Home > Flea and Tick, Pet Care > Is Your Pet Allergic To Fleas?

Is Your Pet Allergic To Fleas?

Pet are usually sensitive to three types of allergies – food allergies, environmental allergies and skin allergies.  Barring the first two (the sources of which are numerous and hard to identify), the last named may be caused by fleas and is the most common condition affecting pets.  Many pet parents feel flummoxed when they see dogs scratching excessively even there are outwardly no fleas on dogs. They also believe flea bite causes dog flea allergy (called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD in medical parlance).  Quite the contrary.  Bites from adult fleas per se do not cause FAD.  The flea saliva on the skin is actually the cause of the allergy or sensitivity.

Dog Flea AllergyAdult fleas do bite but they fall off after laying eggs on pets, which they ‘shower’ on bedding and all places they frequent.  Practically, the saliva of just one or two fleas can cause FAD and make him miserably itchy and irritated even after the death of those fleas. The incidence of FAD increases during flea season, usually in the regions with warm and humid climates.

If your pet is allergic to fleas, the best solution is to keep him and his immediate environment flea free.  Frequent combing and bathing can alleviate the problem to a great extent. Other measures include using flea foggers and regular washing and changing of bedding.

Clinical sings of FAD include severe itching (medically referred to as pruritis), behavioral problems (neurodermatitis), hair loss, scabs, and tapeworm infestation from ingestion of the fleas.  Majority of flea-allergic dogs develop clinical signs between 1 and 5 years of age.

If everything else fails or in case of severe flea infestation, pet parents may try applying topical solutions on the skin of their pets. These are ‘spot-on’ waterproof insecticides to be applied once a month.  While symptomatic relief can be effective, the real treatment for treating FAD is to keep him flea-free as far as possible.  For this, proper understanding of the flea lifecycle is important.

Visit: http://www.budgetpetcare.com/flea-and-tick.aspx for top six flea and tick treatments for dogs and cats.


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