Flea Allergy, otherwise known as flea dermatitis, is the most common form of allergy found in dogs and is caused by the bite of a flea. It is the leading cause of itching in dogs, and it only takes the bite of one flea to create an allergic reaction on your pet’s skin. Flea allergies can leave your dog itching and scratching for anywhere from a few hours to a few days and can take 3 to 7 days to appear after the initial flea bite.

How Flea Allergies in Dogs Occur

Fleas can only be found on a dog when they are feeding. Similar to mosquitoes, the flea will bite the dog and suck out blood for nutrition. When they do this, they inject a small amount of saliva into the dog’s skin which can contain as many as 15 different allergens. If the dog is allergic to any one of these allergens that are injected by the flea, it will trigger an allergic response that leads to the dog itching and scratching. Nearly half of all dogs will develop flea allergies and though it is more common in adult dogs, puppies can also suffer from it.

 

Relief for Dogs with Flea Allergies!
Click here to go directly to Flea Allergy Remedies.

 

Diagnosis and Symptoms of Flea Bites in Dogs

Dog owners usually aren’t aware that their pet has fleas due to their very small size and because of how difficult they can be to control. Making diagnosis even more difficult is the fact that it only takes one flea to cause a flea allergy and symptoms of flea bites in dogs may not be seen for up to one week after the flea bite occurs. It doesn’t take a flea infestation to cause flea dermatitis in dogs. Symptoms of flea bites in dogs can include excessive itching and scratching or biting of the skin and fur, inflammation of the skin, skin rashes, and reddening of the skin. As a result of the increased itching, loss of hair all over their body, particularly in the area from the middle of the back to the base of the tail and in the hind legs region, is also a pretty good indication of flea dermatitis in dogs. For more detailed information about dog itching, see our post on dog itching and scratching. A veterinarian can also detect flea allergies in dogs using sophisticated blood and skin tests to find specific allergens and to rule out other conditions including bacterial, fungal and yeast infections.

Dog Flea Treatment Starts With A Flea Control Program

The first step of any successful dog flea treatment involves getting rid of the fleas both on your pet and in the surrounding environment. Even with a strict flea control program in place, it is not uncommon for dog’s to still get an occassional flea bite. Dog’s that spend alot of time outdoors will pose an even more difficult challenge. Please see the post on Getting Rid of Dog Fleas for more details.

Desensitization and Steroids As Dog Flea Treatments

A veterinarian may often try using desensitization as a method of dog flea treatment. This involves injecting the dog with small traces of flea antigen over an extended period of time, possibly even the rest of the animal’s life. This form of treatment has been found to be successful in about half of the cases, and can get very expensive over time. Antihistimines and steroids, such as cortisone, are also frequently used by veterinarians to treat flea allergies in dogs. These treatments can often provide relief for dog itching, however, it has been found that there are significant side effects when using steroids. In the long run, this form of treatment can do more harm than good.

Because of the side effects associated with the use of steroids, an increasing number of dog owners are now using natural flea treatments in an effort to combat flea dermatitis in dogs. There are a number of natural ingredients found in these herbal remedies that are not only safe, but effective. German Chamomile has been used to cleanse and soothe the skin for many centuries. Other herbs have also proven to help promote better overall skin health and provide soothing and restoration of the skin, and include Witchhazel, Marigold and Cleavers.


Natural Remedies for Flea Allergies in Dogs

Canine Stimmune


Canine Stimmune
from: Pet WellBeing


Allergy Itch Ease


Allergy Itch Ease
from: PetAlive


Derma-IonX


Derma-IonX
from: Vetionx Pet Health


Skin and Coat Tonic


Skin and Coat Tonic
from: PetAlive


Comfy Dog Shampoo


Comfy Dog Shampoo
from: Happytails Spa


Vita-Derm Shed Itch Supplement


Vita-Derm Shed Itch Supplement
from: Pet WellBeing


Dog Flea Control Treatments

K9 Advantix II


K9 Advantix II
from: 1-800-PetMeds


Frontline Plus


Frontline Plus
from: 1-800-PetMeds


Defendex Pet Shampoo


Defendex Pet Shampoo
from: Vetionx Pet Health


Target Spray for Dog Fleas


Target Spray for Dog Fleas
from: Pet WellBeing


TripleSure Natural Flea and Tick Spray


TripleSure Natural Flea and Tick Spray
from: Natural Wonder Pets


BeFree Flea Shampoo


BeFree Flea Shampoo
from: PetAlive

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Filed under: Common Conditions

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