Apoquel is an FDA-approved immune suppressant drug for dogs older than 12 months who have itching. Dogs less than 12 months old given this drug may incur pneumonia or demodicosis. It’s one of the newer medications in pet dermatology and is the brand name of oclacitinib. Specifically, apoquel inhibits JAK - 1 and -3 and blocks cytokines from causing the sensation of itching. It works differently than antihistamines or steroids. Plus, it works quickly, usually within 24 hours and does not cause GI upset.
The recommended dose in pet dermatology is 0.5-0.6/mg/kg every 1 hour up to two weeks. It does need to be administered daily to be effective and the dose range is very strict due to immune suppression. According to manufacturer Zoetis, 60 percent of atopic dermatitis cases are controlled with daily dosing.
Apoquel usually delivers results in one week. If it doesn’t work within one week, likely it won’t work with longer usage. When given with Benadryl and Temaril P, there may be increased sleepiness with pet patients. Other side effects listed include lethargy, dermal masses, diarrhea, and vomiting, increased cholesterol and decreased leukocytes.
If the dog is on steroids, there’s really no need to transition to Apoquel slowly. However, if the patient’s been on high dosages of steroids, a transition period may be needed to prevent an Addisonian crisis. In some studies, a few dogs developed polydipsia, ear infections and increased appetite, which is akin to some of the side effects of taking steroids.
Your Local Pet Dermatology Clinic in Richmond and Vancouver, BC
At the Animal Dermatology Clinic of BC, we implement extraordinary care with all of the animals we treat. Specializing in allergies, immune disorders, cancer, breed disorders and much more, we offer state-of-the art diagnostics to identify and understand the underlying cause of your pet’s condition. We also take the time to educate pet owners about their pets’ condition. We are the leading specialist in pet dermatology Vancouver and pet dermatology Richmond.
If your furry four-legged friend is having medical problems, be sure to contact us at (604) 558-3376 to make an appointment.