Flea Allergy?

Dog, Hovawart, Scratch, Animal, Pet

For many pet owners, this is also the time when our cats and dogs can’t stop scratching! Before going changing your pet’s diet or running out for expensive supplements, you should consider when the irritation began. These summer months are a parasite’s paradise! The mid to late summer months are the height of flea season which can be a itchy scratchy nightmare for your dogs and cats with a flea allergy. Gremlin went through this, so I have been there! Here’s the way to tell if that’s what’s going on.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis in Dogs
The allergy isn’t to the fleas themselves, but their spit. This means the itchy reaction can occur after only one bite and can persist long after the flea is gone.
If you see your dog scratching, licking, and chewing at the base of their tail, haunches, under their legs, buttocks, and belly, they might be suffering from a flea allergy. The chewing can cause dry scaly patches of skin and if left untreated can lead to open sores that are vulnerable to infection. Some dogs may even have red bumps in the affected areas.
Cats have a similar scratching, licking, and chewing pattern as puppies and can create a rash of small round lumps, called feline military dermatitis (due to their resemblance to millet seeds) over their back, neck, and face.
In Spite of a Monthly Preventative
You might think your pet’s protected against fleas because of your stringent monthly preventative schedule, but not every preventative is created equally. There are many preventatives both over the counter and prescription. Many over the counter approaches take days and some even need the fleas to bite before killing them and as this is an allergy to their saliva, this just won’t do.
Prescription approaches are your best bet, but even there you will find that some are better than others.Some work faster than others. As an example, based on Elanco, the manufacturers of Comfortis, Comfortis starts killing fleas within 30 minutes of government with an effective speed of 98-100% over four hours. Nexgard, the most popular preventative currently, needs 24 hours to kill 100 percent of fleas.
Apart from speed, you and your veterinarian should consider how the preventative targets fleas. The active ingredient in Comfortis (and one of them in Trifexis, also an Elanco manufacturer ) is Spinosad. This drug attacks the nervous system of the flea. Sentinel, a fresh Gremlin knows and loves, uses lufenuron, which acts as a growth inhibitor, killing fleas in the egg and larvae stage. Sentinel’s belief is that if there are no baby fleas growing up to be blood-sucking adult fleas, there won’t be a flea issue.
When you discuss treatment with your veterinarian, ask about a combination of remedies. This combination kills adult fleas on your dog and controls any creatures they pick up out and about. I highly recommend asking your vet about this whenever possible if your dog is struggling this summer.
Treating Your Home
You aren’t done yet. Fleas are tiny and their eggs are even tinier. You absolutely have to treat your home and yard if you’re going to have an influence on your own flea population.
For this, I urge Fleabusters. It’s far easier than you might think to use and not in any way toxic to your loved ones. Fleabusters is a borate powder which doesn’t poison or attack anything. It’s really a desiccant, meaning it dehydrates it’s victims to death. And it does so very effectively.
The application process is rather straightforward. It’s a really fine powder that you spread around your flooring and lawn (especially damp and shady areas). You’ll need to use a broom or foxtail brush to spread it around your flooring surfaces. You can vacuum and sweep normally because it’s a static property that helps it cling to any surface. After using this powder, you’ll find more than your flea population diminishing! This stuff works on most household pests! We are big fans!
A Tricky Problem
Many times there will not be signs of fleas due to the preventative you are giving, in which case you may be given a special diet or nutritional supplement.
For instance, once the itching and biting didn’t resolve itself after medications and supplements it had been recommended to us that Gremlin start a radical and lifelong steroid course! If your cat or dog is over a year old and has been fine with their diet seemingly until now, then you need to bring up what you have read here!
Consider how few variables have changed on your dog’s life and make a point. Should you wind up with a new diet or supplement that doesn’t do the trick, consider a second opinion.

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