Dealing with Itching and Allergies in Dogs


Itching is a very common problem in both dogs! A few months ago – we talked about fleas as one of the many reasons a dog or cat may itch but there also other causes. Some pets can have mites, skin infections and allergies to food or other things in the environment such as pollens, molds, and/or dust mites.

If your dog is itching from allergies, we have two new products that have been very effective. One is a pill called Apoquel® and the other is a shot called Cytopoint®. 

Apoquel® belongs to the class of drugs called Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors which are effective at controlling itching as associated with allergies in dogs. Apoquel® works by inhibiting cytokines that cause inflammation and itching. It is not considered a corticosteroid or an antihistamine but has effects that can be similar without the unwanted side effects. Apoquel® is generally given twice daily for up to 14 days then once daily best given in the evening. 

Cytopoint® is different from traditional drugs that treat itch. It is a type of non-pharmaceutical treatment that works like the dog’s immune system. Cytopoint® contains engineered antibodies very similar to natural dog antibodies that specifically targets and neutralizes canine IL-31, an important cytokine involved in sending the itch signal to the brain in atopic dermatitis. Antibodies are what an animal’s immune system uses to defend the body against infection or disease. The shot is given under the skin and lasts 4 to 8 weeks. 

These products have worked really well, better than anything that has come on the market to help itching dogs in years. We have been so satisfied to see a pet that has been miserable finally sleep through the night and feeling so good. 

These products are not approved for use in cats but we often treat fleas, skin infections with antibiotics and itching with steroids or other medications. 

We are committed to your pet’s health and wellness, and are available to help you in any way we can. Schedule an appointment with us and we will do a thorough exam to make sure your pet is in optimum health and help you pick the best product for your pet.  Call Granville Veterinary Clinic at 740-587-1129.

Feeding the right food is also important. Learn more about Grain Free and Food Allergy Diets.

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