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got an itchy dog? you need to read this!

Cytopoint Treatment For Allergies In Dogs | Petplan Pet Insurance

Got a pup with an itch that can't be scratched? Great news: a novel, non-pharmaceutical pruritus treatment has been approved in the U.S., promising to relieve itching in millions of dogs.

Itching For Relief

Itchy dogs pose a frustrating clinical challenge for veterinarians. Seasonal allergies, or atopic dermatitis, affect an estimated 10% of all dogs. While the exact cause is unknown, genetics are thought to play a major role in determining if your dog suffers from recurrent itching and scratching.

Canine atopy or the red, burning, itchy skin that accompanies pollen, mold, dust mite, or other environmental allergens, is one of the leading reasons pet parents rush their dog to the veterinarian. Most dogs experience worsening symptoms over time, leading to pain and discomfort, skin infections, and diminished quality of life. Allergic dogs don’t sleep well, constantly lick and chew, and lose interest in play and interaction.

In short, dogs suffering from skin allergies are miserable.  

Conventional Allergy Treatments: The Usual Scratch

Treatment has traditionally been aimed at reducing exposure to allergens (good luck) and a wide variety of anti-inflammatory medications, nutritional supplements, bathing techniques, and foods. Hypo- or de-sensitization injections helped about half of treated canines. If we could control 70% to 80% of a pet’s itching, that was considered a win.

For serious cases, veterinarians would often turn to corticosteroids, potent drugs that carry side effects and risks we’d rather reserve for severe symptoms. Regardless of treatment combinations and clever formulations, canine allergic dermatitis remained a tremendous challenge.

New Allergy Treatment For Dogs | Petplan Pet Insurance

But now, a new drug that works in an innovative way has arrived to offer relief for itchy dogs.

Cytopoint Treatment For Dogs

The drug is called Cytopoint, from the pet pharmaceutical company Zoetis. Cytopoint isn’t a drug; it’s a biological therapy. It contains engineered antibodies, the cells the body uses to fight injections, to target and neutralize a signal protein that induces itching. In simplest terms, Cytopoint stops the itch signaling protein from reaching the brain, reducing or eliminating the itch-scratch cycle.

This is important because it’s the incessant scratching that damages the skin and leads to complications (and keeps your dog up all night chewing). If the scratching ceases, the skin can heal.

The manufacturer has shown a single subcutaneous injection of Cytopoint can relive itching in dogs for four to eight weeks. The treatment begins working within a day, and research demonstrates skin healing begins within a week. The safety studies submitted for FDA approval showed a wide safety margin with no side effects reported other than occasional injection site discomfort. Cytopoint was tested in combination with steroids, antihistamines, antibiotics, parasiticides, antifungals, vaccines, and many more medications without any observed interactions or adverse events.*

Even more exciting, Cytopoint doesn’t suppress the immune system, alter hormones, and potentially damage the liver the way corticosteroids could.

The manufacturer claims Cytopoint is similar to treating atopy with steroids without the potentially dangerous side effects. The treatment is naturally broken down and recycled by the body, avoiding excretion by the kidneys and liver like most medications, especially steroids. If these claims hold up in rigorous real-world usage, that’s a huge breakthrough in my book.

If your dog suffers from atopic dermatitis, it’s worth asking your veterinarian about this new treatment prior to allergy season. In clinical trials, about 70% to 80% of pet parents reported less itching and scratching, especially during the first four weeks.

Did you know? Petplan pet insurance covers medications such as Cytopoint for pets as standard on all plans. For a free quote, click here

These initial results are encouraging; I’m eager to see how the treatment works in larger populations of dogs under diverse environmental conditions. If Cytopoint performs as well as claimed, this could be a game changer in the management of canine atopic dermatitis.              

* Cytopoint was not tested in pregnant, lactating, or breeding animals. It contains no preservatives.

