Apoquel Side Effects: Is Apoquel Safe for Dogs?

Apoquel for dogs is widely used because it offers significant advantages. However, despite all its advantages, there are some side effects of this drug. In this article, we’ll cover the side effects of Apoquel for dogs, as well as precautions you should follow when giving this drug to your dog.

Side effects of Apoquel in dogs

What are the side effects of Apoquel in dogs?

Like any prescription medication, there are some possible side effects when using Apoquel for dogs. These side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in behavior
  • Pus in the skin
  • Non-specified dermal bumps
  • Inflammation or infection of the ear
  • Abnormal growth in the skin of histiocytes
  • Urinary tract infection of the bladder
  • Yeast skin infections
  • Inflammation of the skin of the paw
  • Fatty tumor located just below the skin
  • Excess consumption of water
  • Swelling of lymph nodes

If you notice any signs of these undesirable reactions while your dog is on Apoquel, contact a veterinarian right away so they can determine if there are any underlying causes for these symptoms.

Apoquel for dogs reviews

Apoquel is manufactured by Zoetis, a leading pharmaceutical company that also manufactures other medications for veterinary use.

Apoquel is an oral prescription medication that is used to treat atopic dermatitis (AD) and other forms of inflammatory skin conditions in dogs.

Apoquel is a JAK inhibitor that works by inhibiting the key itch signal in the brain and has minimal impact on the immune system.

It’s been shown to be effective for dogs with AD who have failed other treatments, including prescription steroids and biological therapy.

Apoquel tablets can be given with or without food and can be discontinued without tapering.

Apoquel can be used along with antibiotics, antifungals, NSAIDs, allergen-specific immunotherapy, and parasiticides.

Seek the advice of a vet before using Apoquel on pregnant or lactating dogs.

Apoquel should not be given to dogs who have been diagnosed with cancer or serious infections. Using Apoquel may increase the risk of developing serious infections in dogs.

“The first time I used Apoquel, it took about 5 days before her skin started to clear up. After that, we noticed that she was scratching less and less. It’s been about 6 months since we started using the product and I don’t think she’s ever had an allergic reaction again!”

“My dog’s allergies are so bad that she scratches herself raw. After trying every over-the-counter ointment and prescription medication, I decided to try Apoquel. It’s been a miracle! She’s stopped itching completely, and her fur is growing back. I have recommended it to other pet parents who have seen the results in their own pets.”

“I have a pug who has been diagnosed with allergies and is constantly itching. The vet recommended a medication called Apoquel, which I have been giving him for 2 months. He is doing so much better since taking this medication!”

“My dog has been on Apoquel for 6 months and I couldn’t be happier. He was suffering from ear infections and allergies. The vet prescribed antibiotics, he was also on steroids which didn’t help with his itching. After 2 weeks on Apoquel, he has already gained some weight back, his ears are clean and dry, he’s no longer on steroids and his coat is soft again. I would highly recommend Apoquel to anyone who has a pet with allergies.”

“I have been using Apoquel for my dog that has allergies to pollen. My dog had been on steroids for a few months. I found Apoquel online and decided to give it a try. It took about 1 week before I saw results but after one month, there were no signs of itching or scratching at all! This is a miracle drug for my dog!”

Apoquel dosing chart

The dosage of Apoquel for dogs is 0.18 to 0.27 mg per pound of body weight. It is given twice a day for up to 14 days of therapy and once a day thereafter for maintenance.

Dog’s weight (lbs) Apoquel dose (tablet)
6.6 – 9.9 lbs 1/2 tablet of 3.6 mg
10 – 14.9 lbs 1/2 tablet of 5.4 mg
15 – 19.9 lbs 1 tablet of 3.6 mg
20 – 29.9 lbs 1 tablet of 5.4 mg
30 -44.9 lbs 1/2 tablet of 16 mg
45 – 53.9 lbs 1/2 tablet of 16 mg and 1/2 tablet of 3.6 mg
54 – 59.9 lbs 1/2 tablet of 16 mg and 1/2 tablet of 5.4 mg
60 – 89.9 lbs 1 tablet of 16 mg
90 – 129.9 lbs 1 and 1/2 tablets of 16 mg
130 – 175.9 lbs 2 tablets of 16 mg

Can dogs stay on Apoquel long-term?

As long as your veterinarian recommends, and it doesn’t interfere with any other medications they’re taking.

It’s important to remember that Apoquel is not for every dog, and it’s possible that some dogs may have adverse reactions to the drug. If you’re concerned about your dog taking Apoquel long-term, talk to your vet about how long your dog can stay on Apoquel.

Can I give my dog Benadryl instead of Apoquel?

In case of mild allergies, Benadryl can be given to your dog instead of Apoquel.

Benadryl is an over-the-counter antihistamine that can be used to treat allergic reactions. It does not cure the underlying problem, but it can help with symptoms like itching, sneezing, and hives.

You should never give your dog Benadryl unless it has been prescribed by your vet. Benadryl can be toxic to dogs, especially if they are on other medications or have underlying health problems.

Is there an alternative to Apoquel for dogs?

The answer to this question is a bit complicated. It depends on the dog, his medical history, and your own personal circumstances. In general, if you’ve tried everything else and it’s still not working well enough, you may want to consider trying an alternative treatment.

  • Allergy shots
  • Cytopoint
  • Atopica
  • Antihistamines
  • Quercetin
  • Chamomile
  • Green tea
  • Calendula
  • Oatmeal Baths
  • Fish Oil

Conclusion of Apoquel side effects

Apoquel is a medication that has been approved by the FDA for use in dogs with atopy or atopic dermatitis.

The safety of Apoquel for dogs has been shown in clinical studies. However, it should be used with caution in dogs with any underlying medical conditions and should not be given to pregnant or lactating dogs.

The most common Apoquel side effects are vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. These effects are usually mild, but they can be severe in some dogs.

As with any medication, it should be taken only under the supervision of your veterinarian.

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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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