Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies: Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies: Uses, Dosage and Side Effects

The drug apoquel (isoprime) is used to treat allergic reactions in humans. Its use was first reported in the 1960’s. Since then it has been approved by the U.S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is considered safe when administered properly. However, there are some potential risks associated with its use.

Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies: Dosage and Side Effects

It is generally recommended that apoquel dosage for dogs not exceed 1 mg/kg per day. A single dose of 1 mg/kg is usually sufficient to induce an effect in most dogs. Some dogs may require multiple doses over time to achieve full clinical response.

Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies: Side Effects And Warnings

There have been no known deaths or severe adverse events related to apoquel. There are however reports of skin irritation, dizziness, and diarrhea in some patients receiving high dosages. Other side effects include decreased appetite, increased urination, weight loss, and changes in heart rate and blood pressure.

These symptoms typically subside within 2 weeks after discontinuation of treatment.

The drug should not be used in patients with pre-existing heart disease, liver disease, or kidney disease. The safety of the drug during pregnancy and lactation has not been established. It should also not be used in patients under 10 weeks of age due to a lack of safety data.

Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies: How It Works And Potential Clinical Applications

Apoquel works by blocking the effects of mediators (substances secreted by certain cells that stimulate or inhibit the function of other cells) involved in allergic reactions. These effects include signs of skin irritation, itchiness, and inflammation. It has been shown to be safe and effective in the treatment of clinical signs of atopic dermatitis in dogs.

As of present, apoquel is approved in the U.S. for use in dogs only.

It has not been approved for use in humans or other animals.

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You can find related info on Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies: Uses, Dosage and Side Effects on Wikipedia.org.

Does your dog suffer from skin irritation, itchiness, and inflammation? Does the bad behavior cause your dog’s ears to constantly be dirty with wax and yellow discharge?

In this article we will talk about what you can do for your dog if this is the case.

Before we begin please keep in mind that you should always contact your veterinarian before using any new products on your pet including foods, treats, supplements, or drugs. You should also let your veterinarian know if you would like to change your dog’s diet.

Let’s get started!

What Is Apoquel For Dogs With Allergies?

Apoquel is a non-steroidal medication used for the treatment of allergic skin conditions in dogs such as atopic dermatitis. It is a combination of an antihistamine and a corticosteroid and works by blocking the effects of certain natural substances that cause allergic reactions.

What Is Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis is a common skin disorder in dogs causing itchy, dry, red, or inflamed skin. The signs can be seasonal or constant and affect any area of the body including the elbows, face, and belly. Many cases begin in a puppy before 3 months old.

What Is The Difference Between Atopy And Atopic Dermatitis?

Atopy is a genetic tendency towards developing allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis. If your dog has atopy he or she will probably develop allergies later in life even if no allergies are apparent now. Dogs who have atopy usually have an itchy belly, snore, and produce a lot of nasal mucus. There is no cure for atopy but it can be managed with anti-histamines in the future.

Signs And Symptoms Of Dogs With Atopic Dermatitis


Red, scaly skin

Dry, flaky skin

Yellowish greasy scales

Patches of hair loss or hair that clumps together

Crusted patches of skin that may contain scales,oil, or pus-like liquid.


Open sores,wounds, or infections due to scratching

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Swelling of the skin especially around the face, belly, paws, and tail tip

Ear infections (affects 1 in 3 dogs with atopic dermatitis)

Severe itching causes your dog to excessively bite, lick, and scratch at himself which causes sores and scabs. The sores or scabs may then become infected. Your dog may be in pain when he scratches himself and this may cause him to become withdrawn or aggressive.

Treating Atopic Dermatitis

Allergic skin reaction is caused by a combination of an inherited tendency (atopy), bodily reactions to external factors, and epidermal barrier dysfunction. A skin sample test can determine if your dog has atopy and which allergen is causing the allergic reaction.

Treating atopic dermatitis involves getting to the root of the problem by identifying and removing the allergen that is causing the allergic reaction in your dog. The itchy skin can be treated in a few ways but most importantly the allergen causing the reaction must be identified and then removed from your dog’s environment and his contact with it.

Management of atopic dermatitis involves:

Avoidance of the allergen causing the allergic reaction

Treating secondary bacterial or yeast infections if they occur. Infections often complicate atopic dermatitis.

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Reducing itching using a variety of methods such as medications, supplements, or diets.

Using emollients or moisturizers to reduce flaking of the skin

Restrict your dog’s exposure to allergens that can trigger allergic reactions. If you know what is causing your dog’s allergic reaction then avoid that material or object as much as possible.

You can also take your dog to a dermatologist who will prescribe topical ointments and shampoos to control the itching and inflammation. Corticosteroids, antihistamines, and cyclosporine are some of the ointments and medications that can help alleviate itching.

Anti-flea medication may also be advised if your dog has an allergic reaction to flea bites.

Diet is an important part of managing atopic dermatitis. Since food allergies can trigger an allergic reaction, your veterinarian may recommend a hypoallergenic diet for your dog. A hypoallergenic diet is a highly digestible diet that is free from certain proteins that may trigger allergic reactions in your dog.

Ask your veterinarian if a hypoallergenic diet is right for your dog.

If you still do not see an improvement in your dog’s condition or it worsens, consider contacting a dermatologist or your veterinarian to determine if the itching is due to an underlying disease.

1) Avoidance

Probably the most important thing you can do is to identify what are your dog’s allergens and what materials they come into contact with. Then you can work out a plan to avoid those allergens or eliminate them from your dog’s environment. Common allergens include:

Flea saliva

Plant pollen

Mold spores

Dust mites or their droppings

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After identifying the allergen, your first step should be to reduce or remove your dog’s contact with it. This may be as simple as placing your dog’s bed in a central location of the house so that he is not exposed to airborne allergens when he sleeps. Avoid purchasing carpeted flooring and instead opt for hardwood floors or tile.

Do not let your dog sleep on the couch or your bed as the fabric can retain allergens.

Avoid letting your dog out in the yard if there are plants that cause him to have an allergic reaction.

If your dog is allergic to flea saliva, you can apply a flea collar or purchase a flea collar that also prevents your dog from contact with the flea saliva. This is especially important for dogs that are allergic to flea saliva because they can quickly go into an anaphylactic shock after contacting the saliva.

2) Treating Infections and Scabs

Atopic dermatitis is often accompanied by secondary bacterial or yeast infections. These secondary infections can complicate your dog’s condition and bring about a lot of itching. If your dog has sores or scabs from scratching, you need to treat these right away as they can lead to hair loss if they are not treated in a timely manner.

You can take a warm washcloth and gently clean the sores and scabs. This helps remove any dead skin and allows the area to heal quicker.

If your dog’s skin is red and swollen, you can try applying calamine lotion or an over the counter 1% menthol cream. You can also add ½ teaspoon of honey to every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight in water and have him drink this twice a day. This helps soothe his sores.

If your dog’s skin is cracked or broken, you need to pay extra attention to keep these areas clean. You can clean these with a topical antiseptic solution. If your dog’s scabs are in areas that you cannot easily clean, like his belly or rear end, you can try wrapping the area with gauze.

Change the gauze every 1-2 days and opt for softer gauze as it will be more comfortable and less irritating to your dog’s skin.

If your dog’s skin remains swollen and red, you may want to take him to the veterinarian as he may have developed a type of allergy referred to as Atopy.

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3) Atopy

Atopy is a type of allergic reaction that is induced by contact with airborne allergens. This can be different than an allergic reaction to flea saliva that your veterinarian can test for. There is no cure for atopy and it can be very frustrating to deal with.

The only real way that you can control atopy is to reduce your dog’s exposure to the allergen.

Atopy is often confused with “flea bite allergies” but they are not the same thing. Atopy is an allergy that a dog is born with. A dog with atopy develops allergies to common allergens such as dust, mold, grass, and pollen.

These allergens do not need to be present in large quantities for a dog with atopy to have an allergic reaction. Even the smallest bit of dander or dust can set off an attack.

4) A Monthly Treatmenmt: Hypoallergenic Food

There is no actual hypoallergenic food. Many pet owners choose to feed their dogs a hypoallergenic diet in an attempt to manage their dog’s allergies. There is no proof that these diets work.

5) A Monthly Treatment:

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

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Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, is a process by which your veterinarian gives your dog a series of injections that help build up a resistance to allergens. This process takes time and dedication. The initial injections are given weekly and gradually set apart from each other.

The success rate of this treatment depends on several factors. The older your dog is when he starts the treatment, the less likely the treatment will work. It also depends on what your dog is allergic to.

During this treatment, your dog will have to stay at the hospital for a few hours after his injections. Since food can affect the success of this treatment, you will have to limit what you feed your dog before and after his injections.

This treatment can be very expensive and not all veterinarians offer this service.

6) A Monthly Treatment:

Gamma Globulin Injections

Instead of building up an immunity, you can drain your dog’s system of the allergens that are causing him to have an allergic reaction. Your veterinarian can give you a prescription for gamma globulin shots. This is a relatively new treatment, so it is hard to say how successful it will be.

These injections do come with risks and are not FDA approved. They also are very expensive.

7) A Monthly Treatment:


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Your veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines to help control your dog’s allergic reaction. While this won’t cure your dog’s allergies, it can help control the itching and suffering.

Corticosteroids can also be given to help alleviate the swelling and other symptoms that are caused by a dog’s allergic reaction. These medications should only be used short-term though because they can cause serious side effects if used for long periods of time.

8) A Monthly Treatment:


Your veterinarian may suggest that you give your dog prednisone to help manage his itchy skin. These pills can get expensive and, depending on the severity of your dog’s allergies, your veterinarian may only suggest you give your dog a low dose every few days to see if it helps.

9) A Monthly Treatment:

Other Medications

Your veterinarian may suggest other medications depending on the cause of the allergic reaction. For example, if mites are the cause of your dog’s allergic reaction, your veterinarian will probably suggest a prescription shampoo or other treatment for mites.


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There are a lot of supplements that pet owners can buy to help their dogs. Most of these, however, have not been proven to be effective and can be dangerous if not used properly. Your veterinarian may or may not suggest these supplements, so don’t buy any of these without first discussing it with your veterinarian.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C deficiency has been linked to having an allergic reaction to something. If your dog has a vitamin C deficiency, his immune system will not be as strong as it could be. You can boost your dog’s levels by giving him extra vitamin C.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in the body, which can cause cell damage and other health issues. Dogs with atopic dermatitis have been shown to have lower levels of antioxidants in their blood. Your veterinarian may suggest you give your dog extra vitamin E to help alleviate the symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

Zinc: Some studies have shown that giving dogs with atopic dermatitis extra zinc can help relieve their symptoms. Zinc helps promote the functioning of the immune system. While there is not a lot of research about using zinc for atopic dermatitis, some pet owners have reported that it has helped their pet.

Herbal Remedies

Many pet owners want to try alternative treatments for their dogs. While some of these can be effective, others are not. Again, talk with your veterinarian about any alternative therapies you want to try.

Some of them can be dangerous and interfere with the medications your dog is already taking. Always check with your veterinarian before you give your dog any over the counter supplements or alternative remedies.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids: Some studies have shown that dogs with atopic dermatitis tend to have lower levels of these essential fatty acids. You can find supplements with these ingredients over the counter, but always check with your veterinarian before giving it to your dog.

Burdock root: Burdock root is often used in herbal medicine to help treat skin conditions. It is mainly only available through specialty herbal stores. Again, always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any herbal remedies.


There are a lot of homeopathic remedies for dogs. These natural treatments use very small amounts of various substances to treat the symptoms your dog is experiencing. Homeopathic remedies can be found in health food stores and other retail outlets.

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Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog any over the counter supplements or alternative remedies.

Some of the most common homeopathic treatments for atopic dermatitis in dogs include:

Allium cepa: Also known as red onion, Allium cepa is used to boost the immune system.

Apis mellifica: This homeopathic is made from bees and used to reduce itching.

Arnica montana: This homeopathic reduces pain and swelling. It is recommended to be given before and after any medical treatment, such as surgery.

Sulfur: This ingredient reduces itching and redness.

Your dog may also benefit from a bath using Aveeno Dog shampoo, which is specially made for dogs with skin problems. It helps treat the symptoms and prevent excessive itching. You should also keep your dog’s fur trimmed to prevent mats from forming in the fur.

This can trap moisture and contribute to your dog’s discomfort.

Keeping Your Dog Comfortable

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to keep it as comfortable as possible. Keep in mind that hot spots (especially on long-haired dogs) can lead to a very itchy dog that is miserable. Check your dog for hotspots or other signs of skin irritation at least twice a day, and see your veterinarian right away if you see any.

You can also try to minimize your dog’s exposure to other animals or things that might make it uncomfortable. For example, if you have a rabbit or cat that your dog is likely to chase around, then it may be best to keep them separated from each other. If your dog has seasonal allergies and you know there are certain trees or weeds that it is allergic to, then keep your dog away from them when the seasons change.

Always keep your dog as clean as possible, and check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection. If you find any redness, pus, swelling, or if the area is hot to the touch then it is time to see your veterinarian. Your dog may need medical treatment or antibiotics if there is an infection present.

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Keeping your dog comfortable by treating its allergies and preventing skin problems can make a huge difference in its daily life.

Sources & references used in this article:

Efficacy of oclacitinib (Apoquel®) compared with prednisolone for the control of pruritus and clinical signs associated with allergic dermatitis in client‐owned dogs in … by C Gadeyne, P Little, VL King, N Edwards… – Veterinary …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

Position Statement Regarding the Use of APOQUEL®(oclacitinib tablet) and the Risk of Neoplasia by GJ Drake, T Nuttall, J López… – Journal of Zoo …, 2017 – American Association of Zoo …

The Itchy Dog, Part 3: Taking the Stress Out of Fall Allergies by M Klein, C London, G Ogilvy, X Pan, D Vail – wendyblount.com

Treatment of canine atopic dermatitis: 2015 updated guidelines from the International Committee on Allergic Diseases of Animals (ICADA) by D Liska – fearfreehappyhomes.com

Oclacitinib in the products Apoquel 16 mg, Apoquel 5.4 mg and Apoquel 3.6 mg by T Olivry, DJ DeBoer, C Favrot… – BMC veterinary …, 2015 – bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com