Cytopoint is a monoclonal antibody therapy specifically designed to target and neutralize interleukin-31 (IL-31), a protein responsible for causing itchiness in dogs with atopic dermatitis. By neutralizing IL-31, Cytopoint effectively reduces itchiness and discomfort, allowing your dog’s skin to heal.
Benefits of Cytopoint Injections
Some of the key advantages of using Cytopoint injections for your dog’s allergies include:
- Quick relief: Cytopoint starts working within 24 hours, providing fast relief for your dog.
- Long-lasting effect: One injection can last between 4 to 8 weeks, reducing the need for frequent treatments.
- Minimal side effects: Cytopoint has a low risk of side effects compared to other medications, such as steroids and immunosuppressive drugs.
- Non-steroidal: Cytopoint is a non-steroidal treatment, making it an excellent alternative for dogs that cannot tolerate steroid-based medications.
Can You Administer Cytopoint Injections at Home?
Administering Cytopoint injections at home is possible, but it’s essential to consult your veterinarian first. Your vet will provide guidance on the correct dosage, administration technique, and ensure you have the necessary supplies. Keep in mind that some veterinarians may require you to bring your dog in for the first injection to monitor their response and ensure proper administration.
How to Administer Cytopoint Injections
If your veterinarian has given you the green light to administer Cytopoint at home, follow these steps:
- Gather your supplies: Cytopoint injections require a sterile needle, syringe, and the Cytopoint vial.
- Prepare the injection site: Choose a clean, well-lit area and clean the injection site on your dog’s skin with rubbing alcohol.
- Draw up the medication: Following your veterinarian’s instructions, draw up the correct dosage of Cytopoint into the syringe.
- Administer the injection: Inject the medication subcutaneously (under the skin) by pinching a fold of skin and inserting the needle at a 45-degree angle.
- Monitor your dog: Keep an eye on your dog for any adverse reactions or signs of discomfort after the injection.
Possible Side Effects and Risks
Although Cytopoint is generally safe with minimal side effects, some dogs may experience reactions such as:
- Mild pain or swelling at the injection site
- Lethargy or drowsiness
- Gastrointestinal upset
Contact your veterinarian if your dog shows any signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, facial swelling, or hives.
FAQs about Cytopoint
Can I administer Cytopoint injections at home?
While Cytopoint injections can be administered subcutaneously (under the skin), it is best to consult with your veterinarian before attempting to give the injection at home. Your vet can provide guidance on the proper dosage and technique, as well as monitor your dog’s response to the treatment.
Does Cytopoint come in pill form?
No, Cytopoint is available only as an injectable medication. It is specifically designed to target and neutralize the protein that causes itching in dogs with atopic dermatitis, providing relief for four to eight weeks with a single injection.
How much does a Cytopoint injection cost for a dog?
The cost of a Cytopoint injection can vary depending on factors such as the size of your dog and the region where you live. Prices generally range from $50 to $120+ per injection. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the specific cost for your dog.
Is there a generic version of Cytopoint injections?
Currently, there is no generic version of Cytopoint available on the market. Cytopoint is a unique monoclonal antibody therapy developed by Zoetis, and there is no direct equivalent in terms of composition or mode of action.
What are the side effects of Cytopoint injections for dogs?
Cytopoint is generally well-tolerated, with minimal reported side effects. Some potential side effects may include mild injection site reactions, such as redness, swelling, or pain. In rare cases, dogs may experience vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. If you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog after administering Cytopoint, consult with your veterinarian.
Cytopoint vs. Apoquel: Which is better for my dog?
Both Cytopoint and Apoquel are effective treatments for canine allergies. While Cytopoint is an injectable medication that targets the specific protein causing itchiness, Apoquel is an oral medication that works by inhibiting the enzymes responsible for the inflammation and itch. Your veterinarian can help you determine which option is best suited for your dog’s specific needs and circumstances.
What do dog owners say about Cytopoint injections?
