Atopica for dogs: what side effects have you seen?

Abby the itchy Scottish Terrier
Poor Abby has been suffering from allergy-induced itchy skin problems that turned into an infection.

My neighbour and fellow Scottie person, Sandra, needs advice. Her lovely wheaten Scottish Terrier, Abby, is suffering terribly from skin allergies, itchiness and infection.

Another of our dog park comrades, who also had a terrier with severe itchy skin issues,  wholeheartedly recommended Atopica, said it changed his dog’s life, and there were no side effects. A little internet research shows, however, that others have indeed experienced side effects from Atopica.

What I’d like to know is whether there are any Scottie News readers out there with Atopica experience. If you’ve used it or know someone who has, please add a comment or email Many thanks.

Sandra also sent along this picture of her late, great Scottie, Angus (RIP).

Angus the Scottish Terrier
Look very closely and you can see the blacks of his eyes

84 thoughts on “Atopica for dogs: what side effects have you seen?

  1. Hi Ann – I am sorry that your little scottie is suffering from allergies. I hope that she finds relief soon.

    My scottie, Dale, had severe allergies that caused terrible itching and skin infections. After trying everything she could (allergy testing and shots, steroids, etc.), our vet referred us to a dermatologist at the vet school here in town. At the time when we took him to the dermatologist, he had almost no hair, and what he did have was very sparse. The dermatologist did extensive testing and put him on Atopica along with Ketoconazole. His condition improved, but it was not 100% effective. Most of his hair grew back, and he was much more comfortable.

    I don’t know if the Atopica caused this, but Dale’s fur was always a little bit greasy and he tended to get smelly quickly. We bathed him frequently in a prescription shampoo the dermatologist gave us.

    Dale took the Atopica for the rest of his life. He lived to be only 10 years old. I do not know if the Atopica played a role in how he died. One day I noticed that he seemed to be having trouble going up the stairs and I asked my husband to take him to the vet (I was leaving on a trip and couldn’t take him myself). I thought he might be getting arthritis. The vet did a work up on him and found that he was extremely anemic. His immune system was attacking his own red blood cells. He died before I made it home.

    I think that Atopica is an immune suppressant of some kind. I don’t know if it contributed the sudden immune system problems that Dale had. I do know that if he hadn’t taken it, he would not have had as good a quality of life as he had with it.


    1. Thanks Jen for the informative comment and my sympathies for the loss of Dale. Just one clarification — Abby is not my dog but one of my dog-walking friends.

    2. Hi Ann, I have a black scottie and a wheaten scottie. The black scottie was 11 yrs old in June, she has had allergies most of her life. Her allergies got so bad that I finally was willing to try Atopica. That was 9 years ago. Her symptoms went away and she was a happy dog again. This past year she has had allergy symptoms, her nose plugs up and runs, which I treat with saline solution, warm wash cloths and a baby aireator to remove the mucus from her nostrials. She has lots of fatty tumors that are not cancer. I had one removed several years ago, but they just keep coming, this, however, is not caused by the Atopica. I am amazed that so many Vets are not willing to offer Atopica to pet owners with dogs with allergies. I think they like to keep you coming back so they can prescribe pills and charge you for office calls. My wheaten scottie is 8yr old and he has been liking his front paw and scratching. Not loosing hair and I am hoping this do not continue once the weather gets cooler. If it does I will need to look at something for him. I highly recommend Atopica, have the blood test first to find out what they are allergic to. My black scottie is allergic to grass, and pretty much everything air borne. No food allergies. Good Luck and give the Atopica a try.

    3. My daughters cat almost died few months ago from the atopica.
      I know the subject is about your dogs,but its also about atopica.
      She has two Bengal cats, brother and sister with severe skin allergies. Thousands of dollars and 4 years later the one was put on atopica and after a while its liver was failing. The kitty was in the animal hospital few days drs didn’t think he’d make it,but somehow he did!
      I have a domestic cat with severe skin allergies as well and tried everything from allergy pills to steroid injections nothing’s helping her. But I’m afraid to put her on atopica since what happened though.
      It’s so strange though so so many pets with allergies, what the heck is in our environment !!!

  2. It’s so difficult to see our little ones suffering so. Last summer our precious cairn, Harley, was suffering like Abby. Most of his hair fell out (or he pulled it) and he was constantly sneezing. After much research looking for an alternative to conventional vet care (she said he had “flea allergies” even though we’ve never seen a flea on him!) my husband found this company:
    The treatment course from them was expensive, but it did the trick. It took several months as they said it would and we had to put him on a grain-free diet. When cool weather came and summer rains left, he came back to his happy, beautiful little self. It’s now July and we’ve had over 20″ of rain in two weeks and he’s starting to show symptoms again. But this time we know what to do for him! The other “goodie” we found was “Dermagic” shampoo soap bars.

    Hope Abby improves soon- she is so beautiful! We have been waiting almost a year for a little scottie brother for Harley. Puppies are due this week and we have our fingers crossed- this breeder is wonderful and his waiting list is long. He’ll be our first scottie and we’ve have spent the last year learning everything we can about scotties- I even have a scottie quilt waiting for him!

    1. Hope Harley stays well. And congratulations on your soon-to-come new addition! He’s lucky to be going to such a great home.

  3. If there is anybody else out there who is in the market for a Scottie, please consider your local Scottish Terrier rescue organization! Or call your local Animal Control (dog pound) or SPCA or Humane Society and get your name put on a “wish list”; that’s how I got my Scots! :) There are Scotties on Dallas’ Scottish Terrier Rescue website that need homes, and you can also try Please spread the word!

