Flea allergy is the most common kind of allergy among dogs. Pet owners should exert effort to learn about flea allergy, its prevention and treatment. Many dogs can suffer because of flea allergy. Treating flea allergies is not very difficult so owners should be familiar with them.
What is flea allergy?
Flea allergy is an allergic reaction of dogs and other animals to flea saliva. When the flea bites the dog, the flea injects its saliva into the dog which will cause a hypersensitivity reaction. Even just one bite of the flea can lead to an allergic reaction. Many dogs suffer from flea allergy during the summer times or warmer climates because this is when fleas are prevalent. The allergy symptoms of flea allergy includes skin itching and inflammation which can be mild or severe. The dog will probably scratch and bit itchy areas which will lead to other skin problems. Too much scratching can lead to the development of hot spots which are red painful sores which usually occur on the back and base of the dog’s tail. Hair loss, crusty sores and broken hairs can also happen as the condition progresses.
The diagnosis of flea allergy will require a meticulous physical examination. The sores and lesions on the dog can also be used to identify whether the dog has flea allergy or other skin problems. Intradermal skin testing and blood testing can also be done to identify flea allergy.
The first step in treating flea allergies is removing the fleas from your dog. There are many flea products which can be used to kill the fleas. Examples are shampoos and other products from Revolution and Advantage. There are topical ointments such as the Vectra 3D topical ointment which can be applied on the dog. There are pills such as Comfortis which can be given to the dog which can kill the fleas. Aside from these products, you can also use natural products in treating flea allergies. You can also buy natural or organic flea control dog shampoos and soaps.
Getting rid of fleas also means that you should clean your house and the surroundings. There are many home remedies for fleas you can do to get rid of fleas in your homes. Vacuum all your furniture and carpet at least twice in a week and you need to empty the vacuum right after you vacuum. Remember that adult fleas can crawl out of the vacuum bag. You also need to wash your floor mats and area rugs with warm water regularly. Make sure that they are completely dry before using them again. Humidity encourages flea production. You can also make your own flea remedy powder which can be sprinkled in areas where fleas are known to breed. For instance you can mix 3 cups of diatomaceous earth (DE) and ½ cup of boric acid. This mixture is proven to be an effective flea remedy. Some people also recommend the use of pennyroyal and lavender because the scents of these flowers can drive away fleas. The mixture of lavender, fennel and basil oils can also be used. These flowers and mixtures do not only get rid of fleas but they can also make your home smell better. Those who do not have the time to clean their houses and surroundings can use the services of pest control or extermination companies.
Medications are also prescribed by a vet depending on the severity of the flea allergy. Medicated shampoos, steroids, antihistamines, fatty acid supplements and topical medications are all used in treating flea allergies. All these medicines are used to treat the different signs and symptoms of flea allergies. Some vets also use allergy shots to treat flea allergies. However, this method is still controversial among vets so this is usually used as a last recourse.
Dog owners should do their part when they suspect that their dog is suffering from flea allergy. You should take your dog to the vet when you suspect dog allergy. Do not let your pet suffer before taking him or her to the vet. Cleaning your homes and the surrounding areas can be a difficult work but you should do this especially during the summer time when fleas usually breed. Even when your dog was successfully treated, you have to remember that he or she can be infested with fleas again. Therefore it is important to observe your dog for any signs and symptoms of flea allergy.
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