How to get rid of fleas in your house, on your pets, and how to stay rid of them once they're gone – a step-by-step guide to flea control.

Good Post on Fleas and Skin Allergies from the Dog Whisperer

dog scratching fleasHere’s a good article on various skin allergies at the Dog Whisperer website. It’s written by a veterinarian, so you know the advice is going to be professional. Check out what it has to say in regards to fleas.

Dogs that suffer from flea allergies will often bite at their tail and scratch frequently. Hair loss (alopecia) is often seen around and on top of the tail due to the intense itchiness (pruritis) caused by an allergic reaction to the fleas saliva. By spreading the hair or using a flea comb, you may see the fleas or black specks that look like dirt. By picking up some of the black appearing dirt with a moistened cotton ball you will notice a red color. Flea dirt is actually digested blood. In flea allergic dogs it is important to treat the dog for fleas and treat the home for fleas in order to relieve an itchy dog. There are several good products on the market that kill fleas and ticks. It is important to choose a product that kills fleas before they have a chance to bite as it is the saliva that causes the allergic reaction and an itchy dog. I have always had good luck with Frontline top-spot and Frontline spray.

Regardless of the cause of the allergic reaction there are over the counter treatments that you can try. Antihistamines such as Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can be given at a dose of 0.5 – 1 mg / lb of body weight every 8 hours as needed. Drowsiness is the most common side effect. If the area is localized a topical product such as hydrocortisone cream can be applied. If the insect bite area appears infected than triple antibiotic ointment may help. If you do not see improvement within a few hours after the Benadryl or if the allergic reaction is severe or continues to get worse, seek professional veterinary care as soon as possible. Dogs who have noticeable facial swelling, difficulty breathing, pain or intense itching should be seen immediately.

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