Flea Allergy Dermatitis-Central Vet TLV
Allergies are not uncommon in our pets. The most frequent and easiest to treat cause of allergy is a flea bite allergy. In this article we’ll discuss Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) a allergic reaction to flea bites, what is it, how can we diagnose it and how can we treat it.
What is flea allergy dermatitis
Flea allergy dermatitis is a condition that affects both cats and dogs. It is characterized by severe, prolonged itching in both, and often incessant grooming in cats. It can result from very minimal and intermittent exposure to fleas. Because fleas can live year-round, we see cases of flea allergy dermatitis at all times of the year.
The skin condition looks a bit different in dogs and cats. Dogs tend to show hair loss, skin thickening, redness, and sometimes “hotspots” over the rump and tail head. The dermatitis may extend to their thighs and abdominal area. Cats may have normal looking skin with hair loss due to excessive licking, usually over the back. Some also develop tiny red crusts over the back.
How is flea allergy dermatitis diagnosed
The diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical appearance. If we find fleas, or flea “dirt”, we can be certain of flea exposure. In many cases, only the skin lesions are seen because the flea bites can be so intermittent. Flea allergic cats and dogs are particularly effective at removing fleas from their skin by licking and biting.
An easy way of diagnosing can be by preventive treatment to fleas. If the clinical signs disappeared – that’s a positive diagnosis.
How is flea allergy dermatitis treated
The most efficient treatment would be one of the anti-fleas products found in the marked plus an anti-allergic treatment. Collars, ampules or even pills can be found nowadays. Most of which very effective (if in doubt, trust your treating veterinarian).