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Calling All Itchy Pets: August is Itchy Pet Awareness Month!

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In 2019, Zoetis Petcare launched Itchy Pet Awareness Month, recognized each year in August, in order to help bring awareness to the millions of pets with skin disease and to provide resources for pet owners and veterinarians to identify and manage pet itch.

Skin allergy is consistently among the top reasons that pets visit the veterinarian1 and itch is the number one reason pet owners seek veterinary care2. Frequent scratching due to allergic itch can damage the bond between pets and their owners by interfering with normal activities and increasing stress in pets themselves3. Pet owners may experience stress, anxiety, and frustration about their pet’s itch, particularly when they know their pet is uncomfortable but aren’t quite sure how to help. The goal of Itchy Pet Awareness Month is to unite pet owners and veterinarians in managing itchy pets by empowering pet owners with the resources to identify signs of concern in their pets and get the veterinary care they need to provide rapid and lasting itch relief.

Itchy Pet Awareness Month exemplifies Zoetis’ dedication to developing innovative tools and treatments to help itchy pets and their owners get the relief they desperately need. Among the numerous resources available online and in the veterinary clinic are:

  • Pet owner resources to help identify signs of allergic itch in their pets, make a veterinary appointment for evaluation, and communicate effectively with their veterinarian to help in the diagnosis and management of itch. You can find them at
  • Veterinarian and clinic staff resources to enhance collaboration with pet owners to identify, diagnose, treat, and monitor allergic itch at
  • Itchy Pet Awareness Month Toolkit for veterinary practices, which helps your veterinarian spread the word to you and other pet owners through e-mail, social media, and posters for the clinic waiting room.

Zoetis also brings two best-in-class treatment options for dogs with allergic itch that you can talk with your veterinarian about: APOQUEL (oclacitinib tablet) and CYTOPOINT. APOQUEL is a prescription oral medication that treats itch (pruritus) and inflammation in dogs with allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. CYTOPOINT is an injection given by your veterinarian every 4-8 weeks that treats itch in dogs with allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.

  • APOQUEL starts relieving allergic dog itch within 4 hours4, and controls it within 24 hours.5 This makes it ideal as a first-line treatment to get itch under control quickly and provides your veterinarian an option to stop and start itch control during the diagnostic workup to identify the underlying cause of itch in your dog. The most common side-effects of APOQUEL in a short term study were vomiting and diarrhea. 5
  • CYTOPOINT is an injectable treatment option that may further reduce  stress for your itchy allergic dog and for you as the owner because it is given in the veterinary clinic. CYTOPOINT can reduce a dog owner’s burden of care because they do not need to worry about giving a medication at home. In fact, results of a study of dogs with atopic dermatitis given a CYTOPOINT® injection showed that owner quality of life scores more than doubled within 7 days, showing how owners’ lives are improved when their pets are less itchy, especially if this treatment does not increase owner burden of care.6

This August during Itchy Pet Awareness Month – and anytime you have concerns or questions – talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s itch. Your veterinarian will work with you and your pet to see if your pet’s itch needs treatment, schedule a safe and fear free examination to evaluate your pet, and determine an effective treatment and monitoring plan that minimizes stress and maximizes relief.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: APOQUEL. Do not use APOQUEL in dogs less than 12 months of age or those with serious infections. APOQUEL may increase the chances of developing serious infections and may cause existing parasitic skin infestations or pre-existing cancers to get worse. APOQUEL has not been tested in dogs receiving some medications including some commonly used to treat skin conditions such as corticosteroids and cyclosporines. Do not use in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs. Most common side effects are vomiting and diarrhea. APOQUEL has been used safely with many common medications including parasiticides, antibiotics and vaccines.

See full Prescribing Information at

CYTOPOINT has been shown to be effective for the treatment of dogs against allergic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.


  1. . Nationwide Press Release. Most common medical conditions that prompt veterinary visits. Nationwide. March 14 2018. Retrieved December 30th 2018 from:
  2. Data on file. Zoetis Pruritus Diary Study Wave 2, 2015, Zoetis Inc.
  3. Park S-H et al. Elevated cortisol content in dog hair with atopic dermatitis. Japanese Journal of Vet Res 2016;64(2):123-129.
  4. Gadeyne C, et al. Efficacy of oclacitinib (APOQUEL®) Vet Dermatol. 2014 Dec;25(6):512-8.
  5. Cosgrove SB, et al. Efficacy and safety of oclacitinib for the control of pruritus and associated skin lesions in dogs with canine allergic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. 2013 Oct;24(5):479-e114.
  6. Data on file. Study Report No. 17SORDER-01-01, Zoetis Inc.

This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.

This article is brought to you in collaboration with our friends at Zoetis Petcare. APQ-01042

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