Health and Nutrition

The Flea Allergy In Dogs And Cats

– by Grace Palce

Dogs and cats can suffer allergies due to the presence of fleas. The identified cause is the saliva of the fleas, especially when the flea has bitten and penetrated the skin of the dog or cat. Since fleas multiply fast and do not voluntarily leave the body of the pet, the flea allergy will last for a long time.

There are symptoms that will tell the pet owner that the dog or cat is being troubled by a flea allergy. Some symptoms displayed by dogs are slightly different to those found in cats. But in general, the symptoms of a flea allergy are continuous itching, loss of hair, occurrence of sores, and unexplained depression.

Among dogs, the specific symptoms are:

  • Massive loss of hair
  • Presence of red and swollen sores
  • Irritation and scratching in certain areas, such as
    • Along the tail
    • On the rump area
    • All over the hind legs
    • The region of the groin, which is the sensitive area between the hind legs

Among cats, the symptoms of flea allergy are:

  • Constant scratching in various parts of the body
  • The formation of painful scabs in sensitive areas, such as:
    • The neck
    • The face
    • The groin
    • The main body

A diagnosis of flea allergy no longer involves skin tests and blood tests. The mere presence of fleas indicates that flea allergy has befallen on the pet. The owner can even conduct his own examination by looking for fleas in the coat of the dog or cat. Fleas are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of their host. They are tiny but can cause powerful irritations. They are usually black in color, which make them more difficult to detect especially if the coat of the pet is also dark-colored.

Fleas also move fast. This makes it impossible to individually catch the fleas. They scatter their dirt all over the pet’s body and this adds to skin irritation. The flea dirt looks like regular black dust when dry. But when wet, the flea dirt shows a reddish old copper-like color.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to remove fleas and allow the pet’s body to heal itself from the allergy.

  • Using flea combs – These devices can be purchased from any pet supply store or from the veterinarian. Flea combs are designed so that they can sweep out the fleas along with the flea dirt from the coat of the pet.
  • Bathing or immersing the pet in a recommended solution – The solution is usually a mixture of water and a detergent which is recommended by the vet. The detergent can immediately kill the fleas and loosen their hold on the skin. The pet owner will find the dead fleas floating in the bath solution. This solution may also turn reddish due to the presence of so much flea dirt.
  • Cleaning the environment – A good general cleaning will get rid off the source of fleas. Cleaning the pet will not prevent the recurrence of flea allergy. The environment must be cleaned too.
  • Applying anti-itch medications – These medicines can be administered orally or by direct application on the affected area. They will reduce the painful itching and prevent further infection.

About The Author: Grace Palce is writing articles for pet meds 101, a comprehensive pet medicine guide Specialing in cat and dog medicine

Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.

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