Is Apoquel Safe for My Dog?

Apoquel has been a controversial medication in the veterinary world due to its potential side effects. While it has been effective in providing relief for dogs suffering from allergies and itching, there have been numerous reports of dogs experiencing serious side effects or even death after taking Apoquel.

Apoquel Killed My Dog

1. Overdose

Apoquel is a powerful medication that is meant to be used in small doses. If a dog is given too much Apoquel, it can cause severe side effects and even death. It is important to carefully follow the prescribed dosage and seek medical attention if a dog appears to be experiencing any adverse reactions.

2. Allergic reaction

Some dogs may have an allergic reaction to Apoquel or one of its ingredients. This can cause symptoms such as hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and, in severe cases, death. If a dog exhibits any of these symptoms after being given Apoquel, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

3. Interactions with other medications

Apoquel may interact with certain other medications, causing serious side effects or even death. It is important to inform the vet of any other medications the dog is taking before starting Apoquel treatment.

4. Underlying health conditions

If a dog has an underlying health condition such as liver or kidney disease, Apoquel may put extra strain on these organs and cause them to fail. This can lead to death if not properly monitored and treated.

5. Pre-existing conditions

Apoquel is not recommended for use in dogs with certain pre-existing conditions, such as cancer or serious infections. If a dog with one of these conditions is given Apoquel, it may exacerbate the condition and lead to death.

6. Improper administration

Apoquel must be administered correctly in order to be effective and safe. If it is not given at the proper intervals or if the prescribed dosage is not followed, it can cause serious side effects and even death. It is important to carefully follow the vet’s instructions for administering Apoquel.

Apoquel for dogs reviews


Apoquel is a fast-acting medication that can provide relief for dogs suffering from allergies within 24-48 hours.

It is effective at reducing symptoms such as itching, inflammation, and redness.

Apoquel has a lower risk of side effects compared to other allergy medications, such as steroids.


Apoquel can be expensive, especially if it needs to be taken long-term.

Some dogs may develop tolerance to the medication, meaning it may become less effective over time.

Some research suggests that long-term use of Apoquel may increase the risk of certain types of cancer in dogs.

Side effects:

The most common side effect of Apoquel is diarrhea.

Other possible side effects include vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

In rare cases, Apoquel may cause serious side effects such as pancreatitis or liver problems.


Apoquel is generally considered safe for dogs when used as directed by a veterinarian.

Overdosing on Apoquel can cause serious side effects, so it is important to follow the prescribed dosage.

Drug interactions:

Apoquel may interact with other medications your dog is taking, such as certain antibiotics and NSAIDs.

It is important to inform your veterinarian about all medications your dog is taking before starting Apoquel.


Apoquel should not be given to dogs with a history of cancer or those who are pregnant or nursing.

It is also not recommended for use in dogs with autoimmune disorders or those taking certain medications, such as cyclosporine.

Research and study:

Apoquel has been extensively researched and studied, with numerous clinical trials demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing allergy symptoms in dogs.

Some studies have raised concerns about the potential long-term effects of Apoquel, including an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of Apoquel with your veterinarian before starting treatment.

Apoquel complaints

While Apoquel can be effective in managing allergic reactions, it is not without its drawbacks.

One common complaint about Apoquel is its high cost. The medication can be expensive, especially for long-term use, which may be necessary for some dogs with chronic allergies. Some pet owners may struggle to afford the medication, leading to concerns about the financial burden it places on them.

Another complaint about Apoquel is its potential side effects. Some dogs may experience gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or loss of appetite while taking the medication. Others may develop an increased risk of infections, such as skin infections or urinary tract infections. These side effects can be concerning for pet owners, as they can be uncomfortable or even potentially dangerous for their dogs.

One additional concern about Apoquel is that it may not work as well for some dogs as it does for others. Some dogs may experience little to no improvement in their allergic symptoms while taking the medication, leading to frustration and disappointment for pet owners.

Despite these complaints, Apoquel is still considered a valuable treatment option for many dogs with allergy-related skin issues. It is important for pet owners to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the medication with their veterinarian before starting treatment.

What happens if you give a dog too much Apoquel?

Overdosing on Apoquel can lead to serious side effects in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

Apoquel is a medication used to treat allergies and inflammation in dogs, and it works by blocking certain chemicals in the body that contribute to these conditions. However, giving a dog too much Apoquel can interfere with its natural immune system function.

In severe cases, an overdose of Apoquel can lead to liver damage, which can be life-threatening for dogs. Symptoms of liver damage in dogs include jaundice, abdominal pain, and changes in behavior.

Is there an alternative to Apoquel for dogs?

There are several other options when it comes to treating your dog’s allergies.


This is a newer alternative to Apoquel that works by targeting specific proteins that contribute to allergic reactions in dogs. It has been shown to be effective in reducing itching and inflammation in dogs with allergies.


This medication works by inhibiting the production of certain immune system cells that contribute to allergic reactions in dogs. It can take several weeks to see the full effects but has been shown to be effective in managing allergies in dogs.


This is a corticosteroid that can be used to reduce inflammation and itching in dogs with allergies. It is generally well-tolerated but can have side effects such as increased thirst and hunger.


This is an antihistamine that can be used to reduce allergy symptoms in dogs. It is generally well-tolerated but can cause drowsiness in some dogs.

