Apoquel Dosing for Dogs Chart

Itchy skin, allergies, and inflammation – if you’re a dog owner, you might have encountered these issues in your furry friend. Enter Apoquel, an oral medication known for its effectiveness in treating and managing these conditions. But how do you ensure the right dosage?

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FAQs about Apoquel Dosing for Dogs

What is Apoquel?

Apoquel, scientifically known as oclacitinib, is a medication primarily prescribed to manage itching and inflammation caused by allergic dermatitis and control atopic dermatitis in dogs.

Apoquel Dosing Chart: Breaking it Down

The ideal Apoquel dose is typically based on the weight of the dog. Here’s a comprehensive dosage guide:

  • 6.6 to 9.9 lbs: 1/2 tablet of 3.6 mg
  • 10 to 14.9 lbs: 1/2 tablet of 5.4 mg
  • 15 to 19.9 lbs: 1 tablet of 3.6 mg
  • 20 to 29.9 lbs: 1 tablet of 5.4 mg
  • 30 to 44.9 lbs: 1/2 tablet of 16 mg
  • 45 to 53.9 lbs: 1/2 tablet of 16 mg and 1/2 tablet of 3.6 mg
  • 54 to 59.9 lbs: 1/2 tablet of 16 mg and 1/2 tablet of 5.4 mg
  • 60 to 89.9 lbs: 1 tablet of 16 mg
  • 90 to 129.9 lbs: 1 and 1/2 tablets of 16 mg
  • 130 to 175.9 lbs: 2 tablets of 16 mg

Dosing Schedule

Initial treatment often requires a twice-daily dose for 14 days. After this period, a transition to a once-a-day dose is common, although veterinarians may make adjustments based on the dog’s needs.

Overdosing: What to Watch Out For

If you’re uncertain about the dosage or if you suspect your dog might have ingested too much, seek veterinary advice immediately. Overdosing may lead to suppressed immune function and increased susceptibility to infections.

Side Effects

While Apoquel has been a game-changer for many dogs suffering from itching and allergies, like all medications, it may have side effects. Common ones include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Conclusion: Always Consult Your Vet

While this guide provides an in-depth overview of the Apoquel dosing chart, it’s essential to remember that every dog is unique. Factors such as age, overall health, and other medications can influence the appropriate dosage. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s medication routine.

FAQs about Apoquel Dosing for Dogs

1. How quickly does Apoquel start to work?

Answer: Apoquel begins to reduce itching within 4 hours of administration. Many dog owners notice a significant reduction in their pet’s itching within 24 hours. It’s one of the fastest-acting treatments available for allergic itching in dogs.

2. Can Apoquel be combined with other medications?

Answer: Generally, Apoquel can be safely used in conjunction with other treatments, including anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and allergen-specific immunotherapy. However, always consult with your veterinarian before introducing or combining any medications to ensure the safety and well-being of your pet.

3. What should I do if I miss giving a dose?

Answer: If you’ve missed giving your dog a dose, administer it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to the regular dosing schedule. Avoid giving two doses at once.

4. Is Apoquel safe for puppies?

Answer: Apoquel is approved for dogs that are 12 months of age or older. It hasn’t been tested for safety in puppies under 12 months of age or in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Always consult your vet regarding the suitability of any medication for your pet.

5. Are there any long-term effects of using Apoquel?

Answer: Some studies have shown that Apoquel can be used for extended periods without causing undue side effects. Nevertheless, every dog is unique. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian will ensure that any potential issues are detected early.

6. Can Apoquel cause weight gain in dogs?

Answer: There’s no direct evidence linking Apoquel to weight gain in dogs. However, a small percentage of dogs might experience an increased appetite which could lead to weight gain. Monitoring your dog’s weight and dietary habits can help in identifying any significant changes.

7. Is there a generic alternative to Apoquel?

Answer: As of now, there’s no direct generic substitute for Apoquel. It contains the active ingredient oclacitinib, which specifically targets and inhibits certain enzymes responsible for itching and inflammation.

8. How should Apoquel be stored?

Answer: Apoquel should be stored at controlled room temperature, ideally between 68°F and 77°F (20°C to 25°C). Ensure it’s kept away from moisture and direct sunlight, and always out of reach of children and pets.

9. Can I break the Apoquel tablets?

Answer: Yes, if necessary, Apoquel tablets can be split. However, it’s essential to administer the correct dose. Using a pill cutter can ensure a more accurate division of the tablet.

10. What if my dog shows adverse reactions to Apoquel?

Answer: If your dog displays any unusual symptoms or reactions after taking Apoquel, such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. It might be a sign of a severe allergic reaction.

