Apoquel is Rooney’s Best Friend

Disclaimer: What works for us may not work for you, but I did want to share our experience with Apoquel. I think it’s important to note that I am not a Veterinarian and, therefore, can’t recommend or prescribe Apoquel for any individual dog (Apoquel is not FDA approved to be used for cats). This post was created simply to provide our experience and give pet parents some additional information. Apoquel didn’t sponsor this post. Additionally, all thoughts and experiences are my own.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this already, but allergies in California this year have been fierce! Mostly due to all the rain we had (and needed) this past winter. The only bummer is that when our allergies are bad, so are our dogs allergies.

Therefore, Rooney has been one itchy dog this year. Most years his allergies will peak sometime in the Spring and again in the Fall, but this year Rooney has been constantly fighting allergies. Luckily, these days we have a medication that works well and fast, it’s called Apoquel.

Signs of Allergies

Before I start talking about Apoquel and its benefits, it’s important that you know the signs and symptoms associated with dog allergies. According to Apoquel’s guide, the signs and symptoms of canine allergies include:

  • Excessive Licking, Chewing, Biting or Scratching
  • Excessive Rolling, Rubbing, or Scooting
  • Foot Chewing (Rooney’s number 1 symptom)
  • Hair Loss
  • Ear Infections and Head Shaking
  • Red or Itchy Skin
  • Changes in the skin, including sores, darkened colors, or scabs

If your dog is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, its imperative that you learn what type of allergy your dog has (inhaled, flea, or food). In order to accurately determine what kind of allergies your dog is experiencing, and how you can best help your dog, you will need to work with your veterinarian.

Rooney has inhaled (or environmental) allergies. Apoquel helps control his itching and secondary symptoms associated with his allergies.

Apoquel, A History

Shortly after Apoquel debuted on the market, it went on backorder due to high demand, and according to Veterinary Practice News, “undisclosed production problems”. Before Apoquel was available on the market, and during it’s shortage, there are few other medications available that are somewhat cost effective, and don’t include steroids. While steroids are used to treat severe allergies in the short term, they are tough on the body’s kidney and liver, therefore, I want to avoid giving Rooney steroids as much as possible. We had tried quite a few medications, since Rooney’s allergies arrive every year, and cannot be left untreated or he will develop hotspots. However, once Apoquel was back on the market, we talked to Rooney’s vet and began using it to tame his allergies once again.

What exactly is Apoquel?

APOQUEL is used for the control of itch associated with allergic skin disease and for control of atopic skin disease in dogs at least 1 year of age. APOQUEL significantly reduces itching, and also decreases the associated inflammation, redness or swelling of the skin.

How Does Apoquel work?

Unlike other treatments, APOQUEL targets a key itch signal in the nervous system and has minimal negative impact on the immune system. APOQUEL also allows your veterinarian to continue to diagnose the underlying cause of itch while providing your dog with relief.

Why I Like Apoquel

As Needed. Rooney gets Apoquel once a day as needed to relieve itching due to allergies. I like this type of dosage because Rooney doesn’t need the medication 365 days a year. However, he will need allergy medication several times throughout the year to keep his allergies in control.

Works Fast. Apoquel can start to relieve your pet from itching in 4 hours. I know when I give Rooney his Apoquel he quickly goes from being very itchy to only slightly itchy within a few hours.

Apoquel is mostly cost effective for our budget. It’s not the cheapest allergy medication available, but it is so effective. And because you can give it to your pet on an as needed basis, it helps you save as compared to some other medications.

Work With Your Veterinarian

Do you think that your dog could benefit from a medication like Apoquel? If so, you should discuss this possibility with your veterinarian if your dog is over 1 year of age. Please keep in mind that like all medications, Apoquel can have side effects. I highly recommend doing your research and consulting a veterinarian before starting your pet on any medication.

Would you like us to bring back Medical Mondays (even though it’s Wednesday — I’m trying lol)? I think these posts have provided pet parents with important information over the years. Therefore, I would like to add them back to the blogging rotation (and post more frequently again – sorry friends!). What do you think?

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16 Comment

  1. Reply
    Kamira Gayle
    August 9, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I’m glad Apoquel worked for your dogs allergies. It’s nice to know this product doesn’t contain steroids too!

    1. Reply
      August 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Kamira! Yes, that is one of my favorite things about Apoquel! No steroids!

  2. Reply
    Cara Armour
    August 9, 2017 at 11:00 am

    I was nervous of using apoquel for my girl’s terrible allergies because it is an immunosuppressant. I did an insurmountable amount of research and was super happy to find cytopoint, definitely worth asking your vet about as the long term side effects of apoquel can be a little scary!

