Flea Dermatitis On Dogs: The Application Of Flea Control And Treatments

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Tips for controlling flea dermatitis on dogsHave you ever wondered why your pet dog scratches and gnaws at its fur time and time again each day? Did you ever stop to check what the real reason may be for your dog to act that way? If you have noticed your pet itching and scratching for hours and even days, then it may be suffering from flea dermatitis or flea allergy. This is a common allergy found in dogs caused by flea bites and it is most unfortunate that one flea bite alone can trigger severe allergic reactions. Flea dermatitis is a serious allergy that must be treated immediately to avoid the allergic symptoms from worsening.

How Is Flea Dermatitis Inflicted?

Fleas bite dogs and feed on their blood by sucking. To draw out the blood, fleas have to inject a certain amount of saliva containing about 15 allergens into the wound. Allergic reactions occur when the bitten dog is allergic to any of the allergens in the saliva. It can be easily diagnosed visually along with the presence of fleas that can also be tested.

How To Determine If Your Pet Has Flea Dermatitis

A number of flea bites on a dog can cause flea dermatitis and it can make them scratch excessively, while itching and scratching on the fur. Sadly, when dogs scratch their fur excessively, hair loss can occur from the middle of the back all the way to their hind legs and base of their tail. Other indications of flea dermatitis are excessive biting of their fur, skin rashes, skin reddening and skin rashes. To confirm if your pet does have flea allergies, you will need to consult with a veterinarian to have skin tests and blood samples done in order to detect allergen reactions and rule out yeast, bacterial and fungal infections.

Treating Flea Dermatitis On Dogs

Only veterinarians can treat flea dermatitis completely so seeking immediate medical care for your pet is essential.

  • Desensitization

Your vet may use desensitization to treat flea allergies, which involves having small traces of flea antigen injected within a certain period of time. This treatment is known to be effective in most cases, but extended treatments can become quite expensive most especially in cases of severe flea dermatitis.

  • Steroids And Antihistamines

In less serious flea dermatitis cases, steroids and antihistamines can be used to treat dogs. While it can provide relief for itching, steroids and antihistamines can inflict an array of side effects when used for a long period of time.

  • Natural Flea Treatments

Considering the side effects and costs of professional treatments for flea dermatitis, you can also opt to use natural flea treatments. There are a variety of herbal remedies or naturally made products for flea dermatitis which are safe and effective.

Controlling Fleas To Prevent Flea Allergies

The best way to treat flea dermatitis is to prevent or control fleas altogether. You will need to get rid of all the fleas on your pet dog as well as in your home. Controlling the amount of time your pet spends outdoors will help reduce the risk of flea dermatitis too, or you can have your pet stay within the property where flea control has been applied. To prevent and control fleas in your home, you will need to have professional pest control treatments applied to ensure that your home is completely free from fleas.


Valerie Williams is a freelance writer specializing in allergies triggered by pests and natural pest control treatments.

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4 thoughts on “Flea Dermatitis On Dogs: The Application Of Flea Control And Treatments

  1. Brutus Duffy

    Just be careful of what you use to treat-high doses of pyrethrins can cause seizures. Also note that some items that are labeled for dogs can not be used on cats. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian please. You don’t want to see the things we see at work every day.

    1. Diane W

      Yes, it is important to consult your vet to make sure you are buying the right dosage for your pets. I once bought a flea collar for Harley and after a few minutes he had a seizure. I cut it off and gave him a bath while we called the emergency vet. He spent the night in the pet ER getting anti seizure meds, iv fluids and getting lots of baths and love. The bill was quite expensive, but I learned my lesson – I only buy right from the vet now!


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