Oclacitinib Allergy Medicine: Apoquel For Itchy Dogs

Oct 31, 2023 | Dog Behavior, Dog Health

If your furry friend is dealing with allergies, you might have come across a vet-prescribed solution called Apoquel, which relieves itching and irritation. Apoquel has gained popularity among veterinarians due to its fast-acting relief, making it a preferred choice among other allergy medications available. Allergy reactions can range from severe symptoms like hives and swelling to milder ones like itching and irritated skin. Identifying these symptoms early and having your dog evaluated by a veterinarian to soothe their discomfort is crucial. We’ll explore the details of Apoquel, including its prescription, potential side effects, and the proper administration of the treatment. By gathering this information, you can decide whether Apoquel may be a suitable option for your furry companion.

Apoquel For Dogs Key Takeaways

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Apoquel is a popular allergy medication for itchy dogs that provides fast relief from itching caused by allergic reactions.

Orange Paw Bullet Point   It targets itch receptors and blocks signals that trigger the itch sensation.

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Apoquel uses oclacitinib to inhibit a specific cytokine called Janus kinase, which is responsible for itching and inflammation.

Orange Paw Bullet Point   Apoquel has minimal side effects compared to other oral medications, but long-term use may be associated with a higher susceptibility to infections and tumors.

What Is Apoquel?

Apoquel is a popular allergy medication for itchy dogs that provides fast relief from symptoms. It contains oclacitinib, a potent ingredient that specifically targets the itch receptors in your dog’s body. This allergy medicine is highly effective in relieving itching caused by allergic reactions in canines. Whether your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies or chronic itching, Apoquel can provide the relief they need. It works by blocking the signals that trigger the itch sensation, providing immediate relief and allowing your furry friend to feel more comfortable. The best part is that Apoquel starts working within hours and continues to provide itch relief for up to 24 hours. But it’s important to note that Apoquel may have some side effects like any medication. It’s always recommended to consult with your veterinarian before starting any new treatment for your dog’s allergic itch.

Dog licking a dermatological hot spot wound

How Does Apoquel Cure Dogs With Itchy Skin?

Using oclacitinib, Apoquel effectively alleviates dogs’ itchy skin by targeting the underlying cause of the itch. It works by inhibiting a specific cytokine called Janus kinase, which is responsible for sending the signal for itching and inflammation to the brain. This makes Apoquel different from other allergy medications like antihistamines, such as Allegra, and cortisone-type drugs. By specifically targeting the immune system’s response to allergies, Apoquel can provide relief for dogs suffering from various allergic reactions, including atopic dermatitis, food allergies, and allergic dermatitis. It can also help in cases where the itching is caused by skin infections. Apoquel is known for its fast-acting relief, taking effect within hours of ingestion and providing relief for up to 24 hours. While Apoquel is generally well-tolerated, adverse reactions may occur, and long-term use should be monitored by a veterinarian.

Benefits Of Your Dog Using Apoquel For Itch

You will definitely appreciate the remarkable benefits your dog experiences when using Apoquel for itch relief. This allergy medication is highly effective in treating atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions in dogs. One of the greatest advantages of Apoquel is its ability to provide fast-acting relief from itching, allowing your dog to feel more comfortable quickly. Unlike some other oral medications, Apoquel has minimal side effects, making it a safe and reliable choice for long-term use. Additionally, Apoquel can be combined with other drugs without the risk of serious infections. Even if you accidentally miss a dose, your dog may experience only occasional itching, highlighting the effectiveness of Apoquel as a reliable solution for your furry friend’s itch relief.

Infected or allergic dog scratching and itching its back on ground

Is Apoquel Safe For Dogs, And What Are The Potential Side Effects?

Now let’s talk about the safety of Apoquel for your dog and the potential side effects you should be aware of:

Short Term Side Effects

You should be aware of several potential short-term side effects of Apoquel. While Apoquel is an effective medicine for relieving itchiness in dogs with allergies, it’s important to note that it may cause some mild side effects. These can include vomiting, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and a lack of energy. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, it’s recommended to feed them Apoquel with food to help prevent these side effects.

But if your dog experiences more serious short-term side effects such as difficulty breathing, changes in their skin, coat, or urine, fever, or the development of new masses on their skin, it’s crucial to contact your vet immediately. These side effects may indicate a more severe reaction to the medication and should be addressed promptly.


Long Term Side Effects

Be aware of the potential long-term side effects of Apoquel, including the risk of developing tumors in dogs with a history of cancer. While Apoquel is generally considered safe and effective for the treatment of flea allergies, seasonal allergies, and ear infections in dogs, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. It’s recommended to use Apoquel under veterinary supervision and to follow the prescribed dose of the medication. The most common side effects of Apoquel include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. However, in rare cases, severe side effects such as immune suppression and increased susceptibility to infections can occur, especially with higher doses of Apoquel. If you notice any unusual symptoms or side effects in your dog while using Apoquel, it’s important to consult your veterinarian immediately.

Dog scratching from a flea attack

Proper Dosage Of Apoquel

Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for the proper dosage of Apoquel for your itchy dog. The dosage of Apoquel may vary depending on factors such as the dog’s body weight, age, and medical condition. Apoquel is typically prescribed for dogs that are at least 12 months of age. It’s important to consult with a veterinary dermatologist to determine the appropriate dosage for your pet. The dosage is usually started at twice daily for 14 days and then reduced to the lowest effective dose for long-term use. Pet owners should closely monitor their dog for any clinical signs of urinary tract infections or other adverse reactions while on Apoquel. It’s also important to consider alternative treatment options for dogs with skin allergies, as Apoquel may not be suitable for every case.

How Does Apoquel Interact With Other Pet Medications

When using Apoquel, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian about any potential interactions between this medication and other pet medications. While Apoquel is generally considered safe to take with most other medications, a few combinations should be avoided. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice if you’re uncertain about the interactions between medications. Apoquel is commonly used to treat contact dermatitis, itchy skin, and skin inflammation in dogs. It’s an immune suppressant drug that works by targeting specific enzymes involved in the inflammatory response. , as with any medication, there are potential side effects to be aware of, so it’s crucial to discuss any other medical conditions or signs of infection with your veterinarian before starting Apoquel.

Most Common Allergic Drug Interactions With Apoquel

You should consult your veterinarian about the most common allergic drug interactions with Apoquel. While Apoquel is generally safe to use in combination with most vaccines, there are certain medications that may have potential interactions. Antibiotics and antifungals, which are often prescribed to dogs with skin infections, may require additional monitoring when used alongside Apoquel. It’s important to discuss any other medications your dog may be taking, including over-the-counter supplements and flea/tick preventives, to ensure there are no potential allergic drug interactions.

What To Do If You Miss A Dose Of Apoquel

Can you simply skip a missed dose of Apoquel and continue with the normal dosing schedule at the next appointed time? Skipping doses can interfere with the effectiveness of the medication and may lead to the development of infections or a worsening of allergy symptoms. It’s recommended to administer the oclacitinib tablet as soon as you remember unless it’s close to the time for the next dose. But don’t administer a double dose to make up for a missed one. Consistency in administering Apoquel will help ensure your dog receives the full benefits of the medication with fewer side effects.

Puppy Retriever Scratching fleas

The Cost And Where To Find Apoquel

To find Apoquel at a reasonable cost, check with your veterinary clinic or online pet pharmacies. The cost of Apoquel can vary depending on the dosage and quantity needed, with an average cost of $2.50 per tablet. It’s also worth considering alternative options or natural alternatives, as Apoquel may have side effects such as weight gain and can be expensive in the long run. Apoquel is manufactured by Zoetis Inc. and should be kept out of reach of children, not used by humans, and only used under veterinary guidance to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the medication for an allergic dog.

Apoquel For Dogs Frequently Asked Questions

Can Apoquel Be Used For Dogs With Other Skin Conditions Besides Itching?

Yes, Apoquel can be used for dogs with other skin conditions besides itching. It is a versatile medication that can help with various dermatological issues your furry friend may be experiencing.


Are There Any Long-Term Effects Of Using Apoquel To Treat My Dog’s Itchy Skin?

Using Apoquel to treat your dog’s itchy skin may have long-term effects. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to discuss potential risks and benefits before starting or continuing the medication.


How Quickly Can I Expect To See Results After Starting My Dog On Apoquel?

You can expect to see results fairly quickly after starting your dog on Apoquel. It works rapidly to relieve itching and improve your dog’s comfort, usually within 24 hours of administration.


Are There Any Special Precautions I Need To Take While My Dog Is On Apoquel?

While your dog is on Apoquel, following some precautions is important. Keep an eye out for any side effects like vomiting or diarrhea, and make sure to administer the medication as directed by your vet.


Can Apoquel Be Used in Combination With Other Allergy Medications For Dogs?

Yes, you can use Apoquel in combination with other allergy medications for dogs. However, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to ensure the combination is safe and effective for your dog.

The Tail End

Apoquel is a safe and effective medication for dogs with itchy skin. It provides numerous benefits, including relief from itching and inflammation. While there may be potential side effects, the benefits outweigh the risks when used properly. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and be aware of any potential interactions with other medications. Overall, Apoquel is a reliable solution for managing your dog’s allergies and improving their quality of life.

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