    1. Mary–one of the saddest –and then best moments we had as scotty owners was rescuing a lovely lass named Fiona who was trapped in a horrible puppy mill for the first years of her life. We loved her very much. I hope you are successful placing them. It’s very sad we need rescue societies at all, but it’s so rewarding to help them! Best wishes.

  4. If you have an itchy Scottie, try giving him krill oil (Omega 6)and flaxseed oil (Omega 3) oil. I have a dog with the same problem as stated in Jen’s post(oily and smelly), and the oil made that problem go away!

  5. Hi Ann. I’ve posted several times about how life-changing Atopica was for our Fergus. He’s been on it for at least 7 years. He’s just had his 12th birthday and is in great health with less aging than other terriers I’ve had. (If you can repost other more detailed posts I’ve made, I’ve gone into specifics because it’s been so important to his quality of life). But, the bottom line is that we went all other less restrictive routes first, including the very high cost of dermatologist and skin testing, shots, etc. Atopica has been the only thing that’s worked well–bye bye “red racing stripes” on his sides, pulling out fur, etc. We get a blood test annually to ensure he’s got good counts, liver function, etc.– never had a problem. I will add that our current vet advocates as minimum a dose as possible–after initially daily, then every other day dosage to get the titer up so it’s therapeutic, Fergus only takes it twice a week. I also use Malaseb shampoo weekly, and Malaseb foot baths several times a week for all of them–they tend to get yeast in the pads of their feet; Malaseb targets yeast; they’re much happier when we do that. Overall, happy and healthy and regularly monitored in case anything changes. We’re really grateful. I don’t know what we’d do without it!!!! I think anyone should consider it, and with the vet assisting you and careful monitoring, make the best choice for your baby! Good luck.

    1. Hi Kristi, Sounds like you went the same route as I did with my black scottie. The kidneys should be checked as well as the liver. My scottie lived a quality life for a long time by taking Atopicia. She passed a month ago at the age of 11. Kidney failure. She was the sweetest dog ever and taught me so much. I miss her every day.

    2. May I ask what dose your Fergus is on.
      I have a cocker and have to put her on Atopica and I am apprehensive but it is the last resort. We have tried everything. She was doing well but has a major flare up in the last few days.

      1. Hi Sharon and Andrea. Fergus takes 50mg capsules. He’s still taking it only two times a week. Bloodwork continues to show kidney and liver in particular are fine. (Our vet draws about yearly–sometimes earlier, etc–depends if he’s going under anesthesia, i.e. he had his teeth cleaned and she did it then, etc). He’s turning 13 this year and still going strong with no major concerns. Additionally, I still rely on Malaseb for topical treatments, as well as prednisone PRN, but, never too frequently, and in general, the prednisone PRNs are seasonal. He’s had a lifetime of allergies, but he’s been so much happier on Atopica. Also, our 7 year old has started Atopica since I posted above–same as Fergus, and only twice a week once the titer was established. I do notice they are itchier if anything interrupts the dosage–I found a pill in one of their dog beds and had wondered why more scratchy, etc. Talk to your vet, consider mixed medications and treatment strategies, and good luck!

        1. Sharon–I just saw your scotty passed. I am so very sorry, and wish you the best through one of the worst experiences in life. Take care.

    3. I have a yellow lab with terrible allergies. Thousands of dollars spent on testing food trials and meds. I am terrified to try the atopica because of side effects etc. That I read online. He is 4 yrs Old.

  6. Our Ceilidh has suffered from terrible allergies all her life – nothing worked *at all*, including two years of densitization shots, except treating occasional severe flareups with prednisone (which I hate doing). Her allergy tests showed that she’s allergic to almost everything you can think of (both grass/pollen and food allergies).
    Our vet – who is tremendous, I trust him completely – started her on Douxo shampoo to clear the oils causing seborrhea on her back (bathed 1/week, really helps) – and daily Atopica/ Ketoconazole.
    *Atopica has been miraculous*. Her quality of life and overall comfort has skyrocketed. No side effects after the first 18 months, so far. She’s just turned eight, and her health is excellent. Our experiences with it have been fantastic – she’s really turned the corner.

  7. We have two Scotties, one black and one wheaten. This last winter, we noticed that the wheaten, Bailey, started itching pretty bad. After going to Bainfield through PetSmart several times for infections due to itching so much and never telling us that it was allergies, we finally went to a different vet. The first time we went in there, she immediately told me that Bailey had allergies, and the first thing to do was to start a food trial. We did notice that switching to no wheat, beef or chicken protein she did a LOT better. Then spring hit, and everything went down hill. After trying several otc antihistamines that just barely took the edge off of the itchiness for a short period of time, I went back to the vet and asked for any suggestions. Their suggestion was the dermatologist located several hours away and several hundreds of dollars worth of tests. As a young family with a 2 year old daughter and both my husband and I going to graduate school with lots of school debt to our name, this wasn’t going to happen.

    Bailey got to the point that she wouldn’t come out of the cage. She has been in a cone 24/7 with very brief amounts of free time (which she takes to ravage her ears, paws and stomach). She had several days that she refused to come out of the cage and refused to go outside to poop. I know that it is local grass and tree pollen. There was a little bit of a relief when I upped the amount of Zyrtec I was giving her, but that was a short lived relief and she fell back into a slump. With the great weather we are having, we opened the doors and windows for an hour. By the end of that hour, she couldn’t stop itching even with the cone on until we closed everything and then gave her a oatmeal bath. I finally pleaded with the vet enough that they gave in to giving us a prescription for Atopica, and they were VERY hesitant to do that without going to the dermatologist first. We are on day 4 of Atopica, and I truly believe that it is working. She is still itchy, but not nearly to the extent that she had gotten. She even went on a walk with us today and was able to come home and relax without having an oatmeal bath to sooth her first.