11. Are there any foods or supplements that interfere with Apoquel?

Answer: No known food interactions with Apoquel have been identified. However, it’s always advisable to inform your veterinarian about any supplements or over-the-counter medications your dog is taking, as unforeseen interactions can occur.

12. Can Apoquel be given on an empty stomach?

Answer: Yes, Apoquel can be administered with or without food. However, giving it with food might help reduce the chances of gastrointestinal discomfort, if any.

13. Why do some dogs require a twice-daily dosage initially?

Answer: The twice-daily dosage for the first 14 days helps to rapidly control the intense itching associated with allergic reactions. After this period, the frequency can be reduced to maintain the therapeutic benefits with minimal medication.

14. What’s the difference between Apoquel and steroids?

Answer: While both Apoquel and corticosteroids reduce itching and inflammation, they work differently. Apoquel specifically targets the pathways associated with allergic itching, without the broader immune-suppressive effects of steroids. This can lead to fewer side effects compared to long-term steroid use.

15. Are there any natural alternatives to Apoquel?

Answer: There are natural supplements and treatments, like fish oil or quercetin, believed to help with allergic reactions in dogs. However, their efficacy varies between individual dogs and might not be as potent as Apoquel.

16. How do I transition from steroids to Apoquel?

Answer: It’s crucial to consult with your vet when considering switching from steroids to Apoquel. They will provide guidance on tapering off steroids safely while introducing Apoquel to avoid any potential complications.

17. What happens if a dog overdoses on Apoquel?

Answer: Overdosing can lead to increased risk of side effects. Symptoms might include increased thirst, digestive upset, or lethargy. If you suspect an overdose, seek veterinary care immediately.

18. Why is Apoquel not recommended for dogs with a history of cancer?

Answer: Apoquel might influence the immune response, and there’s a theoretical concern about its use in dogs with a history of cancer. However, the exact relationship between Apoquel and cancer hasn’t been definitively established. Always consult your vet about potential risks.

19. How do I handle missed doses during travel?

Answer: If traveling, it’s vital to carry enough medication and stick to the dosing schedule. However, if you miss a dose while away, administer it as soon as possible or follow the regular dosing schedule if it’s almost time for the next one.

20. Are there any known interactions with flea and tick preventatives?

Answer: Apoquel is considered safe to use alongside most flea and tick preventatives. However, always let your veterinarian know about all medications and treatments your dog is receiving to ensure compatibility.

21. Can Apoquel be combined with other anti-itch treatments?

Answer: Many vets do prescribe Apoquel in combination with other treatments, especially when tackling severe cases of dermatitis or allergies. However, it’s essential to avoid overmedicating and always consult with a veterinarian about combining therapies.

22. What should owners monitor for when starting Apoquel for their dogs?

Answer: While Apoquel is generally safe, owners should watch for uncommon side effects such as prolonged lethargy, drastic changes in appetite, vomiting, or unusual behavioral changes. Any observed anomalies should be reported to a veterinarian.

23. Can puppies take Apoquel?

Answer: Apoquel is approved for dogs that are 12 months or older. The drug’s effects on puppies under 12 months have not been sufficiently studied, hence it’s not recommended for younger dogs.

24. How does Apoquel affect the liver or kidney functions?

Answer: Clinical studies have shown no significant changes in liver or kidney parameters with Apoquel usage. However, like any medication, prolonged use can have potential impacts, so regular veterinary check-ups and occasional blood tests are advisable.

25. Why is Apoquel only a short-term solution for some dogs?

Answer: While Apoquel effectively manages symptoms like itching, it doesn’t address the root cause of allergies. Some conditions might require different treatments or lifestyle changes for long-term relief.

26. How is Apoquel different from Cytopoint?

Answer: Cytopoint is an injectable treatment that targets and neutralizes specific itch-causing proteins in dogs. While both reduce itchiness, Cytopoint offers relief for 4-8 weeks per injection, whereas Apoquel is a daily oral tablet.

27. Can Apoquel cause behavioral changes in dogs?

Answer: Rarely, some dogs might exhibit behavioral changes when on Apoquel. While not common, any sudden shifts in temperament or behavior should be discussed with a vet.

28. Are there any breed-specific reactions to Apoquel?

Answer: There’s no substantial evidence to suggest breed-specific reactions to Apoquel. However, individual sensitivities can vary, making it essential to monitor any dog started on this medication.

29. Can I give Apoquel with other medications like heartworm preventatives or antibiotics?

Answer: Generally, Apoquel doesn’t have adverse interactions with many commonly prescribed dog medications. However, it’s paramount to inform the veterinarian of all current medications to ensure there’s no potential for harmful drug interactions.

30. How should Apoquel tablets be stored?

Answer: Apoquel should be stored in its original container, kept at room temperature, and protected from moisture. Ensure it’s out of reach of children and pets.

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