Apoquel for Dogs: Uses and Benefits

Allergies in dogs are the cause of the itchiness for which they often scratch. However, the solution offered by apoquel is the most effective.
Apoquel for Dogs: Uses and Benefits

Last update: 16 September, 2021

As a dog owner, you may have noticed your dog scratching itself on occasions. You may also see it rub against an object, and this is a symptom of an underlying allergic process. Apoquel for dogs is a drug that helps reduce this discomfort and prevents injuries to the dog’s skin, and it’s a very useful medication to know about.

These lesions can be generated when the animal licks or bites itself excessively in a certain part of the body, giving way to dermatological diseases. However, apoquel for dogs is not recommended for all animals, and must be prescribed by a veterinarian. Next up, we’ll tell you the most important aspects about this drug.

What is apoquel?

Apoquel is an oral medicine prescribed with veterinary authorization and intended for dogs in need of treatment for allergic dermatitis or atopic dermatitis. Dogs that suffer from these pathologies usually have frequent itching (which can be irritating and painful) that’s caused by fungi, bacterial infections, and especially allergies.

When a dog rolls around or rubs against things a lot, or when it licks or nibbles its paws, it’s showing signs of a strong allergy.

These allergies can originate in the dog’s food, fleas, mites, or by contact with carpets, insecticides, and shampoos. Although dogs sometimes scratch themselves as a protective mechanism, it’s important to identify when your pet does this more often than normal, to avoid them getting skin injuries.

Previcox in dogs.

How does Apoquel work?

Apoquel for dogs comes in the form of tablets with various concentrations of oclacitinib, its main active component. This substance works as an inhibitor of janus kinase (JAK), a set of proteins which produces the allergy in dogs.

Due to the concentration of oclacitinib, it is the target cytokines that are inhibited (as they have a role in the allergic response).

The concentration of oclacitinib is proportional to the intensity of Apoquel, the formats of 3.6 milligrams, 5.4 milligrams, and 16 milligrams are the best known. The drug works by suppressing the canine’s immune system so that it doesn’t react as strongly to allergens and trigger the annoying symptoms mentioned.

Apoquel dosage for dogs

It’s recommended that the dosage of Apoquel for dogs be started with tablets containing 0.4 to 0.6 milligrams of oclacitinib per kilogram of weight. This dose should be administered orally twice a day for 14 days. At the end of this period, the same amount of Apoquel for dogs must be given, but only once a day.

On the other hand, your trusted veterinarian is the one who must establish whether your dog needs long-term therapy. This therapy is based on a risk-benefit evaluation that varies according to the specific case of the dog. Remember that this drug has immunosuppressive effects, so it’s not usually a good idea to use it in excess unless necessary.

Similarly, it’s recommended that you follow the dosage indications on the product packaging, which shows the number of tablets needed to reach the optimal dose. Always take into account your dog’s weight and current state of health.

Benefits of using apoquel in dogs

This medicine provides rapid relief in a dog’s body, as it interrupts the allergic reaction that can cause the appearance of rashes. Its results start 4 hours after the first administration and it effectively controls itching 24 hours after the dose.

The manufacturers of Apoquel promise that its prolonged use provides a significant improvement in injuries. Similarly, they clarify that the drug isn’t a steroid, cyclosporine, or antihistamine and that its side effects are minor compared to other drugs used against allergic or atopic dermatitis.

On the other hand, Apoquel for dogs is more dynamic than other drugs, as it can be administered in exact doses thanks to its constitution. Likewise, it’s possible to offer it to the dog with and without food. However, the most important thing is to have the opinion of a veterinarian, who will determine the severity of the disease and the needs of each pet.

Contraindications of Apoquel in dogs

As mentioned above, this drug has fewer side effects than other drugs used to alleviate itch-related dermatological diseases in dogs. However, this drug isn’t recommended for dogs with hypersensitivity to oclacitinib.

The best-known contraindication of Apoquel for dogs is that it shouldn’t be used in dogs under 1 year of age and less than 3 kilograms in weight. Similarly, it’s recommended not to use the product in dogs with evidence of immunosuppression or hyperadrenocorticism.

Apoquel hasn’t been studied for its effectiveness in breeding male dogs or in pregnant or lactating females. Consequently, the drug shouldn’t be offered to such patients. Finally, some of its side effects could be alopecia in the affected area, papilloma, erythema, dermatitis, erosions and scabs, interdigital “cysts” and edema on the legs.

Alternatives to Apoquel for dogs

When you want to avoid the side effects of Apoquel, you can turn to natural alternatives that improve dermatitis in dogs. Fatty acids (which are a source of Omega 3 and Omega 6) are a good option and can be found in liquids or oral tablets. Another alternative is monoprotic and hypoallergenic diets.

Be that as it may, the veterinarian is the one who must decide whether the drug is suitable for the dog or not.

The apoquel for dogs has many uses.

As you can see, apoquel for dogs is the ideal product to counteract itching. Its easy administration makes it less work for the owners and less stressful as they seek to help their dog with dermatitis caused by allergies. You can also resort to the use of shampoos for skin and hair problems, although the most important thing is to always have the opinion of a veterinarian.

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  • Gonzales, A. J., Bowman, J. W., Fici, G. J., Zhang, M., Mann, D. W., & Mitton‐Fry, M. (2014). Oclacitinib (APOQUEL®) is a novel Janus kinase inhibitor with activity against cytokines involved in allergy. Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics37(4), 317-324. Recogido el 12 de septiembre de 2021 de: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jvp.12101