Providing Apoquel to an itchy dog seems very promising if you can get your hands on some! It’s a relatively new product and can often be difficult to obtain due to supply issues.
This FDA-approved medication was developed specifically for canines which is great. People are hearing good things about Apoquel, but there are questions and little known details which we’ll cover here.
If your dog is prone to itchiness, the type linked to allergies, your vet may recommend it. But before managing to get a Apoquel prescription, make an effort to learn about other things you do for your pet’s sake.
Can I Give My Dog Apoquel? Answer: Yes, by prescription
It’s generally better than Prednisone and usually comes with less side effects.
The medical term for itchiness is pruritus which is fairly common in canines. It’s estimated that 10% of dogs suffer from atopic dermatitis. Apoquel, which is administered orally, can effectively treat itchy skin and inflammation problems as they relate to allergies.
Prior to getting a prescription, it may be worth a shot to first try a highly-regarded canine shampoo.
Know the Apoquel Basics
This new drug begins working within 24 hours, as it starts to block your dog’s strong urges to scratch. But understand that Apoquel, also known as Oclacitinib, cannot actually cure allergies. It only treats the resulting symptoms, keeping them under control. Tablets are usually given twice daily, for a couple of weeks, before a reduction to once every day. Your vet will instruct you on how to most effectively use Apoquel.
Allergies & Quality of Life
Canine itchiness is usually the result of dermatitis-type allergies which can affect the skin, resulting in a poor and declining quality of life. It’s a vicious cycle because when a dog scratches, it gradually worsens the condition. The best thing to do is find the underlying reason for your dog’s allergies, if at all possible. A good investigative effort is needed!
Precautions & Bad Reactions
One of the biggest benefits of Apoquel is that it works concomitantly, meaning it interacts safely with other treatments. However, you should never provide it to a dog that’s under 1 year of age or those breeding, pregnant or lactating. Further, Apoquel isn’t meant for dogs with serious infections because cause complications.
Once Apoquel has been administered you’ll need to closely observe your pet dog for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite and lethargy. Although such problems typically resolve themselves without incident, they do need to be looked after just in case symptoms worsen.
Dosage and Other Info
Zoetis, the drug’s manufacturer, has had trouble keeping up with Apoquel’s high demand. Shortages are unfortunately expected to continue. This may be a good indication of this Janus kinase Inhibitor’s effectiveness but it also shows how common pruritus is among pet dogs.
Carefully follow your veterinarian’s dosage recommendation. If you wish to do a cross-check, know that proper dosage is primarily based on your dog’s weight. Check out this handy Apoquel dosing chart for reference.
The Prescription Problem
Apoquel cannot be purchased over-the-counter and the supply is tightly controlled. It’s only available through a veterinary prescription. One drawback to this situation is that once your dog goes on Apoquel, they may have to come off of it due to a awful supply shortages.
Many dog owners have been frustrated about Zoetis’s handling of this sought-after product’s availability. Hopefully the situation will change going forward, but until then you’ll need to rely on your vet’s ability to get a steady supply.
Conclusion on Apoquel
Apoquel may be the itch solution your dog needs. Talk with your vet about the precautions mentioned here as well as supply concerns to ensure consistent treatment. Apoquel works well but first try to find and eliminate the source of your dog’s skin allergies without meds. You may see results after changing their diet or avoiding certain indoors and outdoors elements. An antibacterial, anti-fungal pet shampoo could also work wonders.