Apoquel For Allergies In Dogs - A Deep Dive!

May 14, 2023
Amber LaRock - LVT & Vetted Vet Pro
vet, allergies

There’s nothing worse than watching your little one suffer from itchy allergies. Allergies can make your pup miserable for a variety of reasons, ranging from the constant scratching to painful skin inflammation. 

If it seems like your pet is suffering from chronic or seasonal allergies, then there are ways to help! One of the most effective new methods of managing allergies in dogs is a medication called Apoquel, and when used daily, it can offer your little one incredible relief!

Vetted wants you to have the tools needed to care for your little one with itchy allergies, so let’s help you better understand the impressive allergy management option called Apoquel! You can also download the free Vetted app and speak with our Vet Pros at any time, as we are here 24/7 to support you and your little one as you dive into their allergy management journey. 

How Does Apoquel Work In Dogs?

Apoquel works by targeting a specific pathway in the immune system that is responsible for causing itching and inflammation in dogs with allergies. Specifically, Apoquel inhibits the activity of two cytokines, which are proteins that play a key role in the immune system's response to allergens.

By blocking the activity of these cytokines, Apoquel reduces the release of other inflammatory substances, such as histamines and prostaglandins, which are responsible for causing itching and inflammation. As a result, dogs taking Apoquel experience less itching and inflammation, which leads to improved quality of life and less damage to the skin from scratching. 

How Is Apoquel Given In Dogs?

Unlike Cytopoint that is given in injection form, Apoquel is a pill that you will give your pup each day. You will give your pup a loading dose of Apoquel during the first 14 days to allow the medication to jump into action, so this will involve giving their dose twice daily. Once they have completed their 14 day loading dose, you will then step down to giving them their pill once daily. 

What Are The Benefits Of Apoquel?

One of the main benefits of Apoquel is its effectiveness in treating allergies in dogs. Apoquel has been shown to significantly reduce itching and inflammation in dogs with allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis, also referred to as seasonal allergies. It also works incredibly quickly, with many dogs experiencing relief within 24 hours of taking the medication.

Another benefit of Apoquel is its safety profile. Unlike some other medications used to treat allergies in dogs, Apoquel does not have the potential for serious side effects such as liver damage and  kidney damage that can come along with chronic steroid use. The most common side effects of Apoquel are mild, such as vomiting and diarrhea, but they usually resolve within a few days of starting the medication.

In addition to its effectiveness and safety, Apoquel is also very convenient to administer. It is available in tablet form and can be given with or without food, and the tablets are scored for ease in cutting the pills in half when needed. 

What Are The Potential Drawbacks Of Apoquel?

While Apoquel is generally considered safe and effective for most dogs, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. One concern is the cost of the medication, which can be relatively expensive compared to other treatments for allergies in dogs. 

Another potential drawback is the fact that Apoquel does not treat the underlying cause of allergies in dogs. Rather, it simply reduces the symptoms of allergies by blocking the immune response. This means that dogs taking Apoquel will need to continue taking the medication to manage their allergies, as stopping the medication will likely result in a recurrence of symptoms.

Finally, while Apoquel is generally considered safe, it is important to note that it can interact with other medications. Therefore, it is important to inform your veterinarian of any other medications your dog is taking before starting Apoquel.

Is Apoquel Right For My Dog?

If your little one suffers from irritating allergies that impact their quality of life, then Apoquel may be the perfect treatment option. This is especially true if other allergy treatment options have not been effective for your pup, as Apoquel targets your pup’s itchiness rather than the allergy itself.

At the end of the day, your veterinary team are the only ones that can offer you accurate guidance when it comes to managing your pet’s itchy allergies. By assessing their current symptoms and what has worked for them so far, they can help you determine the best allergy management plan!