, gnawing, biting problem (starting about 2 yrs. ago) that did not resolve with diet changes or antihistamines. I was told that it was probably due to some sort of dermatitis or flea allergies even though the dog is an "insider" & always has Advantage, Frontline or (currently) Revolution faithfully applied every month. She does not have fleas or mites.The vet gave her two separate cortisone injections that each worked temporarily but did not feel it was safe to continue giving them and recently put her on Atopica. I had some reservations about this course of action because cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant & I was concerned that it could leave her vulnerable since she is an older dog. However, allergies are an immune response, so it did seem logical that an immunosuppressant would quell the allergic reactions, which it did. The drug worked almost immediately - none of the long wait for it to build up in her system, diarrhea or vomiting that I have read about in other posts. Within the first 5 days she stopped itching considerably & stopped altogether in less than two weeks. Also, she did not show any signs of having any of the side effects as described in the leaflet. I was ecstatic because my pet was finally comfortable but then she suddenly took a very unexpected turn around day 15 on the medicine.

She started to lose her balance ever so slightly at the onset. She is 14 yrs. old so it's not unusual to see her be a little unsteady when she first gets up from a nap, but then she started throwing up, trembling & much head wobbling too. If she was going to vomit from this med, it should have already happened before this, so I stopped giving it to her immediately and called the vet. By the time my dog was seen, she was literally falling over in random directions and could not steady herself (and still cannot). The vet swears it is NOT because of Atopica and supposedly even consulted an animal neurologist colleague about my dog's case - and of course, he swears he's NEVER seen a correlation between Atopica & the symptoms my dog's experiencing. I'm not so sure I can believe that...

Currently the vet is treating my dog with Viralys, (which raises the immune system, totally opposite of what Atopica does) - just in case it's herpes. REALLY??? Unbelievable! (The fact that my pet was a rescued dog as a puppy is the reasoning behind this thinking). Meclazine for motion sickness was also prescribed, which doesn't seem to be very effective at all, incidentally. I'm being told that perhaps my dog now suddenly has Vestibular Disease & NO WAY can it be because Atopica suppressed her immune system. In short, the vet doesn't know what's really wrong with my dog yet. (And yes, I am seeking a second opinion). My poor dog is so sick and uncomfortable. You can look into her eyes and see the misery. She isn't eating because she's so dizzy. She isn't able to walk because she's lost her coordination. I have to carry her in & out of the house now for her to do her business - which is quite hard for her to accomplish because she can't stand up let alone squat. All she can basically do is just lay there with this heart-wrenching sad & scared look in her eyes as if pleading for this to stop. She's turning into an invalid right before my eyes. The vet said this situation should resolve itself in about 72 hrs. if it was in fact due to the Atopica. This has been going on for almost a week with no improvement - in fact, it's worsening. The damage has already been done, in my opinion. Meanwhile my poor dog has to suffer while the vet tries to figure it out...and, of course, all the benefits the Atopica formerly gave are quickly disappearing, so now my dog has to deal with nagging itching again on top of everything else.

We have another appt. tomorrow for a follow-up & you can all place your bets right now that I'll probably be told that the dog either needs to get an expensive brain scan to rule out a tumor or simply just be put down - and of course, Atopica will have NOTHING to do with it... I just find the timing of my dog's recent problems to be a little too coincidental to believe all I'm being told. I am soooo heartbroken & worried for my sweet old dog. She's been such a faithful, loving friend all these years & doesn't deserve this!!! She was in very good health for her age (other than all that previous scratching & biting) before this drug was given to her. Now I don't know if she is ever going to recover or be the same again.

If you're reading this (and the other posts) and you really, really do love your pet, please heed this warning - DON'T give this drug to your pet!!! I truly wish I hadn't now because my dog is suffering so much and I feel absolutely awful, guilty & responsible for her demise. It is NOT worth the risk in my opinion! I am sincerely hoping I will be proved wrong about my assumption & will happily eat humble pie if I am, but I doubt it. Because of the extent of her poor condition, I'm now being forced to start considering the real possibility of having to euthanize my dog because she has been robbed her of her quality of life. Until I am proved incorrect, I believe Atopica is robbing me of a family member. Please don't let this happen to you.

