Dog allergies – Flea allergy
allergy is common in dogs. Some dogs become allergic to flea saliva
which is called flea bite dermatitis. Dogs with flea bite allergy
are often frantic to ease the itching and may chew themselves raw,
with removal of large amounts of hair. There will often be open
sores or scabs on the skin, allowing a secondary bacterial infection
areas most commonly involved is over the rump (just in front of
the tail), around the tail, on his belly, and inside hind legs.
dog experiences only minor irritation in response to flea bites,
often without any itching. But the flea allergic dog has a severe,
itch-producing reaction when the flea’s saliva is deposited in the
skin. Dog owners should also use the same treatments that work for
inhalant allergies to reduce the itching and ease the discomfort
of irritated skin.
for flea allergy start with getting the dog away from all fleas.
some cases, multiple products may be needed. Some are used on the
dog and some in the dog’s environment.
flea control is the backbone of successful treatment. Unfortunately,
this is not always possible in warm and humid climates, where a
new population of fleas can hatch out every 14-21 days.
a secondary bacterial infection occurs, appropriate antibiotics
must be used.
a flea comb through your dog’s coat and gather a bit of hair and
“flea dirt”. Daily flea combing may seem like a tedious process,
but you can trap some of them in the comb. Be sure to drown them
in soapy water, because fleas can jump out of plain water. In addition,
soapy water destroys all flea stages.
washable pet bedding that can be gathered up easily by the four
corners and laundered frequently. Restrict pets to a regular sleeping
space so you can focus cleaning efforts on fewer areas.
can be desensitized to the adverse effects of flea bites by injecting
flea saliva extract into the dog in tiny amounts over a prolonged
period of time. The dog’s immune system is reprogrammed and he no
longer over-reacts to flea bites. If successful, itching no longer
occurs or is less intense when the dog is bitten. However, this
approach is only successful about 50-75% of the time.
strict flea control is not possible, corticosteroids (“cortisone”
or “steroids”) can be used to block the allergic reaction and give
relief. Some dogs respond best to long-acting injections and others
to oral medication. Dogs are more resistant to the side-effects
of steroids than humans, but significant side-effects can occur,
so the smallest amount is administered needed to keep the dog comfortable.
flea control must rid the dog of fleas and it must rid the dog’s
environment of fleas. In fact, environmental control is probably
more important than what is done to the dog. If your dog remains
indoors and you do not have other pets that come in from the outside,
environmental control is relatively easy. However, the dog that
goes outdoors or stays outdoors presents a significant challenge.
insecticides, flea powders, sprays, and shampoos that are applied
to the dog have limited effectiveness because they are only effective
for a few hours after application. In addition, these products just
work against adult fleas, and they will only kill fleas on your
dog at the time of application, with little or no residual effects.
Not surprisingly, your dog may be covered with fleas within a day
after having a flea bath or being sprayed or powdered.
good news is there are some newer, more effective sprays that can
be a valuable part of the overall treatment plan. They kill adult
fleas rapidly and are safe enough to use daily, if necessary. Flea
sprays containing insect growth regulators (IGR’s) are helpful in
managing the overall problem because they help to break the flea
read the label because some of the newer pet sprays with growth
regulators are recommended for once weekly application instead of
types of products are available that have residual effects lasting
for several days. These are flea collars and flea dips.
dip is poured over your dog after it has been bathed. The dip is
not rinsed off and is allowed to dry on the skin and hair. This
results in residual flea control for 4-5 days.
collars are on the dog and working 24 hours per day. However, they
are not very effective in very warm humid climates because a new
population of fleas can hatch out every 14-21 days.
your dog develops any irritated skin from the collar, then they
cannot be used.
latest products in the war on fleas are used once each month. Program
is a tablet that sterilizes the eggs laid by the fleas. In effect,
it kills the next generation of fleas. Advantage and Frontline Top
Spot are monthly products that are applied to your dog’s skin. They
are purchased in small vials that contain one dose for various sizes
of dogs. They kill adult fleas, usually before the flea has the
opportunity to bite your dog.
flea control usually must be directed at your house and your yard.