    So far we have seen no side effects. We were slightly confused for the first 3 days of giving it to her, because she would randomly start itching excessively 2-3 hours after giving it to her. Tonight she did not. I really hope this works and I hope that Abbey finds relief as well. It is no fun for the dogs and I could tell Bailey was always afraid I was just going to tell her to stop itching again.

    By the way though, one of the things that took us so long to get her on Atopica was the vet trying to get a decent price on Atopica or us going with the generic cyclosporin modified. According to the doc, even though it costs less, typically the cyclosporin works less affectively, and so during the second stage of dropping the frequency of dosage, you would end up giving more of the generic than Atopica. Now whether or not that is just a sales plug so I wouldn’t go to a regular pharmacy and get the generic, I don’t know. Also, we were able to start a program with Atopica where you buy the first two boxes, then you get the second 2 free. After that, for every 4 boxes you buy, you get 1 free. For anyone who is looking at starting Atopica and think it is expensive, you may ask your vet to see if they can get you into that program.

    1. Kim, I pay 91.00 for 2 boxes of 50 mil Atopica. I send the receipt to Novartis and get a 10.00 rebate on every two boxes. I don’t know what your Vet charges, you may have a better deal with the buy 2 get one free. You will find a big difference in your doggie once he has been on Atopicia for a month. Good for you for not giving up.

  8. Hello,
    I’ve been researching skin infections that my dog had for the past 2 months and came across this blog.
    My brindle Scottie, Seamus (5 years old), had the skin condition “deep skin pyoderma” more than 2 months ago (patches of itchy skin/lesions on his back). After a month of antibiotics, anti-fungal medicine, and prescription shampoo, it still has not clear up yet. The vet ran blood tests and rule out thyroid diseases. At this point, the vet still can’t figure out what is causing this (after almost $1,000 in medical costs). He will do a skin biopsy in the next few days and we hope this will figure out the problem. If not, he will need to refer us to a dermatologist.

    At this point, we are so worried about him! He’s been so healthy in the last 5 years and this is the first time he’s had any medical problems.

    Does anyone have any advice? Should we ask the vet for Atopica or take him to another vet for a 2nd opinion??

    We would really appreciate any advice!
    Thank you!!!

    1. I just received a rescue scottie that is 10 years old. He has a thyroid problem and came with his medicine soloxine 2 mg. twice daily. He also had this itching and they brought him with a prescription of celflexion. I tried bathing him with medicated shampoo, nothing helped. Then I went on the internet and found Dinovite. The homemade dogfood, the natural do treats, the shampoo. It worked, but what it the problem with the dogs is not allergies, but yeast infection in their gut, and until they flush this yeast they will suffer with it all their lives. When Jake started sloughing the yeast, and it is a slow process, but the dog coaches at dinovite helped me through this. I took Jake to the vet because he kept licking his paw, the vet prescribed rimodil for the pain, and the New liver flavored ceflexion and we came home. Jake was throwing up, and his belly started swelling and his toe looked terrible. I took him back to the vet, he prescribed more rimodil for pain, and more antibiotics and told me he may have to amputate his toe. He kept getting sicker, I took him back and the vet took x-rays and said Jake had an enlarged liver. Cancer.
      the blood test that I had done 3 weeks earlier were all good, and I asked the vet how he could have cancer and the blood be normal, he just shrugged and said take him home and enjoy him, he will only live about 2 weeks. I called Dinovite and they said get him off the rimodil, the liver flavored celflexion, give him plain yogurt and cut his food in half. Paint his toe with tea-tree oil, mixed with Emue oil and soak his foot in Epson salt, twice daily. My dog is not only back to good health, but sadly I realize now that our Baby Mac who we put to sleep at 14 by this same vet, probably did not have cancer either. I now only trust holistic healing, and upon researching the rimodil and liver flavored celflexion find that it is very toxic to a dogs liver. It is all I can do to not go and punch the vets nose. Pray to God, and He will lead you to what you need to know, and stay away from drugs, they are the reason the vets stay so busy.

      1. P.S on my story, for all of you with Scotties with scratching, lost hair, chewing nails, and etc. It is a yeast infection in the gut from the junk they put in dog food. Read up on Dinovite, make their food yourself with their recipe (dogs love it) feed them the good dog treats they make, use their fish oil and shampoo, and All of your dogs symptoms will go away, and you will have a new dog. The yeast leaches out of the skin, the ears, the eyes, and when you read my post, it sometimes infects their toenails, but it took time for the yeast to buildup, and it takes time for it to get gone. Stop the insanity of going to the vet, I learned my lesson the hard way and almost killed my second scottie, and I really hate to see anyone of you lose because the vet is money hungry instead of helpful. The first vow a Dr. takes in the Hypocratic Oath is “Do no harm”. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened.

  9. I would get another Vets advice. Kudos to your current vet for not putting him on thyroid pills like my old vet did. Give anyone thyroid pills and they grow hair and nails. I can’t say enough good things about Atopica. It blocks the allegens that Scotties seem to be prone to. You can read about exactly what it does at You could try it for a month and if you don’t get any results try another vet. There has to be a med. that can make the little guy comfy. Good luck!

  10. Noodle is almost 6 years old, and has always had some allergies. This year has been the worst, bright red tummy, really itchy, lots of foot gnawing, yeast infection on her skin. We have been to the vet several times since June, had lots of blood work done, and smear slides from the tummy. She is now on Ketoconzole, Temaril and Conzol Spray. I also have her wearing a t-shirt (toddler size 2t-3t ) to protect her tummy from her back feet claws and the grass. She is getting better. Try the shirt, a clean one every day, and think about changing the dog food. I have never heard of atopica and I will ask about it at her next visit.

