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Dermatologic Indications for Pentoxifylline in Dogs with Dr. Kennis

Robert Kennis, DVM, DACVD, MS, Auburn University



In this episode, host Alyssa Watson, DVM, talks with Robert Kennis, DVM, DACVD, MS, about his recent Clinician’s Brief article, “Top 5 Dermatologic Indications for Pentoxifylline in Dogs.” This unique medication—once touted as a “miracle drug” and studied for treating atopy—has solidified its place in managing vasculitis and related conditions. Dr. Kennis reviews its many virtues, its minor baggage, and how he (and we) should use it.


Key Takeaways

  • Pentoxifylline is in the same class as caffeine and can have similar side effects—the most common side effect is vomiting, followed by diarrhea. However, it seems to be very well tolerated.
  • There are no known drug interactions. It is commonly used with steroids, antibiotics, and antipruritic medications. 
  • Pentoxifylline also has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It helps to decrease clot formation, improve circulation, and enhance wound healing.
  • There is a fairly broad dosing range for pentoxifylline: typically 10-30 mg/kg twice a day to three times a day. 
  • 5 common uses of pentoxifylline in veterinary dermatology discussed in this episode are cutaneous vasculitis, canine familial dermatomyositis, other ischemic dermatopathies, allergic contact dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis. There is so much covered in this episode, you’ll just have to listen to hear it all!

About Our Guest

Robert Kennis, DVM, DACVD, MS, is a professor at Auburn University. He earned his DVM from and completed a residency at Michigan State University. Dr. Kennis earned his MS in veterinary immunology from Texas A&M University. He is past president of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology and has presented numerous continuing education seminars at the state, national, and international levels. Dr. Kennis has received the Pfizer Distinguished Teacher award at both Auburn University and Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Achievement award. His research interests include food allergy, endocrine alopecia, and feline bacterial infections.

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The Team:

  • Alyssa Watson, DVM - Host
  • Alexis Ussery - Producer & Digital Content Coordinator
  • Randall Stupka - Podcast Production & Sound Editing
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