Welcome to our in-depth exploration of a critical question for dog owners: “Can Dogs Stay on Apoquel Tablets (Oclacitinib) Long Term?Apoquel has emerged as a popular solution for managing canine allergies and dermatitis, offering relief from itching and inflammation.

In this blog, we delve into the long-term implications of using Apoquel, balancing efficacy and safety to provide a comprehensive understanding for pet owners seeking the best for their furry companions.

Can Dogs Stay on Apoquel Tablets Long Term?

Risk & Side Effects Of Using Apoquel Medication Long-Term In Dogs

The short answer is that, under veterinary supervision, dogs can stay on Apoquel long-term. However, it’s essential to consider each dog’s medical history and monitor them for any potential side effects.

Long-term use of Apoquel should be a carefully weighed decision made in collaboration with your veterinarian.

Understanding Apoquel: What It Is and How It Works

Apoquel (Oclacitinib) represents a significant advancement in veterinary medicine for managing canine allergies and dermatitis. It is classified as a selective Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. To fully appreciate its role, it’s essential to understand the underlying biology it targets.

The Science Behind Apoquel

  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors: JAKs are enzymes that play a crucial role in the signaling pathways of cells, particularly in the immune system. By inhibiting these enzymes, Apoquel effectively disrupts the pathway leading to inflammation and itching.
  • Targeted Action: Unlike broad-spectrum steroids, Apoquel targets specific JAK enzymes, namely JAK1 and JAK3. This targeted approach helps in reducing the itch and inflammation associated with allergic skin disease with a lower risk of side effects that are common with steroids.

Benefits Over Traditional Treatments

  • Rapid Relief: Apoquel begins to alleviate itching within 4 hours and effectively controls it within 24 hours.
  • Reduced Side Effects: Traditional steroids can cause a range of side effects like increased thirst and hunger, urinary incontinence, and potential long-term impacts on organs. Apoquel minimizes these risks, making it a safer option for long-term use.

Long-Term Use of Apoquel: Efficacy and Safety

The long-term management of allergies in dogs using Apoquel has been a subject of extensive research and clinical studies.

Risk & Side Effects Of Using Apoquel Medication Long-Term In Dogs

Efficacy in Long-Term Management

  • Consistent Relief: Studies have shown that Apoquel maintains its efficacy over extended periods. Dogs on long-term treatment typically experience consistent relief from symptoms.
  • Quality of Life: By controlling symptoms effectively, Apoquel significantly improves the quality of life for dogs suffering from chronic allergies.

Safety Profile

  • Tolerability: The majority of dogs tolerate Apoquel well over extended periods. The incidence of side effects is notably lower than with long-term steroid use.
  • Monitoring for Side Effects: While safer than steroids, Apoquel is not without risks. Potential side effects include an increased risk of developing infections and a potential impact on the immune system.
  • Regular Health Checks: Vets generally recommend regular check-ups and blood tests for dogs on long-term Apoquel treatment. This monitoring is crucial to detect any adverse effects early and adjust treatment as necessary.

Practical Considerations

  • Veterinarian Guidance: Deciding on long-term treatment with Apoquel should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. They will consider the dog’s overall health, allergy severity, and response to other treatments before recommending Apoquel.
  • Dosage and Administration: The dosage of Apoquel is typically determined based on the dog’s weight and specific condition. It’s crucial to follow the vet’s prescription and not to adjust the dosage without consulting them.
  • Cost and Accessibility: As a specialized medication, Apoquel can be more expensive than traditional allergy treatments. However, the cost must be weighed against the quality of life improvements and the potential reduction in side effects.

Veterinarian Insights: When to Use Apoquel Long Term


Veterinarians typically recommend long-term use of Apoquel in cases where seasonal allergies become year-round issues, or when other treatments have failed. The key is a balanced approach – managing symptoms effectively while minimizing potential side effects.

Alternatives to Long-Term Apoquel Treatment

While Apoquel is an effective treatment for many dogs with allergies and dermatitis, it’s not the only option available. Understanding the range of alternatives can help pet owners make informed decisions about their dog’s health.

Here, we explore various alternatives to long-term Apoquel treatment, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Dietary Changes

  • Hypoallergenic Diets: Allergies in dogs can often be food-related. Switching to a hypoallergenic diet can help identify and eliminate allergens from a dog’s diet.
  • Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids, found in fish oil and some plant oils, can help reduce skin inflammation and improve coat health.
  • Probiotics: Adding probiotics to a dog’s diet can aid in maintaining a healthy gut flora, which is crucial for overall health and can impact skin conditions.


  • Quercetin: Known as a natural antihistamine, quercetin can help reduce allergic reactions.
  • Bromelain and Papain: These enzymes, often used in combination with quercetin, can enhance its effectiveness and reduce inflammation.

Topical Treatments

  • Medicated Shampoos: Shampoos containing ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, or hydrocortisone can provide relief from itching and help soothe inflamed skin.
  • Topical Sprays and Creams: These can offer immediate relief from itching and are useful for localized skin issues.

Other Medications

  • Steroids: While effective at reducing inflammation and itching, steroids are generally not recommended for long-term use due to potential side effects like increased thirst, hunger, and the risk of infections.
  • Antihistamines: Medications like Benadryl can be used to control symptoms, but their efficacy varies widely among individual dogs.


  • Allergy Shots: Customized to each dog, allergy shots can gradually desensitize the immune system to specific allergens.
  • Oral Immunotherapy: An alternative to injections, this involves administering small doses of allergens orally.

Holistic and Natural Approaches

  • Acupuncture and Herbal Remedies: Some pet owners opt for holistic treatments like acupuncture or herbal remedies, which can sometimes alleviate allergy symptoms.

Considerations When Choosing an Alternative

  • Effectiveness: Not all alternatives will work for every dog. The effectiveness can depend on the dog’s specific allergies and overall health.
  • Side Effects: Each treatment comes with its potential side effects. It’s essential to monitor the dog’s reaction to any new treatment.
  • Veterinarian Guidance: Always consult with a veterinarian before trying a new treatment. They can provide guidance based on the dog’s medical history and current health status.

Exploring alternatives to long-term Apoquel treatment requires a balanced approach, considering the specific needs and health condition of each dog.

Whether it’s through dietary changes, supplements, topical treatments, other medications, or holistic approaches, each option offers its unique benefits and potential drawbacks.

Collaboration with a veterinarian is crucial in determining the most suitable and effective treatment plan for your dog’s allergies, ensuring their comfort and well-being.


In conclusion, Apoquel can be a lifesaver for dogs with chronic allergies, offering effective relief from discomfort and improving their quality of life. Long-term use of Apoquel under veterinary guidance is generally safe, but it is crucial to monitor your dog’s health regularly and be aware of potential side effects.

Alternative treatments are available, and what works best depends on the individual dog’s needs and health status. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate course of action for your pet.

Remember, the goal is to ensure a happy, healthy life for your furry friend, with minimal discomfort and maximum joy.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close X

Try The Best Rated Dog Food On Amazon

Ancient grains like grain sorghum, millet, quinoa and chia seed are naturally high in fiber and rich in protein. Unchanged for thousands of years, different grains provide various nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega fatty acids.