  11. Forgot to say Noodle is a Scottie dog, and the vet found fungus and yeast with the first smear slides, with severe allergies. She is a lot better now.

    Good luck

  12. Thank you Sharon & Noodledog for your advice and good wishes!!!

    We went to another vet for a 2nd opinion this afternoon and Seamus was diagnosed with severe allergies! This vet was great and checked his skin, eyes, and ears and confirmed it. We were so relieved!

    He gave him a shot right away to relieve the itching. Seamus was prescribed Temaril and Atopica (without us even asking)!!! Wow!
    Because he’s had this for over 2 months untreated, he also gave Seamus a few days of Cipro.

    This site has such a wonderful network of support!
    Thank you again!

    1. Lila, I am so happy that the little guy is finding some relief. You may want to just try the Atopicia without the other stuff first, just to see if that is enough. God love the vets, but business is business and they do want to make money. My Vet in Maine wanted to give my scottie shots in addition to the Atopica and I suggested just the Atopica and that worked fine without the shots. You can always add other meds later if need be. Good luck! You will find such a difference in Seamus’s personality when the allergens are blocked.

  13. I am glad Seamus is getting better. Ann has always been a good source of information and support for our Scotties. About the Temaril, Noodle started with 2 a day, then 1 a day, then one every other day–sort of how you use steroids. Please try a t shirt, if you have dog blanket, make sure that gets changed every 2-3 days, and washed. Just like people with severe allergies.

  14. Today is a sad day for me, my scottie is 11 and her kidneys are failing. She is at the vet getting fluids and having every test imaginable run. I decided not to give her fluids after I bring her home. I will do everything to make her comfortable. If she throws up on the floor, so what, if she poops on the floor, so what. I will take the best care of her and make her final days as pleasant as I can. I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and realize they do not live as long as we do. She was so special and I will miss her. I am going to let her live until she is not comfortable then I will have her put to sleep so she can go to the Rainbow Bridge. sob sob sob…..

  15. MY little girl, Mary, aged 9 went through the, “your dog hunts, she has mites”, for a year. Mostly bad times in the warmer months. The next Spring I demanded she be tested for allergies and guess what??? She’s allergic to everything except sweet potatoes. During the winter she gets a 3mg shot of special allergy formula once a week. During the warmer months she gets a 3mg shot every 3 days and I rub “Derma Paw” on her feet which she despises but it stops the itching. Will try the Atopica when her current supply of stuff runs out. It would be really nice not to watch her scratching as the days dwindle towards her next dose. Thank you

    1. Margot, you will be so pleased with Atopicia, like I have mentioned in several posts it is a god send. I gave my wheaten color scottie a bath today and noticed he has mites. He has been scratching and my husband wanted to start him on Atopicia, like every scottie has allergies, please! Men are so not with it, anyway mine isn’
      t. Now I need to bath him again tomorrow and use a special shampoo and also treat the mites. Any ideas on shampoo and protection? I used Front Line this year, not the best, I guess…

      1. Sharon, I just wanted to thank you somewhat belatedly for all your very helpful input re Atopica. I really appreciate hearing about your first-hand experience.

        1. Hi Ann, it is my pleasure to pass on scottie information. It is so frustrating to have a scottie dog that is suffering from allergies. Many Vets. will treat the symptoms with steriods and other pills and run all the wrong tests and in the end it’s a simple pill that can restore the allergic scotties a quality life. I just had my 11 yr old scottie put to sleep on the 12th. She had kidney failure and after one dialysis and some meds. she told me she didn’t want to go through all that when she wasn’t going to get better. My husband and I and my other scottie took her and I held her. She was gone in seconds and was at peace. We are all still sad and miss her very much. My husband has started the search for another scottie. Well, sorry to go on and on about my scottie. Thanks for listening and thanks for responding to my atopicia messages. I love this site.

  16. I am convinced that Atopica slowly killed my dog. Lola had severe allergies and was put on Atopica about a year ago. The first thing I noticed was her lack of energy. This was about 4 months after Atopica. I did not know that you should get blood counts at least every other month to check liver and kidneys. I did not know that Atopica basically kills the immune system. Lola then began to get frequent ear infections then lost her hearing. She then contracted pneumonia and this last time they were just unable to save her. She pretty much had no immune system. If I knew then what I know now regarding the drug I would have never went that route. I’m still grieving as it has only been 3 days since her death. Read up on all side effects and research online before deciding on Atopica. Lisa

    1. HI Lisa, I am so sorry, it is the saddest thing to do, put your best friend to sleep. You will be grieving for a while. I had to put my 11 yr old Scottie to sleep on Sept. 12th. You can read my post regarding this on this site. I guess one needs to weigh the benefits and certainly have blood work done, my vet required that every 6 months and she was fine. My scottie responded to Atopicia, she suffered so with allergies and after allergy tests and trying other options that didn’t work Atopica was our go to. She became happy and interacted with the family again. I personally am not a pill taker, but sometimes it is the only option for a quality life. But, so sorry that Lola is gone. How old was she? My vet originally recommended allergy shots, maybe that is something to look at in addition to Atopicia, maybe switch between the two.

  17. We too lost our beloved baby Mac on Dec. 14, 2010 from cancer. I grieved so bad because this dog was litteraly my baby, because I never had a child. Too soon after his death I decided to get another one. We got a pup and it caused my disabled husband to trip because he was just a pup, but we could not risk him falling again, he already has a broken back. Then I found St. Louis Scottie Rescue on the web, and started pestering Vicki about every dog that came up for adoption. She was very diplomatic with me, you see I am 63 and my husband is 72, and our home is situated on 8 unfenced acres. After 3 plus years she contacted me with Jake. He is 10 yrs. old, has a thyroid problem and terrible skin problems, but the beautiful thing is he can’t run away from me, he loves being in the house on the bed, and he barks when he needs to do his business. Anyway, the skin problems were terrible, his hair on his tail was gone, he had huge chunks out of his sides, he couldn’t stop scratching and licking, so I took him to our Vet. He prescribed a pain pill for his arthritis, and said just groom him often to remove all the scally skin. Well, after surfing the web for anything better I discovered Dinovite Site. I put him on the homemade dog food, used the natural snacks and fish oil, bought the shampoo, and after almost 3 months Jake has flushed all the yeast out of his system. He does not scratch, lick, have gooy mucus coming out of his ears and eyes, and his arthritis is even in remission. I cannot say how blessed we are to not only have Jake in our lives, but he is a happy, hairy, bouncy dog, with bright shining eyes of love.

  18. Hi: Our Scottie girl Maggie gets very itchy in the warm months, as did our prior Scottie boy Hamish. The doctor thought it might be due to flea allergies, and she takes Comfortis now, which seems to help a lot. I don’t particularly like giving her a systemic drug, but she was itching her back on the cement outside to the point of rubbing the skin raw (she’s mainly an indoor dog). I also put salmon oil on her food and give her the Avoderm Grain-Free Salmon and Potato dry food. All of these seem to have helped her. I’ve been told that itchy skin is a common problem for Scotties.

  19. I have a 9 yr old Scotty, who was perfectly fine until aged 6 when the itching, shedding, raw spots started. Vet said “Oh, you live on a farm”, she has Mites. We treated her and things settled down but not entirely, and winter came. April rolled around and she was back digging at herself. Vet saiad Mites, NO I said allergies too early for Mites. She was tested and she’s allergic to “the world”. She’s been receiving allergy shots 2x a week for 3 years. No worry about kidneys and a years supply of the vaccine is $75 dollars. According to my research, it’s very common for the allergies to show up around 6 yrs. Just want to let you know there is another option. :)

    1. Good information, Margot. I am picking up my puppy tomorrow. I hope he doesn’t have allergies. My 8 yr old wheaten scottie itches a little but nothing serious, so I will prolong giving him any meds if and when the allergies get bad. Unfortunately, scotties have allergies and they seem to get worse.

        1. Well, we have had Harry since the 22nd and he has brought joy to our home after having to put Scottie to sleep, although I must say we still miss her. Harry is in good shape and very smart, he catches on fast. I will keep my fingers crossed that he doesn’t have allergies. Anyone, have any good flea/tick meds to share? I am leaning towards the pill once a month….

  20. I just received a rescue scottie that is 10 years old. He has a thyroid problem and came with his medicine soloxine 2 mg. twice daily. He also had this itching and they brought him with a prescription of celflexion. I tried bathing him with medicated shampoo, nothing helped. Then I went on the internet and found Dinovite. The homemade dogfood, the natural do treats, the shampoo. It worked, but what it the problem with the dogs is not allergies, but yeast infection in their gut, and until they flush this yeast they will suffer with it all their lives. When Jake started sloughing the yeast, and it is a slow process, but the dog coaches at dinovite helped me through this. I took Jake to the vet because he kept licking his paw, the vet prescribed rimodil for the pain, and the New liver flavored ceflexion and we came home. Jake was throwing up, and his belly started swelling and his toe looked terrible. I took him back to the vet, he prescribed more rimodil for pain, and more antibiotics and told me he may have to amputate his toe. He kept getting sicker, I took him back and the vet took x-rays and said Jake had an enlarged liver. Cancer.
    the blood test that I had done 3 weeks earlier were all good, and I asked the vet how he could have cancer and the blood be normal, he just shrugged and said take him home and enjoy him, he will only live about 2 weeks. I called Dinovite and they said get him off the rimodil, the liver flavored celflexion, give him plain yogurt and cut his food in half. Paint his toe with tea-tree oil, mixed with Emue oil and soak his foot in Epson salt, twice daily. My dog is not only back to good health, but sadly I realize now that our Baby Mac who we put to sleep at 14 by this same vet, probably did not have cancer either. I now only trust holistic healing, and upon researching the rimodil and liver flavored celflexion find that it is very toxic to a dogs liver. It is all I can do to not go and punch the vets nose. Pray to God, and He will lead you to what you need to know, and stay away from drugs, they are the reason the vets stay so busy.

    1. Bless you, Linda, for taking on the responsibilities that come with a older dog. Sounds like you have given him a wonderful life in his elder years.

