The Use of Apoquel in the Management of Atopic Dermatitis in Dogs

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Atopic dermatitis is a frequent and chronic skin illness in dogs that can have a substantial influence on their quality of life. Dogs with atopic dermatitis may experience intense itching, redness, and skin lesions, which can lead to secondary bacterial infections and further complications. 

According to a report, atopic dermatitis in dogs has grown more widespread as our pets’ exposure to indoor surroundings and processed diets has risen. Atopic dermatitis can be managed with a variety of treatment approaches, including systemic and topical medicines, dietary changes, and environmental control.

One of the systemic medications that have gained popularity in recent years for the management of atopic dermatitis is Apoquel. This medication works by targeting the underlying inflammatory response that causes itching and skin lesions in dogs with atopic dermatitis. 

In this article, we will discuss the benefits for managing atopic dermatitis in dogs, its mechanism of action, potential side effects, and proper administration guidelines. 

How Apoquel Works 

Apoquel for dogs is a medication that works by blocking specific enzymes in the body that cause inflammation and itching. Atopic dermatitis causes histamines and other inflammatory mediators to be released in the body inhibits these mediators, alleviating the itching and irritation linked with atopic dermatitis.

Apoquel blocks Janus Kinase (JAK) enzymes, which are responsible for the production of cytokines and other immune system mediators that cause inflammation and itching. By blocking these enzymes, reduces the production of cytokines and decreases inflammation and itching.


Apoquel has several benefits for managing atopic dermatitis in dogs. The first benefit is that it works quickly to reduce inflammation and irritation. This may offer assistance to dogs who are experiencing the discomfort and anguish of atopic dermatitis.

Additionally, does not cause the side effects associated with long-term use of steroids, such as weight gain, increased thirst and urination, and increased risk of infection.

Furthermore, compared to other medications like steroids, comparatively low risk of adverse effects. Although certain negative effects, they are often minor and temporary.

Moreover used for the long-term management of atopic dermatitis without losing its effectiveness. Unlike steroids, which can become less effective over time, maintains its efficacy even with long-term use. This qualifies it as a successful treatment choice for dogs suffering from persistent atopic dermatitis.

Possible Side Effects

Although dogs typically handle it well, there are a few potential adverse effects to be cautious of. The most common side effects include gastrointestinal upset, lethargy, and decreased appetite. The majority of the time, these side effects are minor and go away on their own in a few days.

In rare cases, dogs may experience more severe side effects like infections or malignancies. However, these side effects are very rare and the benefits of using typically outweigh the risks. It is important to monitor your dog closely after starting and report any unusual symptoms to your veterinarian.

Proper Administration 

To ensure that effective and safe for your dog, it is important to follow the proper administration guidelines. Here are some important things to keep in mind when administering to your dog:

  1. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions for dosing and administration: 

Tablets of various strengths, and the appropriate dose will depend on your dog’s weight and the severity of its atopic dermatitis. Without first contacting your veterinarian, do not change the dosage.

  1. Administer with food: 

Apoquel is most effective when given with a meal or snack. This can lessen the possibility of stomach discomfort and guarantee that your dog will effectively absorb the medication. 

Back in November 2021, chewable tablets were approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of the UK. These chewables can be mixed with a meal, making them easy to administer.

  1. Monitor your dog for any side effects:

 While generally well-tolerated by dogs, it is important to monitor your

dog for any unusual symptoms after starting the medication. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog exhibits any worrying signs, including vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or other conditions.

  1. Do not use in dogs with a history of cancer:

While the risk of cancer connected is modest, a 2022 article published on suggests that may make certain dogs more susceptible to infections due to its influence on immunological function. It can also aggravate malignant tumors and shouldn’t be used in dogs with a cancer history.

  1. Avoid using in pregnant or lactating dogs: 

The safety in pregnant or lactating dogs has not been established, so it is best to avoid using this medication in these cases.


In conclusion,a safe and effective medication for managing atopic dermatitis in dogs. Its mechanism of action targets the underlying inflammatory response that causes itching and skin lesions, providing relief to dogs suffering from the discomfort and pain associated with this chronic skin condition. 

If you suspect that your dog may have atopic dermatitis or if your dog is currently suffering from this condition, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment, which may include the use of treatment options.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.


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