Flea Allergy Dermatitis

What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?

Flea allergy dermatitis is a very common form of allergy that can occur for a dog. Even though it is common, it isn’t something you want them to continue suffering from. It develops when a dog is bitten by a flea, even if they only have a couple of them. Yet there is something in the saliva that causes the allergic reaction to begin. It is easy enough for a dog owner to overlook this type of allergy because they aren’t familiar with it.


The most common symptom of flea allergy dermatitis is excessive scratching. Any dog that is affected by it will be itchy all the time. When they are playing, eating, or trying to sleep they will be disturbed by it. A dog owner may look all over the skin but not see any fleas at all.

This is because the excessive itching removes most of them. However, the damage has already been done and the process will continue to repeat itself unless you take action. The itching and irritation can continue for several weeks after the dog has actually been bitten by the fleas.

Another sign of flea allergy dermatitis is a dog biting and nibbling on the tail, the side of the body, and the legs. This is also done to try to get some form of relief from the itching. When this is excessive though your dog could end up with open skin or lesions from where they have been scratching or biting. This can result in an infection occurring if you don’t keep a watchful eye on your pet.

Some dog owners are offended by the thought that their dog may have flea allergy dermatitis. Even the cleanest of environments though can expose dogs to fleas. As the temperatures outdoors increase so does the risk of them being around. In areas where there is a high percentage of humidity, the risk continues to increase even more. Try to keep a watchful eye on what is going on.

There are steps you can take to try to reduce such a problem for your dog. Prevention is the key to controlling flea allergy dermatitis. Your dog should be on a monthly regiment of flea prevention medication. This can be in the form of drops or a spray. It is best to avoid flea collars as they can be toxic.

The amount of product to use is determined by weight so pay close attention to that when you are buying such an item. Make sure you use a quality brand of product with a solid reputation of being effective. There are some of these flea prevention products out there that really aren’t as effective as they need to be. Mark the date for the next dose on your calendar so you don’t forget this course of preventative care for your dog.

Keep the area where your dog lives clean and wash their bedding often in hot water. You can place toys and other items your dog uses into plastic bags with the top tightly closed for several days. This will kill any fleas or eggs that may be present. If your dog goes indoors you should vacuum your carpets frequently.

Watch the behavior of your dog closely. If he or she starts to exhibit symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis you will want to closely examine the skin. If you see broken skin apply a topical antibiotic to help with the healing and to reduce the itching. If your efforts with over the counter products don’t work, talk to your vet. More advanced treatment such as 7 days of steroids may be necessary.