Dogs get fleas. That’s certainly no secret. For most dogs, the solution to the problem is a rather simple one – there are pills you can get from your vet that will eliminate them. And there are many flea control products on the market to control them.
But for some dogs, fleas present a more stubborn and complicated problem. This is when a flea infestation can cause dermatitis in your dog because of an allergic reaction. The dermatitis causes the dog’s skin to turn a bright red and itch.
Flea allergy dermatitis is a condition where dogs become allergic to flea saliva. More than 60 percent of all dogs develop this condition at some point. It probably will necessitate a trip to the vet for steroids to handle the itch and antibiotics if the dog has developed any hot spots.
The first step in preventing this allergy is to eliminate the fleas. So, make sure you are using a flea prevention product on your dog, such as a collar or drops. However, this may not completely solve the problem because these treatments generally do not kill every flea, and it only takes one flea bite to induce an allergic reaction.
To further reduce the chances of an allergic reaction, there are steps you can take to completely eradicate fleas from your home in about three months:
- Treat your dog with a flea prevention product.
- Vacuum several times each week. You can also sprinkle some diatomaceous earth on carpets and furniture and then vacuum it off. This is very effective at eliminating fleas.
- Wash all of the bedding and toys used by your dog.
- Spray your dog’s bedding routinely with a natural flea spray.
- About 15 days after using a topical flea killer, you may want to use a prescription flea treatment available from a vet.
You need to repeat these steps for three months. This is long enough to ensure that you will be able to get any eggs that have hatched.
If your dog does have a mild reaction, there are things you can do at home to relieve it. Give the dog an oatmeal bath, along with Benadryl and skin supplements. If the reaction is more severe, you will need to see a vet for steroids and anti-inflammatory medication.
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