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Dogs Health

New Allergy Medications for Pets – A Boon or a Toss-Up?

Allergy Medications for Pets

For pet owners, itchy companions can be a source of frustration and worry. Constant scratching, licking, and irritation can take a toll on both pet and owner. Luckily, we’ve been seeing new allergy medications for pets are effective, safer than traditional methods and easier to administer. But, as with any new medication, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before diving in.

The Allergy Arsenal Expands

If you’ve ever had a dog with severe allergic reactions, you already know that pet allergies have traditionally been managed with:


These classics work by blocking histamine, a compound released during allergic reactions that causes itching and inflammation. While effective for mild allergies, drowsiness can be a side effect.


These powerful medications suppress the immune system, reducing inflammation and itching. However, long-term use can lead to serious side effects. This includes panting, vomiting, increased appetite (leading to weight gain, which makes them feel worse), increased thirst, lethargy and poor wound healing. We also see major personality changes and a tendency towards aggression.

Natural Remedies

While helpful, they don’t always resolve the problem. One of the more effective natural remedies that we’ve used is DERMagic. However, it’s much more effective against yeast overgrowth.

The new wave of allergy medications for pets offers some distinct advantages


These medications, like Apoquel for dogs and Lokivetmab (Cytopoint), target specific pathways in the immune system involved in the allergic response. This can lead to faster relief and potentially fewer side effects compared to corticosteroids. The medications work by inactivating an inflammatory protein that causes itchiness. They are effective for 4-8 weeks, but they are not without risks…


These medications, still under development, aim to modulate the immune system for long-term allergy control. Think of them as allergy “rewiring” for the future. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Tetracycline and niacinamide: Tetracyclines can inhibit lymphocyte blastogenic transformation and antibody production. Niacinamide blocks histamine release.
  • Pentoxifylline: Pentoxifylline can have a range of immunologic and rheological effects. It has a good safety profile but is not suitable for acute flares. It may be best suited as adjunctive therapy with medications, such as glucocorticoids, in chronic conditions
  • CpG oligodeoxynucleotides or specific monoclonal antibodies: Co-administration of these immunomodulators might direct the immune response in the desired direction while calming the “cytokine storm” of active disease

Pros: Relief and Beyond

The new generation of allergy medications boasts some exciting benefits:

  • Faster Relief: Medications like Apoquel can bring relief within hours, offering quicker comfort for your pet.
  • Targeted Approach: Cytomodulators focus on specific parts of the immune system, potentially minimizing side effects seen with broader-spectrum medications.
  • Fewer Side Effects: Compared to traditional corticosteroids, these medications may come with a milder side effect profile.
  • Improved Quality of Life: With itch relief, pets can finally get some rest and enjoy a happier, more comfortable life.

Cons: Considerations Before Dosing

While promising, these new medications aren’t without drawbacks:

  • Cost: Cytomodulators tend to be pricier than traditional medications.
  • Novelty: These medications are still relatively new, and long-term effects require further study.
  • Veterinary Administration: Some medications require injection by a veterinarian, adding to costs and clinic visits.
  • Not a Cure: These medications manage symptoms, not the underlying allergy itself.

Who Benefits the Most?

Not all pets are created equal, and the best medication depends on the individual. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Pets with Moderate to Severe Allergies: For pets experiencing constant itching and discomfort, the faster relief and targeted approach of Cytomodulators can be a lifesaver.
  • Pets Prone to Corticosteroid Side Effects: If your pet is sensitive to traditional medications, Cytomodulators might offer a safer alternative.

The Road Ahead: A Brighter Future for Itchy Pets?

Discussion with your veterinarian is key. They can assess your pet’s specific needs and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.

A Note on Supplements for Allergies

There are tens of thousands of supplements on the market. Even something as simple as local raw honey has helped people and some dogs. There are creams, shampoos, conditioners, sprays and so much more avbailable, it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. The answer depends on your dog. Give a few of them a try.

Start with a premium diet (we love The Honest Kitchen). like the following natural supplements:

  • Solid Gold: Itch Relief with Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, Colostrum & Beta Glucan
  • Zesty Paws: Allergy & Immune Supplement for Dogs – With Omega 3, EpiCor & Colostrum
  • PetLab: Supports Yeast Production, Seasonal Allergies, Intermittent Itchiness, Gut & Digestive Health
  • Animal Essentials: 100% Organic Human Grade Herbs, Veterinarian Recommended Animal Wellness Tonics

But, keep in mind that every “cure” has a “consequence”. Know what to look for as side effects and be cautious bout using natural remedies without the knowledge of your veterinarian.

The arrival of new allergy medications marks a positive step forward in pet healthcare. With faster relief, potentially fewer side effects, and a more targeted approach, these medications offer hope for a more comfortable life for allergy-prone pets. The world of pet allergy medication is brimming with innovation, offering new options for tackling those pesky allergies.

Remember, open communication with your veterinarian is vital to navigate the world of pet allergy medications and find the best solution for your furry friend.

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