Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms – Do You Know What They Are? (And What To Do About Them?)
Dog allergy symptoms can indicate one of several types of allergies. This article will focus on Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms and dealing with them. Those fleas do drive them nuts…
Before we get into specifics here is a general list of Dog Allergy Symptoms:
- Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
- Increased scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
- Itchy ears and ear infections
- Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
- Paw chewing/swollen paws
- Constant licking
There may also be bacterial or yeast skin infections. These infections may cause hair loss along with crusts or scabs.
Why do Our Fur-babies Have Allergy Symptoms?
Dogs react (just like two-legged people) when their immune systems recognize that certain everyday substances are dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the substances are really dangerous or not. If the automatic systems in the body classifies them as dangerous then the automatic defense systems kick in. Dogs with allergies can show extreme reactions to things around that most people and animals recognize as harmless. The substances (called allergens) can be inhaled, ingested or just be in contact with the dog’s skin. The body’s defense systems tries to rid itself of these allergens and we see a variety of dog allergy symptoms – some are skin reactions, some are digestive reactions and some are respiratory reactions.
While covering the entire topic of allergies would take a medical degree, there are three common categories that we CAN learn to recognize and work with.
Three Categories of Dog Allergy Symptoms
- Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms (This Article)
- Dog Food Allergies
- Dog Environmental Allergies.
Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms
There is a technical term – Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), but we can stick to Flea Allergies.
Dogs (and people) aren’t actually allergic to fleas, it is the flea saliva that causes the dog to show allergy symptoms. This is a very common condition in dogs. One bite can cause itching that lasts for weeks after the flea is gone and the reaction can be extreme even if there were only one or two bites.
Most dog owners (especially those in warm climates) use some type of flea prevention on their fur-babies. It is important to realize that a grown flea from another dog or wild critter can jump onto your pet, bite them and then either die or jump off. Either way the damage is done.
The point is that we often assume since we do not have a flea infestation, the constant scratching can’t be caused by flea bites. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What Can You Do for Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms After a Bite?
- Definitely use a flea repellent product. Consult with your Vet for an effective program for your area. Fleas do become immune to products and so a product that was highly effective a year or two ago may be much less effective today (regardless of what you see on TV.)
- Bath your dog regularly with a non-grain (no oatmeal) herbal shampoo. This is both sooth the dog’s skin and make them less attractive to fleas. (Do check how this effects you flea control program.)
- Comb your dog regularly with a flea comb. You can check for flea dirt (actually flea feces.) If the fine dirt that comes loose from the comb turns red in water or rubbing alcohol, that is a sign that the “dirt” is mainly blood and is actual flea feces.
- Consult with your vet. There are medications for extreme cases.
This is one of a three part series on Dog Allergy Symptoms and Suggested Solutions.
Be observant. If you see your fur-baby in distress, try to determine the root cause of the problem and deal with it. Checking with your vet is almost always advised.
Part one is Dog Flea Allergy Symptoms and Solutions (this article)
Part two is Dog Food Allergies
Part Three is Dog Environmental Allergies.