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.