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Apoquel for Dogs - Dermatitis

Apoquel is currently the talk of the town in the pet medicine industry at the moment. Now more than ever, many dogs are suffering from ongoing skin and coat issues - atopic dermatitis aka skin allergies. 

There are many causes of irritated skin in dogs including food allergy, fleas, mites, grass (or other environmental factors) just to name a few. To be able to determine the cause, it is best to get in contact with your vet to run some tests. Obviously if you are able to remove the allergen or cause, this is the best course of action - although not always possible. 


Before Apoquel 

Before the rise of Apoquel, the traditional approach was to use corticosteroids to treat skin conditions. Although they usually did work they came with a lot of side effects. These included but are not limited to the following: 

  • Increased thirst & urination
  • Increased appetite
  • Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Increased risk of infections
  • Nausea & Vomiting 

What is Apoquel? 

Apoquel contains the active ingredient Oclacitinib. It is available in 3 different strengths - 3.6mg, 5.4mg and 16mg. Apoquel works by inhibiting the enzymes which make inflammatory cytokines. These trigger the itching and inflammation in allergies causing your dog to scratch. Simply put, Apoquel stops the body from sending itchy signals around the body, and therefore lesses the itchiness in your dog.

Apoquel Side Effects 

Side effects to look out for in your dog using Apoquel include: 

  • Vomiting & diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Increased thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Increase risk of infections 

As you can see the side effects are very similar to those of the previously used corticosteroids - the biggest difference is that the prevalence of these side effects are far less than those seen with the use of corticosteorids. 


Speak to your vet if you have any concerns or questions regarding Apoquel. They will advise you on the best course of action for your pet.

18th Jan 2019 Pet Care Pharmacy

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