Many dog owners have reported positive experiences with Cytopoint injections, noting significant improvements in their dog’s quality of life and relief from itching. However, as with any medication, individual results may vary, and it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine if Cytopoint is the best option for your dog.
How long does it take for Cytopoint to start working?
Cytopoint typically begins to provide relief from itching within 24 hours of administration. However, it may take up to a week for the full effects to be observed. Keep in mind that individual responses to the medication can vary, and some dogs may experience faster or slower relief.
How often should my dog receive Cytopoint injections?
The frequency of Cytopoint injections depends on your dog’s specific needs and how well they respond to the treatment. In general, Cytopoint injections are administered every four to eight weeks. Your veterinarian will assess your dog’s condition and recommend an appropriate treatment schedule.
Can Cytopoint be used in combination with other medications?
In many cases, Cytopoint can be used alongside other medications to manage your dog’s allergies effectively. However, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian before combining Cytopoint with any other medications, as they will need to evaluate your dog’s overall health and potential interactions.
Is Cytopoint safe for puppies?
Cytopoint is approved for use in dogs aged one year and older. While there is limited data on its safety in puppies under one year, it’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before considering Cytopoint for a younger dog.
Are there any contraindications for Cytopoint?
Cytopoint is not recommended for dogs with a history of hypersensitivity to the active ingredient, lokivetmab, or any of the excipients in the product. Additionally, it is not intended for use in dogs with a severe bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. If your dog has any existing health conditions, consult with your veterinarian before starting Cytopoint treatment.
How should I store Cytopoint injections at home?
Cytopoint should be stored in its original packaging at a temperature between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F). Avoid exposing the medication to direct sunlight or freezing temperatures. Keep it out of reach of children and pets.
What should I do if my dog misses a scheduled Cytopoint injection?
If your dog misses a scheduled Cytopoint injection, contact your veterinarian to discuss the best course of action. In most cases, your veterinarian will advise you to administer the injection as soon as possible and adjust the subsequent injection schedule accordingly.
Can Cytopoint be used to treat other types of allergies besides atopic dermatitis?
Cytopoint is specifically designed to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs by targeting the protein that causes itching. While it may provide some relief for dogs with other types of allergies, its primary purpose is for atopic dermatitis. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate treatment for your dog’s specific allergy concerns.
What are the long-term effects of using Cytopoint for my dog?
There is limited information on the long-term effects of Cytopoint usage in dogs. However, Cytopoint has been well-tolerated in clinical studies and by many dogs that have received the treatment. Your veterinarian will closely monitor your dog’s response to the medication and adjust the treatment plan as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.
Can Cytopoint help with my dog’s secondary skin infections?
Cytopoint is not an antimicrobial agent and does not directly treat skin infections. However, by reducing itching and scratching, Cytopoint may help prevent secondary skin infections caused by self-trauma. If your dog has a skin infection, your veterinarian may prescribe additional medications, such as antibiotics or antifungal agents, to address the infection.
Are there any breed-specific considerations for using Cytopoint?
Cytopoint can be used in dogs of all breeds, as long as they meet the age requirement of one year or older. However, some breeds may be more prone to allergies and atopic dermatitis, making them more likely candidates for Cytopoint treatment. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine if Cytopoint is suitable for your specific dog.
Can Cytopoint help with hair loss due to excessive scratching?
By reducing itching and scratching, Cytopoint may help minimize hair loss associated with atopic dermatitis. As your dog’s skin condition improves and the urge to scratch decreases, hair may begin to regrow in affected areas. It is essential to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for managing your dog’s allergies to promote optimal skin and coat health.
Can I give Cytopoint to a pregnant or nursing dog?
The safety of Cytopoint in pregnant or nursing dogs has not been extensively studied. It is essential to consult with your veterinarian before administering Cytopoint or any other medication to a pregnant or nursing dog. Your veterinarian will weigh the potential risks and benefits of treatment to determine the most appropriate course of action.