St. Charles Animal Hospital

11685 Doolittle Drive
Waldorf, MD 20602



New Allergy Drugs: Apoquel & Cytopoint                                      

Many of our pets suffer from allergies.  They bite and scratch at themselves until they are raw. These poor animals are in need of relief.   In the past, the only drugs that showed any real help were various forms of steroids.  These drugs helped tremendously with the inflammation and the itch, but they also had a lot of side effects, which prohibited them from being used long term.  Even the short term side effects of increased thirst and urination, made them unacceptable for a lot of clients. Now, a company called Zoetis has made two drugs available to really help our patients without these side effects.  The two drugs are known as Apoquel and Cytopoint. They will be discussed separately.

Apoquel is technically a JAK enzyme inhibitor.  There are messenger molecules in our body that basically tell the nerve endings to send signals to our brain and tell us to scratch. Apoquel interferes with the transmission of that itch signal to the brain.  The video below is very technical, but may be of interest if you want the details on how Apoquel works.

Cytopoint is an injection.  It is a naturally made substance, that dogs produce to turn off an itch!  Unfortunately, dogs do not produce enough of this substance and therefore an itch frequently gets out of control and will get worse and worse.  An injection of Cytopoint captures and eliminates the messenger molecules that would trigger the itch in dogs.  The injection can be repeated as needed, about every 4 weeks,  and has no side effects!  This drug may have to build up in the body a little, because experience has shown that the second shot is more effective than the first, and the third shot bring is up to its maximum effectiveness.  The first shot may take about 4 days to start working, so you may need to start with 4-5 days of Apoquel while the shot is getting into the system.  Once again, for people who like specifics, please click on the next video.

For more information, please go to this web site: