We started doing some research and discovered that Ruby was allergic to her food. Based on the price and packaging, we were sure we were feeding her a nutritious diet. We quickly learned about the lack of manufacturing standards and advertising ploys in the pet food industry. We were quite shocked and decided to switch to a higher quality, natural diet. After we switched, her issues cleared up almost immediately. Now, four years later, Ruby is in better shape than she’s ever been. In fact, she’s spending a lot of her time hanging around the store and running around with her brother, Boone.
One last point: Because steroids have all these side effects, a lot of abusers will then take other drugs to offset the effect—steroid abuse causes you to grow man-boobs, so people take another drug to mitigate those side effects. Guys who take steroids often also take augmenting drugs to decrease estrogen production or to improve athletic performance even further, like human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1, insulin, erythropoietin, stimulants, diuretics, levothyroxine, and/or gamma-hydroxybutyrate, according to the study in FP Essentials . That means on top of all these side effects of steroids, most abusers are also looking at a whole separate list of effects from their peripheral drug habits.
I like Apoquel. The benefits of Apoquel include: rapid onset of action, low likelihood of GI side effects, rare side effects with long term use, no withdrawal needed for skin testing, and decent price. The downsides include: increased infections, monitoring needed for bone marrow suppression, does not work for many pets, and we do not have long term data. It is a wonderful option for those dogs who do not tolerate steroids or cyclosporine. Allergy testing and shots remains the only effective management of allergies that does not involve immune suppression.