I will post the outcome when I have something different to report. I am still hoping against all odds to have good news to share. Thank you for letting me share & vent about what has happened to my dog. I hope it saves you from experiencing the same situation. God bless.
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  #32  
Old July 30th, 2011, 12:34 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonflower323 View Post
She started to lose her balance ever so slightly at the onset. She is 14 yrs. old so it's not unusual to see her be a little unsteady when she first gets up from a nap, but then she started throwing up, trembling & much head wobbling too. If she was going to vomit from this med, it should have already happened before this, so I stopped giving it to her immediately and called the vet. By the time my dog was seen, she was literally falling over in random directions and could not steady herself (and still cannot). The vet swears it is NOT because of Atopica and supposedly even consulted an animal neurologist colleague about my dog's case - and of course, he swears he's NEVER seen a correlation between Atopica & the symptoms my dog's experiencing. I'm not so sure I can believe that....
After the first dose of Atopica (actually, generic modified cyclo), my boy freaked out. He got really wobbly, and went and hid in his crate for 3 hours.

I stopped the med, waited two days, reduced the dose, and fed it with a meal, and he still had a slight neuro reaction.

Just because they've never seen it before doesn't mean that it can't happen.

I hope that your dog gets better real quick.
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  #33  
Old July 30th, 2011, 10:49 PM
sonflower323 sonflower323 is offline
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Thank you, MaxaLisa

Hi. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I just want to say that I did not intend to make my dog's vet sound uncaring or incompetent in anyway because I believe the Atopica caused her current demise. The vet is in fact quite knowledgeable and compassionate and I was just very distraught at the time I posted. Actually the Atopica did exactly what the vet prescribed it for & there was really no way to know that it might lead to this. I believe you are absolutely right on when you say "Just because they've never seen it before doesn't mean that it can't happen". I truly believe it DID happen... My dog is being given prednisone now in the hopes that it will help on some level. Again, I have reservations about the course of treatment but at this point, my dog isn't eating or drinking and continues to lose weight. She can't walk or even hardly stand. She has already lost her quality of life. The prednisone treatment is a last ditch effort. As excruciatingly difficult a choice this is becoming, my family & I have decided to put her to sleep if there is no sign of improvement by next weekend. I am devastated by the thought of it but it is unfair to my "sweet old lady" to let her suffer & go on like this much longer. Please pray for us. This is harder than anything else I've ever had to do... Thanks
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  #34  
Old July 30th, 2011, 10:55 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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So sorry you're having to go through this, sonflower! Praying for a turn-around soon!
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  #35  
Old August 1st, 2011, 12:26 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I am so very sorry to hear this, I do hope that she rallies.

I always consider both prednisone and the antibiotic doxycycline to be meds that can help in last chance scenarios. Sometimes there is a subclinical infection, and the immune suppressants can cause it to go further.

I am so hoping for the best.....
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  #36  
Old November 23rd, 2011, 12:56 PM
Odee Odee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty11 View Post
My dog was prescribed atopica. She cut down the itching by 50% and her coat returned to normal. However she is very sick on this med. I have to wonder how she is feeling all day, she vomits a lot. I did try antinausea medicine and also tried to give it with her food. I don't know what to do, let her scratch or vomit.
Stop everything! I had an unspayed maltese. She was put on vanectyl-p 2 mg tablets for a long time due to allergies. Her symptoms got better but afterwards she developed swollen teats, vulva etc... With time she got worse and worse to a point where she was dying. To make a very long excruciating story short she eventually had to have her uterus and ovaries removed. They were full of puss! She survivied, the operation I took her home, gave her 2 different sorts of pain killers and antibiotics. The root of the whole problem stemmed from HORMONES.
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  #37  
Old November 24th, 2011, 03:40 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odee View Post
Stop everything! I had an unspayed maltese. She was put on vanectyl-p 2 mg tablets for a long time due to allergies. Her symptoms got better but afterwards she developed swollen teats, vulva etc... With time she got worse and worse to a point where she was dying. To make a very long excruciating story short she eventually had to have her uterus and ovaries removed. They were full of puss! She survivied, the operation I took her home, gave her 2 different sorts of pain killers and antibiotics. The root of the whole problem stemmed from HORMONES.
Ummm, so are you telling us the Vanactyl P caused Pyometra in your girl? It sounds like Pyo. How long was she on the Vanactyl P? Did your Vet confirm that the Vanactyl P was responsible for the damage to her uterus and ovaries?

