Does your dog always have that itch that he can’t quite scratch? Do they have allergies that cause them to constantly lick and chew with no relief? It’s normal to have an itch here and a scratch there, but if your dog has never ending problems with itching, it might be time to look into it. Just like us, dogs can develop allergies and sensitivities to certain foods or things in the environment like pollen, mold, types of grass and trees. They can also become allergic to the saliva of fleas when they bite, a condition known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), and have reactions with only one or two fleas on their body. Dogs can also come in contact with other parasites like lice and mites, or irritants like shampoo and medications. The common signs that your dog has itching or irritation include excessive scratching, biting, licking chewing, rubbing, scooting, foot chewing and redness of the skin. If you notice changes in the skin or your dog is starting to cause damage to their skin, contact your veterinarian for treatment options and to determine the cause. Chronic scratching that causes skin damage can also be a sign of a more serious skin disease or infection and should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Medications like steroids, antihistamines, and medicated shampoos, creams, and sprays are usually prescribed to help dogs and their owners deal with the itching but recently a medication called Apoquel was brought back because of popular demand.
Apoquel helps relieve itching and inflammation caused by allergies or skin conditions. Apoquel is not a steroid or an antihistamine, it’s a different kind of medication that stops the itch at its source. It contains oclacitinib that works by blocking certain chemical substances produced by the body, called cytokines, which trigger the itching sensation, inflammation, and some allergic responses. In some dogs, it may start providing relief in as little as 4 hours with complete relief within 24 hours. Apoquel is labeled for short and long term use in dogs that are over 1 year of age. Before using, talk with your veterinarian about Apoquel and discuss your dog’s treatment options. See what other vets are saying about Apoquel.