Even if you do not see a flea on your dog he/she may have flea allergy dermatitis. If your dog has been itchy every summer FAD is probably the reason. Tests can be done on your dog and probably the results will be dermatitis from flea bites. Fleas do not stay on the dog except for when they are feeding. During the flea’s feeding a small amount of saliva will be injected into the dogs skin. This saliva is the usual allergen which causes the the intensely itchy skin. A single flea bite can cause this problem for up to a week and you may never see a flea on your animal.
Are Some Breeds of Dogs More Prone to Allergic Fleas?
All dogs are equally susceptible to getting fleas but smaller dogs are at risk of developing a life threatening anemia because of their size so a flea infestation can be more dangerous for them.
How is Flea Allergy Dermatitis Diagnosed?
Itching and hair loss in the region from the middle of the back to the tail base and down the rear legs (the flea triangle) is often associated with FAD. Intradermal allergy tests (skin tests similar to those performed in humans) the test involves injection of a small amount of the suspected allergen under the surface of the skin. After about 20 minutes the area is examined for a reaction at the site. Specialized blood tests can confirm flea allergy in your dog.
What Flea Treatment is Best for Your Dog?
Fleas may be small in size, but they can cause your dog to experience excessive itching, hot spots, and skin infections. In general, these conditions can be prevented by using a flea control preventative. Don’t let your dog suffer from an uncomfortable flea infestation. Help remove fleas on your dog and prevent future infestations by using the variety of available flea control products.
Is Desensitization an Option?
There are allergy shots like we used in people, that use the data from the intradermal or serotologic testing to create a custom blend that helps desensitize the immune system to those allergens your dog is sensitive to. If your pet is always scratching, and his or her skin is red and smelly and there is hair loss, see your veterinarian. Allergies are one cause of skin disease in your pet, and your veterinarian will be able to determine if the skin disease is atopy, FAD, or some other disease and help your pet feel better.
Figuring out what flea and tick prevention to use for your pet is not a one size fits all solution. Consult Dr. Steffen to figure out which treatment is best for your pet!
Contact us (513-831-3030) to learn more about (FAD) Flea Allergy Dermatitis!
Gwendolyn Steffen DVM is a full-service veterinary medical facility offering both traditional and alternative veterinary medicine. Our goal is to give your pet a long, happy, and healthy life. Dr. Gwendolyn Steffen and her professional staff seek to provide the best possible medical care, surgical care, and dental care for your pets.
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