Antibiotics are those drugs that are used for the treatment of infectious diseases (caused by bacteria: single “bacterium”) of ears, eyes, urinary tract, respiratory tract, digestive system, liver, kidneys, in fact, for the whole body parts.

Apoquel contains an active ingredient “Oclacitinib maleate” which is an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved drug for the relief of itchy skin in dogs.

Basically, oclacitinib is an immunosuppressant medication that works by suppressing the body’s immune system (defense system).

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Is Apoquel for Dogs an Antibacterial Medication?

A big NO! Apoquel belongs to immunosuppressants and doesn’t treat the bacterial infections of dogs, cats, or any other animal.

It’s the best treatment available for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) at the moment.

Bacteria is present everywhere even though inside a dog’s body. Germs of bacteria are present in a dog’s oral cavity (that may cause tooth infection), digestive system, the skin surface (especially staphylococcus bacteria that cause staph infection in dogs), urinary tract, environment, food, toys, floor, in fact, everywhere.

A dog’s immune system (immunity) helps him against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful microbes.

If a body’s defense system is weak, because of any reason that could be medications (such as steroid or immunosuppressant treatment), injury, etc the chances of bacteria grow become high.

So if the immune system fails to restrict the over-replicating germs (cell), a bacterial infection may develop.

Hence, antibiotics are the medicines used for controlling the bacterial cell’s replication and treatment.

Broad-spectrum Antibiotics for Dogs

There are huge numbers of generic (antibacterial) drugs available in the market (drug stores). But only a few are FDA-approved for the animals i.e. dogs.

List of strong antibiotics for the bacterial infections of dogs;


It is a broad-spectrum, FDA-approved medication that is effective against a broad range of bacterial infections of teeth, urinary tract, respiratory tracts, pneumonia, and soft tissues.

Cefpodoxime proxetil

A third-generation cephalosporin (a class of antibiotics) drug, FDA-approved for pets, and used for the treatment of respiratory tract infections, soft tissue infections, including wounds and abscesses.


Amoxicillin trihydrate

It treats a broad variety of bacterial infections in pets.

Amoxicillin trihydrate and Clavulanic acid combination

It is effective against resistant bacteria (whose cell walls don’t allow penicillins type antibiotics i.e. ” amoxicillin” to enter inside the cell and destroy it).


It belongs to fluoroquinolones (a class of antibiotics) and is useful in treating a big range of infectious diseases. It treats bacterial infections of the ears, eyes, soft tissues, urinary tracts, paws, etc.


A cephalosporin antibiotic that is used to treat soft tissue infections in humans and animals.


It’s a strong (powerful) antibiotic medication that is available in injection form. Cefovecin comes with the brand name “Convenia” and treats infections effectively.


A broad-spectrum antibiotic is used to treat all kinds of gram-positive and gram-negative

bacteria and the infectious diseases caused by them.

Can Apoquel Cause Infections

The short answer is Yes! Oclacitinib maleate suppresses the body’s defense system which fights against harmful germs cells (that could be bacteria, virus, fungi, or another microbe). Hence increases the chances of developing an infectious disease.

This is the number one reason that veterinarians don’t suggest Oclacitinib medications for dogs that are under 1 year old (below 12 months of age). For pooches that are under twelve months and facing itching skin, you should try to think about Apoquel alternatives.

Summary [Conclusion]

Apoquel doesn’t treat bacterial infections in dogs. It’s an immunosuppressant used to treat atopic dermatitis (a skin allergic disorder). Antibiotics are used to treat infectious diseases that are caused by bacteria. Apoquel may increase the risk of developing an infection. Oclactinib maleate with antibiotics is not recommended.


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