Has your pet been itching lately? Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common skin disease in dogs and cats. It is important to note that fleas themselves do not make pets itchy. Only pets that are allergic to the flea’s saliva become itchy. Because it is an allergic reaction, it only takes a few bites anywhere on the body to make them break out. Diligent, continuous flea control is crucial in treating the skin disease. Today, there are a multitude of flea control products available that will suit individual needs.
Despite the availability of flea control products, many pet owners do not use anything to help protect their pets. A common misconception is that indoor pet’s do not need to be on a flea control product. Fleas do very well indoors, where the temperature stays well regulated year round. If you do not see fleas on your pet, it does not mean they are not there. Not only are fleas good at hiding in hair coats, but many animals are very good at catching them before the owner can see them. Remember, it only takes a few bites to cause an allergic reaction in your pet.
Since not all pets are allergic to flea saliva, some owners never really notice if there is a flea problem until it becomes rampant. It is much easier to prevent a flea infestation than to have to treat it. Flea allergy dermatitis is not the only problem fleas can cause. A flea infestation can cause anemia, which can be lethal to puppies, kittens, immunocompromised and geriatric pets. They can also indirectly cause Cat Scratch Fever, which does not make the cat ill but can make the owner or any other person ill. Fleas can also cause unsightly tapeworm infections in pets that ingest the fleas.
If your pet is itching and not currently on flea control, or if the flea control doesn’t seem to be working, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss options with you.
Here is a link to a picture from Hills Client Education site: