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Flea & Flea Allergy

Flea allergy dermatitis is a common cause of itching and scratching in dogs and cats.

Fleas have plagued both animals and people for hundreds of years, with more than 2000 species recognized worldwide. While significant progress has been made in understanding flea characteristics and biology, these parasites continue to be a problem for pets and pet owners. Fleas can cause irritation, scratching, hair loss, secondary skin infections, and anemia in young or tiny animals. Some animals may become allergic to flea bites, known as flea allergy or flea allergy dermatitis.

Fleas, like flea infestation, create only mild discomfort and inflammation if they bite a dog just once. Symptoms of flea allergy in dogs include itching, scratching, hair loss, and papules on the back rump and tail. Flea allergy in cats is characterized by tiny crusted bumps known as miliary dermatitis. Lesions are generally located along the back, rump, tail base, and neck, but they may expand from these sites as the disease persists. Hair loss can also be seen in cats as a result of itching and excessive licking.


How do you know if your pet has flea allergy dermatitis?

Flea allergy dermatitis is a very prevalent cause of itching and biting in dogs and cats. Flea-allergic dogs are frequently itchy on the rear and rump, as well as the base of the tail, which can be bloody and infected. They may also scratch or gnaw at various regions, including the legs and inner thighs, that can get quite severe. Cats frequently develop tiny crusty bumps (miliary dermatitis) on their backs and around their necks. Fleas are rarely seen on flea allergic dogs and cats, or if present, in small quantities that make them difficult to find.

Pet Flea Allergy FAQs

How will I know if my pet has a flea allergy issue?

Flea allergy dermatitis is a typical reason for itching and chewing in dogs and cats. Flea allergic dogs are commonly itchy along their back, rump, and at the base of the tail, which can lead to hot spots that may become bloody and infected. They may also scratch or bite at various locations, including their legs and underarms, which can be quite painful. Small crusted bumps (miliary dermatitis) on the cat’s back and around its neck are common.

Fleas are rarely seen on flea-allergic dogs and cats, or if they do appear, the numbers are typically very low.

How is a flea allergy treated?

The most significant aspect of treating flea allergies is ensuring that existing fleas and new ones don’t develop or have enough time to bite or spread their saliva. Because flea allergy is frequently severe itching, a doctor or dermatologist may prescribe cortisone (prednisone, corticosteroids) for quicker alleviation. If there is a secondary bacterial infection present, antibiotics might be required.

What relieves flea allergy issues?
Flea allergy dermatitis is a skin condition that causes itching, inflammation, and rash in dogs. Oral or injectable cortisone (prednisone, corticosteroids) and antibiotics can temporarily ease the symptoms if used correctly. If rapid-acting flea control measures are not taken, symptoms will return once any flock of fleas or potential exposure is eliminated. Consult your veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist about the best treatments to employ.
How do I remove fleas from my home quickly?

If you find fleas in your home or on a family pet, the number of fleas is likely far greater than the ones visible. Ideally, seek help from a pest management company to quickly reduce flea populations. If you’re attempting this task on your own, make sure to treat places in the environment where fleas are more common. Dark, chilly, and moist (high humidity) are all good candidates for treatment.

In the middle of a bright yard, fleas are unlikely to be numerous. Look for areas of shade and high dampness and organic debris (mulch, pine straw, etc).

How do I check my pet for fleas?

A flea comb is the most effective method to look for fleas on a pet. Flea combs are made with close-together teeth that capture a flea as you pass them through the hair and are intended to be used on dogs. Fleas may be found on any part of the body. However, it’s more likely to spot them along the back, at the base of the tail, and abdomen.