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Apoquel and Cytopoint: For Itchy Pets

Geoff Gardner, DVM 

Allergies can be a problem for dogs in Florida throughout the year, and they can be caused by atopic dermatitis (pollen, grasses, trees and molds), fleas, contact, and food that can cause severe itch.  As reviewed in a previous article, there are many treatments that have been used with some success for years, but real relief for many has been elusive.

Two newer products, Apoquel and Cytopoint have been made available for our canine loved ones to help bring real, lasting success in winning the war against allergies. They provide a balanced set of modialities that together, allow your veterinarian to rapidly treat all four of the causes of itch.

Apoquel is a medication that works within your dog’s skin cells to control itch and inflamation associated with allergic skin disease.  Your pet must be at least twelve months of age, and relief can occur in as little as four hours.  Apoquel is not a steroid, antihistamine, or cyclosporine, and works to inhibit key enzymes associated with inflammation producing cyokines.  It is a tablet that is given twice daily for the first fourteen days, and then once daily  for long term relief from symptoms.

Cytopoint is an injectable biological therapy that works to inhibit and neutralize inflammatory cytokines before they ever reach your dog’s skin cells thereby preventing an itch stimulus.   This product is a monoclonal antibody for dogs of any age, and aids in long lasting relief of clinical signs associated with atopic dermatitis.  A single injection of Cytopoint works within two hours and can help control itch for four to eight weeks.

Both Apoquel and Cytopoint allow the itch to be controlled in your dog, giving the damaged skin time to heal, and permit your dog to begin having a healthy, happy life again