Back to Apoquel Article

The most common Apoquel side effects that pet owners describe to me are inflammation of the paws and an increased number of benign skin tumors (warts).

Two things might help with those paw problems (intertriginous dermatitis) – keeping the dogs cool (to minimize paw sweating) and keeping the dog’s feet clean. Similar problems occur in humans when their immune systems have been somewhat weakened. (ref).

As to the warts (papillomas) that sometimes increase in frequency and size in dogs taking Apoquel, that too is the result of the immunosuppressive qualities of the medication. When it happens, it is probably due to the interplay of a prior papillomas virus infection your pet experienced, along with its specific immune system makeup (genetics) as well as the sub-strain of papillomas virus causing the growths.

No one has studied the problem in dogs; but that is the case in humans and laboratory animals that have been studies. (ref)

It is not unusual for elderly pets that are not on medications to develop warts - particularly on their face, eyelids, ears and extremities. On Apoquel, keep an eye on those bumps and tags for growth rate and color change. Your vet can usually remove them with a hand held cautery and topical anesthetic when he/she feels it is desirable. For that procedure, some pets do better under a mild tranquilizer as well.