  21. Reporting on Mary, my 9 yr old Scotty, whom I have written about before. She’s allergic to the world and if she could would only eat beet pulp, and Soy. However, I have had her on a seafood and no grain diet for 2 weeks and smaller doses of her grass allergy shots and it’s WORKING. Her smell has disappeared and her constant digging at herself is gone. Feet still are a bit itchy (grasses) but overall, she’s a new dog. Realized after I bought her no grain and fish diet that perhaps I had goofed. She’s finishing the bag and then will drop down (allergy wise) to No grain and roasted lamb. I know this is the Atopica page, but am passing on the information that you might try first before the Atopica. Much less expensive and seems, at least in Mary’s case, to be the answer with out additional meds. :)

  22. We just had to put our little 7 yr. old scottie down with cancer. He also suffered from skin issues for about three years. He was diagnosed with Seborrhea through testing. His skin was very bumpy and had greasy scales all over it which he scratched at. Our vet had suggested putting him on Atopica. However, after researching the drug which is an immune suppressant, I decided to try other avenues first. I found a site with a vet, who was not a big fan of Atopica and suggested trying T-Gel shampoo. So I bought some from the grocery store. I lathered him vigorously on his legs and torso and then allowed it to sit on him for about 10 minutes while I just continued to massage his scalp with the lather . He really liked that part. I did this once a week for about three weeks, and started noticing a big improvement. You need to be careful not to get the shampoo near their eyes or mouth however. Most of it cleared up after four weeks. The only draw back was that he smelled a bit like the tar pits, but at least he stopped scratching and his skin looked so much better. I miss my little boy and his bath times. This may not work for everyone, but it did in our case. Good luck.

    1. Thank you SO VERY MUCH for mentioning washing your Scotty with T-Gel. AS I’ve said in my earlier posts, my Mary has been on allergy shots for grasses and Derma Paw on her pads for grass allergies but the rest of her itches seemed awful.. Changed her diet to roasted lamb and no grains….big improvement but the odor and her skin were still a big problem. Actually she stank ! Yesterday we bathed her thoroughly with T- Gel, the 10 minute wait included and all I can say is WOW. No odor, and she usually starts smelling with in 6 hours of her bath. Coat feels good, she’s not being other than a normal dog. Every now and then she starts examining herself as if the itches should be there but no such luck :) My Thanksgiving is complete. !

  23. I have a 2 year old Douglas, he sometimes smells very musty. Even after he has a bath, the smell comes back. Is anybody experiencing the same problem. I also have a constant problem with fleas, spent hundreds, still have fleas. We live on a smallholding in RSA.

  24. I have used Atopica with our Tavish and have not seen any side effects, he now only needs a couple pills in the early spring to cure his itchy feet and then we’re okay.

  25. We had a Westie with skin problems, we were given Atopica by the vet but we found that our Westie slept a lot and had no energy. We were in two minds about stopping it, but he had a severe reaction to it inside his mouth and the swelling was that bad we thought his teeth had fallen out. Fortunately it was just the swollen gums, but even after stopping the tablets it took a month for his mouth to settle down. The tablets did reduce the fierceness of his spots, but the side effects far outweighed the benefits.

  26. After reading all these posts I don’t know that I would put another dog on Atopicia. I do know that Atopicia was a god send for my 11 yr old. I have allergies to the environment, too. The environment has become so polluted, just don’t know. It is my age? 67???? My white scottie has been licking his feet and scratching, but those symptoms are not bad enough to treat. I designed my new home for creature comfort.

  27. I wwill repeat,,,move your dogs cats and what ever else that is a carnivore to a NO grain & lamb or pork food and see how it works before you go the serious drug route. I also say !!!! have your vet do an allergy test to find out what is causing the itching. Take it from there :)

  28. I tried removing all wheat, corn, etc, from their diet, but the allergies still were so bad…The results of the allergy tests showed no food allergies, just everything out side. cut grass, trees, pollen, flowers, you name it. I still wonder after reading all these posts if Atopicia was the reason that my Scottie died of kidney disease at 11 years old. I do know that it gave her a quality life for many years.

    1. Sharon,

      Many Scotties who haven’t taken Atopica die at 11 years of age. Please do not blame yourself.

      I love hear readers’ experiences, but real science requires control groups, not just personal anecdotes.

      Everyone I know who has used Atopica did so after all other methods — including diet — failed.

      Thanks once again for your valuable contributions on this thread. I know you did what was best for your beloved Scot.

  29. Hi Sharon and all, my terrier is 2 and has terrible allergies. She has been on a food triald and it made no difference. The next thing the vet did was allergy tests and this showed she was allergic to trees, grasses and pollens. He prescribed atopica 6 months ago and she is like a new penny. I hope she lives years and years but if she dies a few years premature I don’t care as long as she is happy. Quality of life is more important for her, in my opinion.

  30. All you scottie masters are the greatest. I did what worked best for my beloved Scottie and she had a wonderful life because of Atopicia. I know that if someone else had her they would not have spent the money I spent on her health, and loved her as I did. She was special as my other scottie, Sammie, is and my new puppy, Harry is. Harry is so smart and brought happiness to our family after loosing, Scottie, yes that was her name….So, now Sammie, my 8 yr old wheaten color scottie is licking his feet and they have turned pink. I am not putting him on meds yet. We recently moved to Delaware so I am thinking he may be allergic to something. Anyone have a wheaten color scottie where the hair on the feet turn pink? Let me know. thanks.

  31. Pink is probably coming from the skin irritation and dried mucus. He’s also the prime age for allergies. Derma Paw is a cream to put on feet which helps. If the allergies are restricted to his feet, then I would guess it’s grass allergy and that he can get shots for. Have you checked his skin for Seborhea?

  32. Hi Margot,
    Thanks for helping. I think you are correct, I have not had his skin checked but I will take him to the Vet and have it checked out. I will also try the Derma Paw. Thanks so much for the information, I figured it must be an allergy. I will let you know how it goes.

