Flea Allergies In Dogs

Flea allergy is generally considered the most common type of skin problem in dogs. The condition is a result of a hypersensitive reaction to an allergen that is present in the saliva of fleas. Dogs that react adversely to the allergen can suffer severe persistent itching (medically called “pruritus”). Affected dogs appear to chew, lick, bite, scratch, or rub all over their body, which can sometimes cause skin trauma, paving the way for secondary bacterial infection to set in. There may also be formation of skin scabs and crusts, as well as hair loss. If you look close enough, you may find flea dirt on your pet’s skin and hair coat. 

Sometimes you may be unable to spot any flea but if you suspect that your pet’s intense itching is flea allergy, you can do the ‘wet paper test’ to check for flea dirt. Moisten a piece of paper and rub it gently on your dog’s hair coat. Since flea dirt is actually dried blood, the paper will be stained red if flea dirt is present on your pet’s body. Even if your dog is given a monthly flea preventative, there is still a possibility that he could suffer from flea allergy. Take note that even a single flea bite can already trigger an allergic reaction if your dog is hypersensitive to the allergen. 

It is a good idea to take your pet to your animal hospital San Antonio, TX for a thorough checkup so the appropriate treatment can be given. 


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