I know this thread has been dormant for over a year, but I just came across it.
I took my dog to the vet today for another issue, but we talked aboiut my dog's scratching/licking/etc. He (the dog...not the vet) has been doing A LOT of scratching and licking lately, to the point where we were telling him to stop so often, we should have made a recording and saved our breaths. He's got a bunch of hot spots on his back.
The vet gave us a prescription for apoquel and his assistant gave my dog a tablet before we left their office. I took him home, then we had to leave him alone while we went to town for a few hours. But, since we've been home tonight, he has done VERY LITTLE licking or scratching. We are so happy with the results so far.
I see concerns about apoquel and will heed them. As this is a much more pricey option than an over-the-counter "human" drug, I'll be giving loratadine a go after this prescription runs out. I take it myself, so I've always got some on hand. And a 365-day supply from Costco is almost dirt cheap, compared to the fortune we'd be forking out for the Claratin brand name.
I saw the comment of the person who started this thread saying they thought their vet's recommendation of 15mg for a 45 lb dog seemed high. Looking online at Vetinfo.com, they suggest .12-.22 mg per 10 lbs. For my 86 lb GSD at .22mg/lb, that comes out to the same dosage you're giving a dog half the weight. The only side effect they list is the possibility of the dog being overly drowsy. How do you tell that in a dog? They're sleeping most of the day as it is.
Anyway, like I said, I'll give loratadine a try after the prescription runs out. I hope it works as well as apoquel.