This is very concerning. Vanactyl P has helped my boy's itchies and I am lucky his allergies are seasonal so he is off it right now. If there is correlation to pyo. in girls then it makes me wonder if there is a link to something else in boys.

I am very sorry she and you had a bad time. I hope she remains well now?
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  #38  
Old February 21st, 2012, 01:34 PM
silverfox silverfox is offline
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Angry Stay away from atopica!

my beautiful westie had a skin condition and he was started on Atopica; well within a few months it was back and he was put on it again; after a couple of weeks he did not want to eat and within another week he was DEAD! I wasn't informed about the side effects when the vet prescribed it. Please read all you can and this should be a last resort!
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  #39  
Old February 21st, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Marty11 Marty11 is offline
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So sorry your dog died possibly from this? I have never tried Atopica again. My dog is on Vanectyl P small dose daily. She has been stable and the side effects are minimal for now.
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  #40  
Old May 20th, 2012, 12:50 PM
jenalford jenalford is offline
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NO on Atopica

I have a 13.5 year old Shih Tzu who has very bad allergies. I have been treating her with Prednisone (1/2 dosage) every couple of days for treatment for years since it is the ONLY thing that works. My naturopath refused to refill my Pred prescription so I took Missy to my regular vet who put her on Atopica. We made it through 15 days and I had to take her off of it. She was extremely lethargic, very irritable and had a very weak back end. She was not at all the dog that she was prior to taking the Atopica. I would rather continue to use the Pred sparingly (as I have been) and risk the side effects of that than have a very unhappy, miserable dog! She's been off of it for 2 days now and is showing signs of her regular personality--she was actually AWAKE for most of the day yesterday. From all of the reading that I have now done on this product, the risk of taking it far outweighs the risk of sparingly using Pred. Come on people...seizures, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, weakness in limbs, kidney failure, extreme lethargy, irritability? Novartis has seriously down played the very serious side effects of this drug!!!
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  #41  
Old May 20th, 2012, 12:55 PM
jenalford jenalford is offline
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NO on Atopica

RE my 13.5 year old Shih Tzu, I neglected to mention that the symptoms of severe itchiness did NOT subside while my dog was on Atopica.
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  #42  
Old May 20th, 2012, 01:57 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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The risk of side effect and complications with Atopica is easily available on the internet as is the same for Prednisone. I'm sorry your pup did not do well on it. Can you tell us more about the dosing your little dog was on? One thing the website mentions is that it is NOT to be used on dogs weighing less than 2 kg. I'm sure she weighed more than that but, as we all know, not every drug is the right drug for every dog. It's too bad you were unable to get her past the first month. It's my understanding that after the first month you begin to see how much you can taper the drug down.

My dog is on day 20 of Atopica. Vanctyl P with Reactine was effective but I was only able to taper the Van. P to every second day in very mild pollen seasons. Heading into another pollen season, knowing he would need more than every second day, we decided to try the Atopica. For us, so far, the only side effects have been two nights of vomitting. That was a possible side effect, though earlier in the dosage, and he got over it as was predicted.

Our little ESS was on prednisone with no apparent side effects for 7 years. Pain management after being attacked by two teams of huskies. She did die of liver failure, at age 14.5. That exceeds the average life span for ESS by about 2 years so who is to say the P. did her harm? Maybe she should have lived to 16? I hope it works as well for your wee girl. Good luck, good health and a long life to her.
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