Related Reading: How honey can help dogs with allergies

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Posted by Jennifer
on October 04 2017 11:50

My girl Olive got the shot yesterday after trying everything else possible. Itching already seems better. But now that I'm reading about it I'm nervous, it shows the study on side effects was only 7 months long before it went to market. Which means they don't know long term effects of this product? So that is scary and it'll be a year or more until we hear this is not safe just like they are now doing with apoquel leading to cancer now. I just want my girl to be comfortable. I really hope something is found soon

Posted by Kim Schultz
on September 23 2017 11:35

My dog just started using Cytopoint yesterday for her itch. She has seasonal allergies and she gets them really bad, she is on a number of medications now to help her with the symptoms. Those medications lessened the other symptoms but doesn't do much at all if any for the itch. Each year she gets a skin infection from constant chewing. She has figured out a way to get to her feet with a cone on. So I use a muzzle right now but she is so depressed with it on, I have to give her good size breaks and take it off for awhile so she is not constantly depressed about it. It is miserable when you cannot get to an itch. All over her body can be itchy, but not as bad with some of her medications but still REALLY BAD on her legs and feet. When I give her a break from the muzzle she is right back at them. The cytopoint injection was late yesterday morning. When the muzzle is off I am observing her, she is going after herself alot less than she has been but is still interested sometimes at going at her feet and legs. It has not been a full 24 hours but there seems to be much change in her. After so many medications she been taking, and this is the 3rd time now she has had seasonal allergies, I notice a change with this injection. I don't trust her yet though and must remember to keep close eye on her when the muzzle is off because sometimes I forget and then would catch her at her feet and wonder how long she been chewing them. They are worse this year then they ever been and they were bad enough the other times she had seasonal allergies. Since this is new to me and this has been an everyday struggle with her each year, and the other meds would not really even touch that itch, I am cautious that this might not work. But dr really talked it up and the vet techs, and they said people hardly ever complain about the dogs itch on this. But as I've said, there already seems to be a change in her. We will wait and see how this does. Dr speaks of this injection as having no side effects and being okay to take with her other meds she takes for seasonal allergies. I'm a little nervous now that I've looked up this injection online as many sites say it is a newer product. I usually like them to be out awhile and good reviews on it before I would test it on my dog. But I've been with this vet clinic now for several years and trust their word. My vet says this is actually good on most dogs for 8 weeks. But we will see on that. My dog usually has seasonal allergies for about 2 1/2 months though. We started this late in as she has had this nearly a month and a half already for this year. So she is really bad at this point. Looking for a miracle here.

Posted by Kandi Byrd
on August 29 2017 08:21

Today is week 6 post cytopoint injection and out biting, itching, licking, chewing dog is a completely different animal! His itching started to subside about 24 hours after the injection... his appetite returned, he's been interacting with family and our other dog like a puppy! We have spent THOUSANDS of dollars over the last 5 years on creams, sprays, wipes, food shampoo as, holistic treatment, steroids and even apoquel, nothing worked Then our vet told us about the injection...it's been a game changer for life!!!!

Posted by Robert Pepper
on August 10 2017 20:26

My 16 year old baby got her first shot of Cytopoint on June 6th..Just today..8 weeks later got another..No side effects, immediate results..No interactions with Vetmedin for Congestive Heart Failure.. I agree, "miracle" drug..94 dollars for injection, but well worth it to see her more peaceful... Thanks

Posted by Esme Buell
on August 09 2017 13:16

I got this injection for my dog back in June. $58, don't know dosage for dog... 11 lb Maltese. So far she has quit chewing feet, doesn't smell bad, lesions have gone away. But it hasn't stopped butt lick. Will have to address this with vet next visit. I am happy with medication, this website vet says it's similar to steriods w/o bad affects. Only thing I am concerned about is hair loss. Seems like my dog has less hair, but not noticing shedding on carpet, etc. She's a Maltese, so hair loss is not like with othr dogs-shedding. Also this allergy thing has been going on since 2012 or earlier. She is allergic to every weed in grass-environmental testing 2010, 2013 --foods:pork, egg, flax, kelp, sweet potatoes, and any food that is green, no raw meats, no dairy or flour. This is the best she has been in years. No yeast infections in ears or on body. No chewing of feet constantly, and she smells great.

Posted by Patti Shay
on July 31 2017 13:57

My rescue dog (Jewels) was a mess when I adopted her over two years ago. Terrible skin, constant itching and butt scooting. Doggy dermatologist put her on apoquel (discontinued due to vomiting),several other drugs, special food and shampoos. NOTHING seemed to work until I took her to her regular vet last week and she got the "miracle" shot of Cytopoint. That first day I noticed a vast improvement. Has been 4 days now and still NO itchiness or scratching. Worth every penny to keep my furbaby comfortable. Will be great if it lasts for a couple months!! 🐶😍

Posted by Lisa Singleton
on July 30 2017 18:56

Long story short. One miserable dog... First Cytopoint injection yesterday... One happy dog! The injection worked almost immediately. Even if it was a little expensive (about $55), it was well worth it. I have NEVER seen results like this!