Vacuuming and washing are the least toxic ways to control fleas.
After vacuuming, place the vacuum bag in a large plastic garbage
bag, secure the bag, and discard in an outdoor trash container.
exterminator may be called to treat your house or you may use a
house fogger or a long-lasting spray. These foggers and sprays are
very effective for adult fleas, but they will not kill adults that
are still in their cocoon. You should purchase a fogger or a spray
that kills the adult fleas and inhibits development of the eggs
and larvae. In climates with extended warm temperatures and high
humidity, it may be necessary to treat two or three times with a
30-day residual product before all stages of the fleas are removed
from the house. The second treatment is most effective if it is
done two weeks after the first.
will need to remove pets and their dishes from the house, cover
aquariums and disconnect their aerators, close all windows and leave
the house for several hours after setting off the foggers. Upon
returning, all windows should be opened to air out the house.
With some of the new residual topical treatment (the spray and the
liquid applied to the dog’s neck), environmental control may become
much less a concern. In some cases, treating the dog with these
new products will effectively control the environmental problem.
powders are available that are worked deeply into the carpet and
are non-toxic to people. These powders are not removed by vacuuming.
Earth is a non-toxic flea treatment, but doesn’t last as long as
the boric acid products. You can usually purchase it at pet stores
and pool supply stores where it is used in filters. Sprinkle it
on the carpets, and then vacuum it up later. The tiny bits get in
the breathing pores of the bugs and suffocate them. Monthly applications
are recommended in areas with heavy flea populations, especially
during the height of flea season.
Boric acid products, such as Flea Busters and Fleago, work in a
similar fashion to the diatomaceous earth by dehydrating the fleas.
When applied correctly, they offer protection for up to a year or
more as they remain deep in the carpet fibers. The powder is non-toxic
to people and is worked deeply into the carpet to prevent it from
being removed by vacuuming. This treatment has proven very successful,
even with very heavy flea infestations.
old standby, 20 Mule Team Borax is sprinkled in the carpet and under
the furniture cushions, leave a few days and then vacuum. The borax
extracts all of the moisture and they die – eggs as well.
With all of the flea powder products follow package directions carefully.
They are drying agents, and therefore irritate nasal passages and
lungs if inhaled directly. Avoid vigorous shaking of the container
while spreading it onto the floor so you don’t create clouds of
exterminator can be called in for yard control with various insecticides.
Or you may use these insecticides yourself. Be sure that any insecticide
used has a 30-day residual. Some of the newest products which contain
the growth regulator fenoxycarb are labeled for use only once or
twice a year.
love grass, which is where most dogs pick them up from in the first
place! There are outdoor flea remedies that can be applied to grass
by sprinkling the powder or with a hose sprayer for yards and gardens.
nematodes that are flea parasites are another way to control fleas
in the yard. They are tiny little bugs that prey on both adult fleas
and larvae. They can be applied with a hose sprayer on a yard, or
with a watering can on a garden.
Traps is a safe and simple permanent appliance that uses heat and
light to draw fleas from up to 25 feet away. Fleas are attracted
to the trap and fall right through the grid and meet a sticky death
on the replaceable capture pad. Adult fleas are killed by the thousands
on the replaceable capture pad. Works year round without poisons,
expensive pills, or visits to the vet. Capture pads last for 3 months
or until filled with up to 10,000 fleas.
flea traps are electric and work by emitting gentle heat which attracts
fleas and traps them on sticky paper.
dog owners swear by garlic and brewer’s yeast to keep fleas away,
or plant herbs such as pennyroyal, southernwood, or wormwood around
dog kennels and near doorways, use herbal flea collars, brush lavender
or eucalyptus oil into the dog’s coat once a week, or sprinkle dried
leaves of lavender, rosemary, sage, or eucalyptus in the dog’s bed
to keep fleas away – but no evidence exists to prove these plant
products are valuable preventives.
complete flea control is not always possible for dogs that live
outdoors in warm and humid climates, because new populations of
fleas can hatch out every two to three weeks.
Medications – Dog
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