Flea Prevention as a Way to Treat Dog Allergies.

Since flea allergy dermatitis is one of the most common skin allergies in dogs, it’s important to stick with a regular flea prevention routine.  Don’t wait until you see fleas – by then it’s too late.  Anyone who has dealt with a flea infestation in their home will tell you that it is much easier to maintain a regular flea prevention routine.

There are a wide range of flea treatment products on the market, including carpet powders, sprays and shampoos.  I’ve found that there is no better way to prevent fleas than by using Frontline® Plus, a topical flea and tick treatment.  Frontline is a liquid that is applied to the back of your dog or cat’s neck.  It includes an active ingredient called Fipronil, which is stored in the oil glands under your pet’s skin and is distributed to the skin and hair of your pet through its hair follicles.  Fipronil affects the nervous system of fleas and ticks by causing paralysis and then death. It is designed to kill all fleas or ticks within 24-48 hours.

Be sure to treat all cats and dogs in your home, even if they don’t go outside.  All of your pets can be carriers of fleas.  Although Frontline and other similar flea and tick medications are EPA approved for use on dogs and cats, it’s important for you to discuss this treatment with your veterinarian before starting.  Some pets are allergic to Fipronil and may have a negative reaction to this treatment.

Dog Allergy Causes. Flea Allergies.

Dog flea allergyFlea allergy dermatitis is one of the most common skin allergies in dogs.  Dogs that have a flea allergy are hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, which is passed into the dog’s skin when it bites.  It only takes a couple of flea bites to cause pain and suffering in an allergic dog.

Many dogs with other inhalant allergies will become allergic to fleas as well.  They usually become sensitive between two to four years of age.  When an allergic dog is bit by a flea, they will scratch and bite at their skin – often causing hair loss, skin lesions, and red inflamed skin.  Dogs with flea allergies often have thinning hair above the base of their tails.

If you are concerned that your dog may be suffering from a flea allergy, you should check to see if there are signs of fleas on their skin.  If you don’t see the fleas themselves, you may see some proof of their existence.  Fleas will leave behind flea dirt (or feces) which are dark brown or black flecks left behind on your dog’s skin. When introduced to water, this flea dirt will turn a reddish color. However, this flea dirt may not always be visible on your dog even if fleas are present.

The best thing you can do to prevent flea allergies, is to make your dog inhospitable for fleas. We discuss some suggested flea prevention steps in our Allergy Treatments section.