Posted by Cooper Connolly
on July 23 2017 19:55

My name is Cooper and for 4 years a suffered from constant itching, crusty skin lesions and restless sleep. I disliked spending time outdoors even when the weather was beautiful, the sun here in AZ was not my friend. I had a Holistic Vet that tried everything in the book and was even open to giving me a super low dose of prednisone to help with my discomfort. My super loving pet parent had to take me to a dermatologist for a separate issue and that is where she found out about Cytopoint. I went back a week later for the injection and the results were amazing, I could feel it working almost as soon as I got back into the car and by the time I hot home I was itch-free. I am not kidding you! I have had 3 more trips to the vet in the last 6 months and I love my life now! I like being outside, I sleep soundly through the night, I have no more skin lesion and even have a beautiful soft coat, something I haven't had in 4 years. You have to try this Cytopoint! I have had zero, nil, nada ill side effects what so ever. I know everyone is different but if you are suffering like I was, it's worth a shot(pun intended). Good luck & Blessings to you and you pet parents...Cooper

Posted by Ruth Bjelke
on July 07 2017 19:27

I have a 12 year old brown and white Boston Terrier with skin allergies He has it all year round but worse in fall and spring. He has been on apoquel for years but when my Vet recommended this new drug we jumped on it. My dog also has siezure and take takes 125 K Bro Vet every day for them ( and still has about 2 mild ones a month). We have taken this new shot for 2 months. Seems not to work that great for us and the same day of the shot he has a siezure that evening. Really don't know if it just happens that he was going to have a siezure that day or the medicine help bring one on. My Vet wanted to try one more month so the medicine can get in his system good before we go back to the pill (which worked the best of any other things we have tried).. so that's where we are at. I have can not find any drug studies on this drug. So I'm just putting it out there so maybe they can build up some information on the new drug and siezure. I'm hoping this next month will tell his skin is less itchy and red and this new drug does work for him as well as most people post.

Posted by Laurie Suarez
on July 03 2017 16:19

My French Bull dog just got his first shot today. He has seasonal allergies and gets hives all over his sides. He has been on vetalog injections, Apoquel, Atopica etc. Long story short he lost his left ear from chronic ear infections and a bad surgeon. He had been on seven different antibiotics in less then a year! I decided to stop everything and build up his immune system. Herbs, vitamins, essential oils everything natural you can think of. No more itching!! He is doing great! The hives are the only thing left, so I'm hoping this new medication is the ticket. It's suppose to be non harming of organs or his immune system.

Posted by Marti D Jensen
on May 31 2017 22:55

I will attest to this injection!! Our Jethro had been on injections and pills constantly from November until February, when this medicine hit the market! He stopped itching right away. It is wonderful! A bit expensive if you have a large dog but well worth the cost.

Posted by Julie Scheels
on May 23 2017 17:49

My pit mix, who's allergic to everything just got his first shot yesterday. Fingers crossed, we really hope this is the answer, we've been struggling for 5 years now.

Posted by Kim spar
on May 23 2017 15:46

My standard poodle can't stop itching and biting himself during allery season. Benadryl, itch sprays and Apoquel did nothing for him. He got the cytopoint vaccine this afternoon and his itching is already decreasing! It's nothing short of a miracle lol.

Posted by Emma Whitley
on May 19 2017 20:05

Our white stafforshire terrier has suffered terribly with allergies, his feet, elbows, and arm pits are very red and itchy. Baths and feet soaks help but he licks and chews at night. Finally took him to the vet and they recommended cytopoint. Twenty four hours later, he has no itching and is not bright red like he usually is after spending the day rolling on the lawn. I keep my fingers crossed this lasts. Maybe we can all get a good nights sleep.

Posted by Andrea Dasilva
on May 18 2017 21:15

My rottweiler got her first shot today, fingers crossed that it works for her.....