    1. Reply
      August 9, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing Cara! We have used cytopoint with Rooney as well, but it didn’t reduce his itching as much as Apoquel. I’m glad to hear Cytopoint decreased your dog’s itchy skin. I am open to trying new recommendations from our vet as well. I definitely want to give Rooney the best option currently on the market.

  3. Reply
    The Dash Kitten Crew
    August 9, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    You are providing valuable information in your post. You are allowing dog owners to make informed decisions and ask their veterinarians from a more informed perspective. Good for you. If a dog owner has a dog with an itch, they need to have access to the maximum amount of information available to help relieve the dogs discomfort.

    Well done in a good post thst could help some dogs have a much happier summer.
    The Dash Kitten Crew recently posted…Wordless Wednesday Black CatsMy Profile

    1. Reply
      August 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you so much! My goal was definitely to provide new information for pet parents through my experience, without making it seem like Apoquel is a solution for every dog.

  4. Reply
    Carleen Coulter
    August 9, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Ty gets terrible seasonal allergies and I soooo want to try Apoquel. But unfortuately, becasue of his novel T-cell therapy for his cancer, he can’t have it. They don’t know if it will effect the T-cell he had infused. 🙁
    Carleen Coulter recently posted…Our Favorite Pet Books, Movies, and TV (Includes Canine Lymphoma and Cancer Books)My Profile

  5. Reply
    Jana Rade
    August 9, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    I read a lot of praise on Apoquel. Now, it’s still a drug so one needs to understand there are potential undesired effects. I also heard that it loses potency over time. Plus there were issues with availability. But it seems it’s been very helpful, at least at first.

  6. Reply
    Heather Wallace
    August 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I’m so glad that Apoquel has worked so well for you! Gonzo has seasonal allergies and gets itchy eyes and skin, sometimes even upset stomach. He’s been on supplements and I’ve created a topical salve with essential oils that have kept his symptoms at bay this year. So we’ve been lucky that we haven’t had to medicate.

  7. Reply
    M. K. Clinton
    August 9, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    Bentley was prescribed Apoquel when it first came on the market. I used it for two months but the cost and side-effect warnings were the reasons I searched for something else. We recently began treating him with CBDs and are amazed at how well it works. Unfortunately, vets are not allowed to prescribe it because of stupid laws that I won’t go into. LOL! I know Rooney is feeling much better not itching!

  8. Reply
    Joely Smith
    August 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I have not heard of Apoquel before! I am glad that I have here! Love that you can give to them as needed! I do not like over medicating my pets so “as need” works for me!
    Joely Smith recently posted…Great Questions About Fashion Beyond Forty AnsweredMy Profile

  9. Reply
    Sweet Purrfections
    August 9, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Happy to hear this medication is working for your dog.

    Allergies are terrible in the South this year, especially in SC, because of the flood and the hurricanes the past two years. Brulee is sneezing more and Mom Paula is having a problem.

  10. Reply
    Dolly the Doxie
    August 10, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Nice to see another blogger having good luck with Apoquel. I’ve been writing about it since it first came out when there was too much demand for it. To this day those post get hits almost every day. Dolly has terrible allergies, it was almost 2 years before I got it for her last year. She did fine on it but when she got sick I stopped using it because of all the rumors going around. I got a chance to talk Dr. Natalie Marks(?) about dog flu but she is a Zoetis spokesperson and she assured me that it was safe. I need to get some more for Dolly I don’t think the Benadryl is helping enough. Any way, thanks!

  11. Reply
    August 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Great news that Rooney has found relief with this product.
    It sounds pawsome.
    Normally I suffer from allergies but not this year thankfully.
    Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my huMom.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Nose nudges,
    CEO Olivia
    Olivia recently posted…CBD Effects on Epilepsy MedicationMy Profile

  12. Reply
    Beth Patterson
    August 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    This sounds like something I should consider for Nelly. She has terrible seasonal allergies. I hate to give her medication every day.

  13. Reply
    Lori Hilliard
    September 6, 2017 at 7:46 am

    While there has been controversy in the recent past over using Apoquel, I’m also a huge fan of this allergy relief medicine. My senior dog, Soldier, suffers from severe seasonal allergies in the spring and fall. Nothing has helped except Apoquel, and he uses it for several weeks twice a year. So far, no side effects and the results are almost immediate. It’s such a relief when he stops chewing his feet and can enjoy the weather!

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