  33. I just ordered the Derma Paw and the socks. I am very curious to see how well it works. I will post the outcome, especially for you Ann, and all the other scotty owners with a wheaten colored scotty with pink paws. Today I soaked Sammie’s paws in a bath of warm water with peppermint Epson Salts then I washed his feet with BPO-3 Shampoo the Vet. sold me. I dried his feet with the blower and trimmed the hair, and rubbed Vitamin E on his pads. He liked it! Looking forward to getting the Derma Feet. Thanks Margot for telling me about the Derma Paw

  34. So glad I’ve been able to help a little. Started scrambling all over the internet regarding the Seborreaha (sp). Want a cure not just a patch. T-Gel is a great patch but after 5 days of no smell, it’s started back. The internet said it’s caused by dry skin even though the coat is greasy feeling and smelly. This morning a slight odor started showing itself. I rubbed in some heavy lotion which Mary didn’t care for but she’s not digging and I’m now adding olive oil to her food so she gets internal lubrication. Tomorrow is beauty day so we’ll see how she does. I will bring the T-Gel with me. Will keep you posted :)

  35. Regarding the Derma Paw, I’ve never used the soccks but if I were to go that route, I’d go to the dollar store and get infant socks….cheaper and if your dog doesn’t keep them on, it’s not a big loss :)

    1. I thought it just easier to order the socks with the derma paw. How it helps. I took my puppy to the vet today for shots and she said he was aggressive and that I should do all this training, make him submissive. My vet is at an air force base where they train fighting dogs, I have had raised 2 scotties that have been lovely companions to me, any thoughts from you scottie owners?

      1. Maybe your vet is the problem,,,,not your dog. I think you are the better judge of your dogs behavior and besides, a snooty scotty is the way they are meant to be.

        My Mary went for her beauty treatment today and she hasn’t started scratching yet. Brought the T-Gel shampoo with me. Looking good!!! :)

        1. What Margot said. You can only change a dog’s behaviour so much. And the vet doesn’t always know best.

          I remember when Bridget was a feisty puppy, one vet controlled her perfectly. The other was scared of her, which didn’t inspire confidence in me.

          What kind of vet can’t deal with a Scottie pup?

  36. AS I said yesterday, Mary was groomed and I waited till today to give a report. She was thoroughly clipped and again scrubbed with T-Gel. She is not showing any signs of discomfort. We have had frost so the grass allergy isn’t bothering her very much. Of course being a lady, she does occasionally tend to her nails. We are down to one shot a week for grass allergies and I will use the Derma Paw a little more frequently to keep her attention on her nails. AMAZING. :))

    1. Margot, Glad to hear Mary is doing well. I ordered the Derma Paw and then I received an email saying my order was cancelled, then another one saying it was on the way. Guess I need to check it out again and make sure I am getting it. My Sammie is sleeping on the sofa in the office while I work. He has a smile on his face. The puppy is in the living room on the sofa. It’s a dogs house. I have a couple of vets and the one that said he was aggressive is at a military base and they are accustomed to training dogs for war etc. My puppy improves every day. He is a delight and I am going to continue what I have done in the past. I don’t want a war dog, I want a loyal, cute companion and that is what i have had in the past with scotties that is why I love this breed.

      1. Love them and let them know you are the boss even if they sleep on your bed and the furniture. (It’s their right :) Mary gets a half a piece of bacon every morning. (It’s her right :)

  37. Soooo, I used the Derma Paw and put the socks on. Sammie just looked confused, I took a picture of him. He was very cooperative when I was applying the cream and putting the socks on. My husband removed them while I was shopping. After his morning walk I soaked his feet in the bath tub with peppermint Epson Salts and washed them in a special shampoo from the Vet. Then I applied vitamin E to his peds. I think that works just as well as the Derma Paw. I will use both, doesn’t seem to be licking as much, so maybe with the frost outside the allergens have died off. I am with you Margot on how we treat our scotties. I treat mine special too and in return I receive loyalty and love in their eyes when they gaze at me.

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  39. It’s been well.over a month since I checked in with Mary’s proress. She has had a total of 3 T-Gel baths and no shots for her “world” allergies. No paw treatments. The smell is gone her skin and coat are perfect. She smells faintly of healthy coat and is back in shape for her therapy visits. Come Spring the shots will be needed but for now she’s perfect :) praise God for T-Gel :)

  40. I realize that this is almost a year old, but maybe folks will check back. My baby Angus was always scratching himself raw on his back he was so itchy. I changed his food, because money was too tight at the time. Within two weeks of putting him on Nutro brand dog food, his fur had grown back and no more itching!! I was so impressed that I told my mother who had 5 Scotties at the time. She has never used anything else for her Scotties since and her vet always comments on how great her Scotties fur and skin looks. Maybe try changing your furbabies food?

  41. Reporting on my Mary…Hooray. Summer has hit Georgia, (too hot). The T-Gel shampoo is my miracle. Every 2 weeks she gets soaked in the stuff and off she goes with a smile. So far the grass allergies haven’t hit her which is very unusual so she isn’t getting shots. Have maintained her food as NO Grain and Lamb. I think that and the T-Gel combination have served us well. Occasionally she stinks but that’s cause we live on a farm and if it can be rolled in, she does! I’ve passed the T-Gel idea on to other terrier owners who have been worried about itching and the return comments have been completely positive. I’ll have to look into the cost of Nutro vs Feast of the Wild and see what the price difference is…Of course, the old saying of, “if it works, don’t change it” should probably apply to me. :) Oh yes, Mary is 11 and going strong.

