Flea bite dermatitis or flea allergy dermatitis is a skin inflammation, a kind of allergy that can develop in both dogs and cats caused by flea saliva injected into their skin when bitten repeatedly. Pets that are very sensitive to it can suffer from severe allergic reactions. If the condition is ignored and left untreated, it can be extremely horrible for the dog or the cat.
Pets that are afflicted with the allergy will have to endure excessive itching making the affected area tender and irritated. Your dog or cat will scratch relentlessly causing some wounds that could be infected. Without proper treatment, further bacterial or fungal infections could develop.
Indications of Flea Bite Dermatitis
- Excessive itching is the telltale sign of the allergy.
- You will notice your pet attempting to lick or bite the itchy part of its body.
- The most scratched part or parts will develop into “hot spot”, an oozing lesion on your pet’s skin.
- The typical parts affected are the tail, hind legs and bottom.
- Dogs will show signs of hair loss particularly near the tail area.
- Hair loss is also experienced by cats followed by tiny scabs especially around the neck and bottom areas.
- Skin inflammation, darkening and unpleasant odor of the affected area are also observed.
The effects of flea bite dermatitis can be crueler to your pets when the weather is hot. This makes the fleas more active and hungrier. Because fleas attack any breed, the condition can afflict any type of dog or cat. Pets, especially cats, have a way of taking the fleas off themselves during scratching and grooming. You may not spot the fleas on them but you’ll be surprised that they are diagnosed to have the skin allergy brought about by the insects. If you suspect your pets to have fleas and you are observing allergy symptoms, have them examined immediately.
Treatment and Management
Flea control products may be the easiest and fastest way to treat flea bite dermatitis. There are medications that can be applied to the animal’s skin or a pill to be given orally so that the condition does not get worse. It may depend on the assessment of the veterinarian and on the severity of the condition. Your dog or your cat may require more than just one anti-flea product.
It may be difficult to get rid of them if you don’t have the patience and if you don’t fully commit to doing every step. But you sure can and there are several ways to manage fleas and the effects they bring such as flea bite dermatitis.
- Repeated treatment of pets on a given required schedule while complete flea elimination in the environment is going on.
- Appropriate flea-control treatments for all house animals and the home including the surroundings.
- General home cleaning that should include vacuuming rugs and carpets, discarding pet beddings, washing linens, sofa covers, etc.
- Constantly keeping the home flea-free to avoid re-infestation.
For secondary skin infections, your pet doctor may recommend antibiotics or antifungal products. In some cases, corticosteroids, an anti-inflammatory drug, may also be prescribed. This drug can help ease the itch and provide relief to your pet faster.
The best way to ensure your pet does not suffer from flea bite dermatitis is to completely remove fleas from your surroundings. When getting rid of fleas, make sure you treat not only the adult insects. Use anti-flea products that would also apply to different flea stages including eggs, larvae and pupae.
The need to be committed in your fight against fleas and the negative effects they bring will make a difference. It will guarantee a happy, healthy life for your pets.