Posted by Cathy clark
on May 15 2017 19:19

This MED has helped my Yorkie tremendously. She had a small benign tumor removed from her foot and she licked at the site until she had her foot and leg in a MED. Nothing was working until her vet recommended the cytopoint and now her leg is improving. The inflammation andcswellingbfrom the licking is way down and the hair is coming back! I am so thankful for this new medication I will get it for her as long as the vet is willing tongue it to her. Such an improvement!

Posted by Shannon ODonnell
on May 03 2017 12:18

My small dog has been having this shot for two months and I am happy to say that her itching has just about ceased completely, with no side effects. It's definitely worth the extra bit of expense.

Posted by Presley Garrett
on April 22 2017 00:48

Cytopoint works well on my dog but the injections are very expensive. Is there a pill form that I as a pet owner can purchase or is there a generic form that I can reccomend to my Vet.?

Posted by Carrie Lattas
on April 20 2017 18:09

This is helping my English bulldog. Yesterday we hit 8 weeks and still no itching. Before this she had to be in a cone because she would constantly scratch at her eyes and belly. 24 hours after her shot and her itching stopped. What a difference it has made for her and us. We felt so bad for her. It is quite costly and I am hoping it lasts longer then 8 weeks.

Posted by James S
on April 19 2017 15:49

I will discuss with my vet, but would anyone know if this treatment can be used in conjunction with keppra and pheno? When our golden was placed on these medications due to cluster seizures we were told that we cannot give him any anti allergy pills/antihistamines​.

Posted by Suz Wright
on April 16 2017 12:36

The most amazing treatment my lab Midnight as ever had for his seasonal allergies. He went from non stop rubbing, chewing, biting, and scratching himself to none of the above in less than 24 hours after his injection. I am so glad that he finally has a means to eliminate the misery of being itchy during his allergy season.

Posted by Carol Lynn
on April 04 2017 17:58

We've been taking our Yorkie to the Vet for several months, now, and he is still itching/scratching like before we took him. A friend texted me today to let me know that their dog had gotten the cytopoint injection and has almost quit scratching. I'm calling our Vet tomorrow and ask that they give this to Bailey. Thank you for posting all your info for helping our pets. Carol

Posted by Nancy Griseta
on April 04 2017 14:59

My shih-tzu has been getting this shot for several months now. We tried the pill form of Apoquel but it gave her diarrhea. She has absolutely no side effects from the shot.It does work extremely well to stop itching. However just as important to keep her itching and skin infections under control is washing her feet daily with Dawn dishwashing liquid and giving her a full bath every 2 to 3 days with skin guard KC antiseptic shampoo. The shampoo has to stay on her for 10 minutes. I put her in a plastic bag covered with a towel so she stays warm while she has to soak.

Posted by Buddy
on April 04 2017 14:25

Where can I purchase cytopoint and how much does it cost?

Posted by David Kayser
on April 04 2017 10:26

I just started this new biological treatment with my English Bulldog. 6 weeks in and it seems to be working. Hopefully 6 times a year does it, remains to be seen.

Posted by Linda Pawloski
on April 04 2017 10:23

The same manufacturer produces Apoquel which I've used for a couple of years for my skin infection allergic German shepherd. It has been very successful although costly. What is the difference other than method of treatment and a vet visit with this injectable?

Posted by George Jetson
on April 04 2017 10:17

No, Apoquel inhibits the production at the source of the substance that caused the itch. Cytopoint binds to the substance itself rendering it ineffective to produce the itching effect.

Posted by Brad Kirsch
on April 02 2017 11:19

Apoquel is a different drug, Cytopoint works differently. Note, Apoquel is effective for 12 hours; I was giving my dog a dose in the AM and again in the PM. Cytopoint works differently and hopefully lasts at least the four weeks claimed. If Cytopoint works longer than 4 weeks than it will probably work out cheaper than Apoquel. Note my dog has been on Apoquel for 3 years, and it is a wonder drug for him; although still effective not as effective as it once was.. I just had him start Cytopoint and we will see how it works.

Posted by jeanette Szulinski
on March 31 2017 12:03

Thanks so much for this info ..I am going to pass this along to my vet. I so wish that Cytopoint would work for Max. I would give any thing. Jeanie

Posted by Sarah Smith
on January 25 2017 21:53

Apoquel is a pill form of this, yes? A bit less expensive and has done wonders for my dog.

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