  42. Just reading this thread–great suggestions. Agree trying the least restrictive first and for some, it can be food, but that wasn’t our story. Firmly agree about regularly washing everything they use–beds, toys, etc. and we do that too. I’ve not tried T-Gel in the long list of treatments, but I will keep it in mind. Also, long ago we tried over-the-counter allergy rx like Benadryl and Zyrtec with little or no effect. It’s down to Atopica and prednisone PRN for prescription medication. However, knowing that yeast specifically is a major source for discomfort, Malaseb is brilliant and after using it for years, I can’t imagine not having it–I’ve even noted our groomer has it as an option for bathing which indicates to me it’s reasonably common in helping more than just one breed. I also understand Malaseb makes wipes and lotions, etc, but I don’t use that. I do foot baths several times a week in addition to weekly bathing–and my boys like baths–I put them in the shower and let the lather sit on their skin for a few minutes with the water off–I massage it into the skin–they think this is great. Oh, and finally, some were mentioning putting their hot-spot suffering dogs into tshirts or socks, etc. When Fergus had his knee reconstruction (chased a wallaby, not kidding) I put him in dog pajamas–very light, thin material that had been sent to me as a joke, but, they were great to keep him licking/chewing when I was sleeping, etc, and it was short term. Finally, to those worrying about the immune system effects of Atopica, I think that also indicates our experience–yes, it suppresses the allergic reaction, but in his case, it did not completely wipe out his system. If it had, he would not be able to recover from knee construction (several years ago now) as well as the regular eye or ear infections all dogs I’ve had get occasionally….so, for us, again, it’s worked well, across both the US and Australia.

    1. Hey guys…I am a 1st time owner of a Wheaten Scottie who is 7 months old now. Piper has been struggling with all the scratching and licking of the feet. It is so frustrating to watch her being miserable. She has had one small steroid injection that helped for about 10 days. My daughter is a vet and she doesn’t recommend the steroid route. My vet told me about a medication that is being re-released this month called APOQUEL. It isn’t a new medication. It was on the market before and was removed and is now coming back out. But, it is a non-steroid medication that treats dogs with allergies. It provides rapid relief from itching and improves inflammation in dogs that suffer from allergies. I am waiting on them to call me when they have it in the office. Vets are only able to get a limited amount so I had to be put on their waiting list. Since it isn’t steroids, it doesn’t have any of the side effects as steroids can bring. It seems to cover a broad spectrum of allergies. All Vets are very excited about it and I am holding out for that. You all might want to do some research on it and talk to your Vet. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t attest to how good it will be, but I wanted to spread the news that there is something we can try that doesn’t involve steroids. I am praying it will being relief to Piper and to me, because we all know a itchy dog affects us just as much.

  43. Olivia–I got an email alert there was a new post and wanted to say quickly that we are planning the switch to Apoquel, per our vet. We are presently in Australia. Apoquel will be released here in May 2015–a few more days now. In summary, here’s what my vet shared with me. Apoquel was approved by the FDA in the US for release in January 2014. However, the Swiss pharmaceutical company that makes it did not adequately plan. They ran out of supply entirely and it completely ran out, with an incredibly high demand, and dogs that had been switched onto it….frustrating. So, the US currently got the “make up” batches, and now it will be released here. I agree it sounds like a much better drug and should mean we take them off prednisone entirely, which would be terrific. So, my only reservation is the supply issue. My Fergus is nearly 14, and I don’t want to start him all over on beginning Atopica–you need to give it every day initially, and it made him sick initially, which went completely away as his blood titer increased. (But Leroy has never been sick in the least from Atopica at any time, so, that’s the individual variability)… I just don’t want to switch, and then find there are problems getting more….and my vet agreed, so she’s checking that out further. But, we do plan to switch if she feels there’s enough to last. I’ve told her we’d pay for a supply of it so we’ve got some sort of reserve, and I will if it’s possible. It looks like a great option. Good luck with your anti-itch campaign!

    1. My scottish terrier is currently on Atopica. He’s been on it for about 4 years daily doses. Currently, he is scratching and uncomfortable. I was wondering how you made out with apoquel?

  44. Meridith,

    What kind of Nutro food are you recommending? Don’t they have choices of different proteins to choose from? Do you know if they make a puppy food? I have tried so many different brands. My daughter, the Vet, says it is typically chicken, beef and turkey that dogs have allergies too, not really grains like people tend to think. Blue makes a puppy food that was lamb I believe. That did not bring any relief to my Piper. It is very difficult to find a “puppy” food that even gives you a choice of ingredients. My adorable pup is not a good eater. Never wants to eat in the morning when we get up. So odd. I finally got some Omega 3 oil and put that on her dry food and she actually eats better with that on it. It is supposed to be good for their itchy skin as well. I am still waiting on the Apoquel. It seems it will be May before we get it. I am not holding my breath as the date keeps getting pushed back. I just had her spayed on Monday and the Vet that did the surgery put her on 25 mg of Hydroxyzine. She was on 10 mg, which did nothing for her. I don’t know if the increased mg. has helped because she has been pretty painful from the surgery and has been on a small does of pain medication. Since she has not been herself, I don’t have anything to judge it by yet. I am hoping tomorrow will be the turn around day for her and she will be back to my playful pup.

  45. I have a beagle,spaniel cross and after tests he was found to be allergic to beef, chicken, duck cows milk, cats and just about everything that grows.He was driving us crazy with his scratching and biting his feet and legs and making them bleed. We tried to control it with food mainly fish, lamb and turkey with vegetables. It helped to a certain extent but not well enough. The vet prescribed atopica and it worked very well for a couple of years but lately he became very lifeless and vomiting the pills about an hour after he got them. The vet then suggested an alternative drug called apoquel. I read up about it and found it had limited testing so decided against it. I then read up about a product called yumega plus oil. I bought a bottle to tryand for the last four weeks have been putting 7.5ml over his main mea every nightl.He has stopped scratching and biting his feet and is a lot more energetic. I know it wont work for every dog but it seems to have helped mine. My friends westie is really bothered by pollen so she is going to try the oil

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