Antihistamine spray

There are several antihistamine sprays available that can be applied directly to the skin to provide relief from allergies. These sprays are often more convenient than oral medications, but may not be as effective in severe cases.

Allergen-specific immunotherapy

This is a treatment that involves administering small doses of the allergens that trigger a dog’s allergies in order to build up their tolerance over time. It can take several months to see the full effects but has been shown to be effective in managing allergies in dogs.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements

These supplements can help to reduce inflammation and improve the health of a dog’s skin and coat. They are generally well-tolerated and can be used in conjunction with other allergy medications.

Herbal remedies

There are several herbs that have been used to help reduce allergy symptoms in dogs, such as quercetin and bromelain. These remedies are generally safe, but it is important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any new treatment.

FAQs about side effects of Apoquel in dogs

We’ll go over some frequently asked questions about Apoquel and its side effects.

What is Apoquel?

Apoquel is a prescription medication that’s used to treat dogs with allergic skin conditions such as itching and inflammation. It works by blocking the signals that trigger your dog’s itching and inflammation, providing them with relief from their symptoms.

What are the side effects of Apoquel?

Like any medication, Apoquel can have side effects. Some of the most common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and lethargy. However, there are also some more serious side effects that pet owners should be aware of, such as infections, skin lesions, and lymphoma.

How long do the side effects of Apoquel last?

The duration of Apoquel’s side effects can vary depending on the dog and the severity of their symptoms. Some dogs may experience side effects for only a few days, while others may experience them for several weeks. If you notice any prolonged or severe side effects, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Can Apoquel cause weight gain in dogs?

Weight gain is a potential side effect of Apoquel. If your dog experiences weight gain while taking this medication, it’s important to monitor their diet and exercise to ensure that they maintain a healthy weight.

Can Apoquel cause liver problems in dogs?

There have been reports of Apoquel causing liver problems in some dogs. If your dog has a history of liver disease or if they experience any signs of liver problems while taking this medication, such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is it safe to use Apoquel long-term?

Apoquel is a relatively new medication, so there isn’t a lot of long-term data available on its safety. However, many veterinarians believe that it can be used safely on a long-term basis for dogs with chronic skin conditions. If you’re concerned about the long-term effects of Apoquel, be sure to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian.

Can Apoquel be used with other medications?

In some cases, Apoquel can be used in conjunction with other medications. However, it’s important to discuss any other medications your dog is taking with your veterinarian before starting them on Apoquel.

Can Apoquel cause cancer in dogs?

There have been reports of Apoquel causing cancer, specifically lymphoma, in some dogs. However, it’s important to note that the risk of developing cancer while taking Apoquel is relatively low. If you’re concerned about the risk of cancer, talk to your veterinarian about the best course of action for your dog.

Can Apoquel be used in puppies?

Apoquel is not recommended for use in puppies under 12 months of age. This is because puppies are still developing their immune systems, and Apoquel may affect their ability to fight off infections.

Can Apoquel cause behavioral changes in dogs?

Behavioral changes such as aggression, anxiety, and restlessness have been reported in some dogs taking Apoquel. If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior while they’re taking Apoquel, talk to your veterinarian.

How can I minimize the risk of side effects when using Apoquel?

To minimize the risk of side effects when using Apoquel, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully. Be sure to give your dog the correct dosage and monitor them closely for any signs of side effects. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

What should I do if my dog experiences side effects while taking Apoquel?

If your dog experiences any side effects while taking Apoquel, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away. They may recommend adjusting the dosage or switching to a different medication.

How long does Apoquel take to work?

Apoquel can start providing relief for your dog’s itching and inflammation within hours of the first dose. However, it may take a few days for the full effects of the medication to become apparent.

Can Apoquel be used for other conditions besides allergies?

Apoquel is primarily used to treat allergic skin conditions, but it may also be used to treat other conditions such as otitis externa (ear infections) and atopic dermatitis.

What are the alternatives to Apoquel?

There are several alternatives to Apoquel for treating allergic skin conditions in dogs, including corticosteroids, antihistamines, and immunotherapy. Talk to your veterinarian about the best treatment options for your dog.

Can Apoquel be used with other medications?

Apoquel can be used with other medications, but it’s important to let your veterinarian know about all the medications your dog is taking. Some medications can interact with Apoquel, potentially causing adverse effects.

Can Apoquel be used long-term?

Apoquel can be used long-term, but it’s important to monitor your dog closely for any potential side effects. Your veterinarian may recommend periodic blood tests to check your dog’s liver and kidney function.

Can Apoquel be used during pregnancy or lactation?

Apoquel has not been tested for safety in pregnant or lactating dogs, so it’s best to avoid using it in these situations unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Can Apoquel be used in dogs with liver or kidney disease?

Apoquel may not be safe for dogs with liver or kidney disease, as it can affect the function of these organs. Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s health and determine if Apoquel is appropriate for them.

How should Apoquel be stored?

Apoquel should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.

Can Apoquel be used in cats?

Apoquel is not approved for use in cats and should only be used in dogs under the guidance of a veterinarian.

What should I do if my dog accidentally overdoses on Apoquel?

If your dog accidentally overdoses on Apoquel, seek veterinary care immediately. Symptoms of an overdose may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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