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Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease your dog may have that is linked to allergies that may be caused by their food, medications, pollen, mold, fleas, or other environmental allergens. Apoquel is one of the newer medications available that has shown more promise and fewer side effects than corticosteroids, antihistamines, or cyclosporine. Dogs that are spending their time scratching, chewing, and licking their legs, muzzle, paws, ears, and around their face are not happy dogs and it is up to you to talk to your veterinarian about Apoquel to treat your canine before an infection starts from broken skin or lesions.
The active ingredient in Apoquel is called Oclacitinib, a selective Janus Kinase inhibitor that works primarily on the JAK-1 and -3 enzymes to stop them from producing cytokines. This is a class of immuno-regulatory proteins that can be secreted by the cells of your dog’s immune system when contact is made with an allergen. Your veterinarian should carry out a complete blood count, urinalysis, and a serum chemistry profile before starting treatment with Apoquel with routine check-ups to monitor your dog’s progress and to watch for any worsening in his/her condition.
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is caused by a sensitivity to flea saliva. When bitten by just one flea, the reaction to the saliva is more severe than most dogs that have a moderate amount of flea bites in a day. The only way to reduce your pet’s reaction to flea saliva is to try and eradicate every flea in, on, and around your property and never walk to the store, park, or around your neighborhood with your dog. Sound realistic? Of course not. But you do whatever you can to limit the number of fleas in your house and on the dog and use Apoquel to reduce the reactions your dog has to flea saliva.
Ask your vet if Apoquel is safe to give if your dog is pregnant, has recently been bred, or is nursing puppies. Advise your veterinarian of any other medical conditions your dog is being treated for and provide a list of any drugs you currently give to him/her, including herbal remedies and supplements, so it can be determined if Apoquel is the right medication for your dog.
The Apoquel dosage will depend on the weight of the dog being treated. Do not give Apoquel to any dog under 12 months of age or to cats with itchy skin. Keep Apoquel and all other medications out of children’s reach. You need to watch for any worsening of your dog’s symptoms or signs of other skin reactions, lumps, or areas of hair loss while on Apoquel and notify your veterinarian.