We all know the curse of the canine itch. If you’ve ever seen your dog go through this, then you know the agony they go through. Constant itching, bitching, and even loss of sleep go along with this problem.
So could the answer be Cytopoint?
What Is It?
Cytopoint is an injectable drug, so it can only be administered by a vet. This also means it’s going to be expensive.
As you may have read before on here, the #1 problem in dogs is itchy skin, and it’s unfortunately incurable by conventional medicine.
If you do decide to use this drug for your dog, then be prepared for them to use it for life.
Will It Work Though?
Often, our natural antibodies are what fight infectious diseases, from the common cold or flu viruses to more scary ones like parvo, the virus that can kill puppies.
Cytopoint is an artificially made antibody against a natural immune messenger molecule that both you and your pets have.
This messenger molecule is called IL-31.
“IL-31 acts on a broad range of immune-and non-immune cells and therefore possesses potential pleiotropic physiological functions, including regulating hematopoiesis and immune response, causing inflammatory bowel disease, airway hypersensitivity, and dermatitis.”
So it’s main purpose is to help fight the bad guys…
That should be a good thing, right?
But Is It Safe?
To first speak of safety, Apoquel (another drug designed to help fight the itch) wasn’t deemed safe for dogs under one year of age. So what about Cytopoint?
It’s getting a lot of press as a well-designed immune tweaking antibody that’s getting results fairly quickly.
“Dr. Stokking: Young atopic dogs under a year of age are a patient population where there really aren’t any other choices that are beneficial. APOQUEL is not labeled for dogs less than one year of age but we can use CYTOPOINT in these patients.”
So if your extremely young dog is having itching problems, they’re basically saying you have no other options to treat treat the itch through conventional medicine.
The study that brought Cytopoint to market was only carried out for seven months.
On laboratory Beagles. A breed that seems highly resistant to disease. Which means they aren’t fairly representative of the average dog, as these dogs never leave the lab.
“Laboratory Beagle dogs were randomized to three groups (n = 6M/6F per group) and administered seven monthly subcutaneous (SC) doses of 0.9% saline or lokivetmab (3.3, or 10 mg/kg)...Lokivetmab was well tolerated in laboratory dogs when administered subcutaneously at up to 10 mg/kg for seven monthly doses....Disclosure of interest: Authors received reimbursement, fees, funding or salary from Zoetis Inc., Florham Park, NJ, USA.”
So there was only one breed tested.
This doesn’t exactly represent the average dog, meaning it wouldn’t be varied enough to make an educated conclusion. The study only lasted barely over half a year, and considering how big of a problem this itching is, this wouldn’t suggest how long it may work for. Not only that,but there are no long term effects studied in order to know what may happen down the road if this drug is administered.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the safest option for your pet.
As we’ve said before, the best method of action is prevention. Vaccines have shown to result in itching shortly after being administered. If we prevent the problem before it begins, we won’t have to make these types of decisions about drugs that enter the market.