The weather is starting to clear up and the pollens and allergens are out in full force. Those with itchy allergic dogs might be noticing them scratching a lot more lately. As the weather continues to improve, our itchy dogs will be getting worse. Luckily we have a few new weapons in our arsenal against allergic skin disease, or atopy. Apoquel, which is a safer alternative to prednisone, has been on the market for the last year or so. Apoquel works as effectively as prednisone but without all the nasty side effects that are common with long term prednisone use. Apoquel targets the cellular pathway that causes our animals to itch, while having minimal side effects on the rest of the body. It can be used as a daily treatment for severe allergies, or on an as needed basis for milder allergies.
Cytopoint, the newest allergy medication to come on the market, is a useful tool for atopic allergic dogs. Cytopoint is a fast acting injection that starts working within a day and is given every 4-8 weeks depending on response. It targets and neutralizes the specific chemical compound, or cytokine, in the body that is responsible for inducing itchiness in allergic dogs. In can be used alone or in combination with Apoquel to control atopic dermatitis but atopy must be diagnosed before. Come in and see one of our vets today to discuss the options available for your itchy dog.