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What is Apoquel? - A Guide to the Vet Prescription Medicine

What is Apoquel?  - A Guide to the Vet Prescription Medicine

Published: 23rd September, 2021 in: Pets

Vet Prescriptions 

Vet prescriptions are just like ours. A veterinary surgeon may prescribe a medicine following a clinical assessment of an animal under their care. However, if treatment is needed immediately, they may administer medication on the spot.

Just like with our prescriptions, you can collect a vet prescription from most pharmacies, including any Weldricks branch. A vet should write you a prescription that you can go and collect, or recommend an over the counter medication if that is appropriate for your pet. 

At Weldricks, we make Vet Prescriptions simple.

  1. Go to Vet Prescriptions.
  2. Choose the items and quantities you want, add these to your basket.
  3. Enter your details and complete the secure online payment process.
  4. Send us your vet prescription
  5. For controlled drugs - send us your original vet prescription by post.
  6. For all other prescription items – send us a copy via email, Facebook messenger or via the website contact form.
  7. We’ll dispatch your pet medicines to you by post once we've received and checked your prescription.

What is Apoquel?  

Apoquel is a vet prescription product used to treat allergic skin disease in dogs. This may be due to allergens such as grass, pollen, dust, fleas, food, and contact reactions from products such as dog shampoo. 

It can only be prescribed by a vet and cannot be bought over the counter. 

To find out how Apoquel is used and more information about the vet prescription medicine, you can learn more about Apoquel on the NOAH Compendium, which aims to support the future of animal health. This includes everything you might need to know, including uses, dosage, precautions and more. 

What is Apoquel Used For?

When a dog has an allergic reaction, they may become very itchy and uncomfortable. A vet will examine a dog’s symptoms and, based on their findings, may prescribe apoquel tablets as a medical treatment for the dog. Apoquel tablets are used to soothe the itch associated with allergic skin disease and help to relieve your dog's symptoms. It blocks the itch at the source and also works to decrease inflammation, redness and swelling.

Symptoms of Allergic Skin Disease

Itching is normal for dogs. Excessive itching on the other hand could be a sign of something more serious. 

If you notice any of the following symptoms in your dog, you should visit your veterinary practice. They will be able to determine whether symptoms are due to an infection, allergies or parasite so that your dog can get the treatment they need.

Look out for:

  • Excessive licking, chewing, biting and scratching
  • Increased rolling, rubbing or scooting
  • Chewing of the feet
  • Loss of hair
  • Problems with the ear
  • Skin changes including sores and dark areas
  • Redness
  • Increased odour

Why is it important to take your dog to the vet?

If these symptoms become present in your dog, you should take them to the vet so they can diagnose any issues. This will give your vet the chance to spot any potential health problems and hopefully nip them in the bud before they become serious.

Which Animals Can Apoquel Be Used For?

Apoquel is an allergy medication for dogs over 12 months old. It is only licensed for use on dogs and should always be prescribed by a vet.  Always read the information leaflet before administering any medication to your dog and listen to the recommendations of your vet.

Can Cats Take Apoquel?

Apoquel tablets are not licensed for use in cats. You should never use medication in a way that is not directed or prescribed by a vet. 

Apoquel for Dogs

Apoquel is often referred to as the Benadryl for dogs however this is not the case. Apoquel is not an antihistamine. 

Antihistamines reduce the immune system’s response to allergies. This puts Apoquel in a different category of medications as Apoquel blocks the source of itching in order to help soothe symptoms. This is another reason why only a veterinarian is qualified to prescribe the medication, as they will only prescribe Apoquel if it is suitable for the dog. 

Is Apoquel for Dogs a Steroid?

Apoquel is not a steroid.
Steroids work in a similar way to antihistamines working on the body’s immune response to allergies rather than working at the source as Apoquel does.

Is Apoquel an Anti-inflammatory? 

Yes, Apoquel is an anti-inflammatory. Allergic reactions can cause swelling, as can irritation from excessive itching. Apoquel can help to reduce this inflammation and help your dog to feel more comfortable.

How Long Can a Dog Take Apoquel Tablets?

Apoquel tablets can be given to dogs on either a short term or long term basis. Your vet will provide instructions on how long you should administer the medication to your dog. 

Whilst some dogs may be on Apoquel for a number of days, in some cases it could be used for years. There are studies in which dogs have used Apoquel for 2 years in order to control allergy symptoms. The majority of the time, recommended use will be much shorter than this however.

How Long Does Apoquel Take to Work?

Apoquel begins to work in just 4 hours. Complete relief of symptoms should be seen in around 24 hours.

Medication can be given with or without food.

Is Apoquel Bad for Dogs?

Apoquel will only be prescribed for your dog when absolutely necessary. It is a licenced medication that has been deemed safe for use in dogs. Your dog may experience mild side effects from Apoquel however, these usually stop on their own.

If you are concerned by your dog’s behaviour after taking Apoquel, contact your veterinary practice for advice.

What are the Side Effects of Apoquel?

The most common side effects associated with Apoquel are vomiting and diarrhea. These side effects were seen in only a small percentage of dogs during the clinical trial and stopped on their own.

Will Apoquel Make My Dog Sleepy?

During the trial, lethargy was also noticed in a small percentage of dogs. You may therefore notice that after taking Apoquel, your dog may have less energy than usual and may sleep more. 

Is There an Alternative to Apoquel?

Apoquel has been proven to be one of the most effective medications to treat the symptoms of allergic skin disease. 

Speak to your vet about possible alternatives to Apoquel.

Not quite what you’re looking for? We stock a wide range of products for dogs and other animals, as well as offering our vet prescription service online and in-branch.

Sources

http://www.apoqueldogs.com/faqs.aspx 
https://www.apoqueldogs.com/Assets/pdfs/Dogimonial_Dog_Owner_Info_Sheet.pdf https://www.apoqueldogs.com/Assets/pdfs/Pet_Owner_Brochure_2017.pdf