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Information About Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea Allergy Dermatitis, or FAD, is the most common allergic skin disorder in pets.

• Fleas bite and suck blood from a host to feed themselves in the same way that a mosquito does.

• Unlike a mosquito, who eats once and goes off to digest its meal, fleas continue to bite a host animal long after their hunger is satisfied.

• They do this to produce flea droppings containing undigested blood.

• These droppings are very high in protein and iron and are eaten by the immature stage of a flea's life cycle.

• A flea bite may leave no mark at all, but it can leave instead a small, red spot surrounded by a reddened halo if the host is sensitive to its bite.

• Unless there is an allergic skin reaction, there may not be any swelling.

• But many dogs and cats develop an allergic reaction to flea saliva, occasionally producing severe skin reactions.

• In dogs, there is no preferred breed or sex for development of FAD. Most cases are observed in dogs between one and six years of age.

• Animals can be different, with different sensitivities and tolerances. It is possible to have two pets living together in the same environment and have one react violently to flea bites with severe scratching and rubbing, while the other shows little or no reaction.

Breaking the cycle with an Insect Growth Regulator, is the secret to flea control.

Tips:

Always bathe an itchy dog in cool water . . . heat stimulates itching!

Hydrocortisone is a potent anti-inflammatory/anti-itch agent that helps to reduce the itch as well as that bright red skin.

Scratching and biting can lead to raw skin, open to secondary bacterial infections.

These raw areas are usually distributed over the lower back, base of the tail, back and inside of the thighs, and the stomach area.

In chronic cases of FAD, almost all areas of the body except the head can be affected.

 

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