If you’ve ever had an allergic reaction resulting in a skin rash, you know how uncomfortable that can be. Dogs can also suffer from the same condition among other health concerns, which can result in raw skin and hair loss from excessive scratching. Treatments for dogs with allergies can include changing their diet and medications such as Prednisone or Benadryl. A new medicine for allergic dermatitis has now entered the treatment arsenal. Apoquel has been approved for treatment of dogs suffering from allergies as young as one old. Apoquel comes in tablet form. The course of treatment is two weeks. Dosage begins with two pills a day then decreases to once daily. Improvement is usually seen within 48 hours of the first dose. Allergic dermatitis can be caused by a myriad of courses including dust mites, pollens, or molds that cause the body to produce substances called cytokines. The cytokine called IL-31 activates an enzyme called Janus kinase. The enzyme causes reactions such as skin inflammation and itchy skin. The new medication works by inhibiting this Janus kinase. After three years of testing, Apoquel has been deemed safe. However, as with any medication, there could be side effects with some individuals. Side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, and/or loss of appetite. Luckily, these symptoms tend to be mild and eventually pass with continued use. The allergy solution isn’t solved by the medication only. Owners need to make lifestyle adjustments in order to minimize their dogs’ exposure to allergens. It is also important to keep an eye out for any secondary bacterial and yeast infection that may accompany dog allergic skins reactions. For dogs with chronic skin issues, consider making an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist for specialized care.