When it comes to allergies, most dog owners are looking for relief. That relief is often found with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. However, those treatments can have some serious side effects or they may not be as effective as you would hope. With the Cytopoint injection for dogs, there is a new treatment that has been shown to be safe and effective for the control of itchiness with seasonal allergies and works for up to 8 weeks.

What is the Cytopoint injection for dogs and how does it work?

Cytopoint is a licensed injectable medication for the treatment of allergies in dogs and is made by Zoetis™. It is approved for the reduction of clinical symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis in dogs in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Cytopoint is administered subcutaneously by your veterinarian which is more comfortable for dogs than intramuscular or intravenous injections.

Cytopoint's active ingredient is called lokivetmab. Lokivetmab works like a targeted blocker, finding and neutralizing a specific protein (called interleukin-31) that causes itchiness (pruritus) in dogs. When your dog has allergies, their body overproduces this protein, making them feel uncomfortable. Cytopoint helps by stopping that protein from sending those itchy signals, providing your dog with relief.

Think of Cytopoint as a type of vaccine. Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies to protect you from disease. With Cytopoint, the antibodies have already been produced and we are simply injecting them into the allergic dog. The injected antibodies then start targeting and dismantling the cause of the allergic itch.

What are the benefits of using Cytopoint in your dog?

Before the introduction of Cytopoint, the go-to treatment for canine allergies often involved the use of corticosteroids. While corticosteroids can be effective in controlling the symptoms, they are associated with a host of potential long-term side effects.

As a dog allergy shot, cytopoint works quickly. It starts working within 24 hours of administration and remains in the system for 4-8 weeks.

The other main benefit that dog owners appreciate is not having to administer daily medications or remember when to give them. With Cytopoint, a single injection can provide relief for up to 8 weeks.

How effective is Cytopoint in dogs?

Additionally, clinical studies have revealed that Cytopoint is 73-88% effective in relieving the itch that is due to allergies. This aligns with what we have noticed at our animal hospital since using Cytopoint for many years. The vast majority of dogs respond very well and owners have been pleased with its effects.

What are the side effects of Cytopoint for dogs?

The most common side effect in dogs after receiving the injection is lethargy and it is usually short-lived. Some dogs have experienced side effects such as

  • Vomiting
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Painful at the injection site
  • Urinary incontinence

These are uncommon side-effects but dog owners should be aware should their dog show symptoms after receiving the Cytopoint injection. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to contact your veterinarian for advice.

How much does the Cytopoint injection cost for dogs?

The cost of the Cytopoint injection for dogs can vary depending on factors such as the size of the dog and the location of your veterinary clinic. On average, a single injection can cost around $50-$200.


What if the Cytopoint injection doesn't work for my dog's allergies?

If your dog is still experiencing symptoms after receiving the Cytopoint injection, it is important to speak with your veterinarian. Other underlying causes of the allergies may need to be addressed. A detailed dermatological examination can help identify secondary infections, parasites, and other contributing factors to pruritus. The Cytopoint injection for dogs is not a cure-all and some dogs may still require additional treatments for their allergies.

Can Cytopoint be combined with other allergy medications?

Yes, research studies have revealed that Cytopoint is safe to be administered alongside other anti-allergy therapies such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants (Atopica ®), or Apoquel ®.

Is the Cytopoint injection right for my dog?

If your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies and you are looking for an alternative to corticosteroids or immunosuppressants, the Cytopoint injection for dogs may be right for you. It is important to talk to your veterinarian about the best treatment for your dog's allergies.

How quickly does Cytopoint work in dogs?

The onset of action and efficacy usually occurs within 24 hours of administration. There are some variations from dog to dog, however. For optimal results, it may be necessary to administer 2 or 3 injections before experiencing the maximum benefits.

What if Cytopoint stops working for my dog?

It is best to start by determining if there are other reasons for your dog to be itchy. These can include secondary infections, flea or mite infestation, or just that there is increased exposure to allergens.
In rare cases, however, cytopoint may lead to the development of temporary or long-lasting anti-drug antibodies. These antibodies may have no impact at all or potentially reduce the effectiveness of the therapy.

If you are a dog owner who is looking for an alternative to corticosteroids or immunosuppressants for your dog's allergies, the Cytopoint dog allergy shot may be the right choice. The injection starts working within 24 hours and remains in the system for 4-8 weeks. Cytopoint can be administered alongside other anti-allergy therapies and is safe for dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about whether cytopoint is right for your dog's allergies.