The problem of flea allergy dermatitis arises when your pet's fur is heavily infested with fleas. These fleas feed themselves with the blood sucked out from the pet's body. While sucking blood, fleas release saliva to prevent coagulation of blood. This saliva is responsible for the allergic skin reaction that leads to dermatitis. In this condition, the pets experience such severe itching sensation that they start scratching and biting their skin. As a result, the skin becomes red and inflamed. Red skin rashes appear on various parts of the body. Too much scratching of these rashes can cause secondary infection in them. If flea allergy dermatitis is left untreated for long, then it can lead to hair loss in the affected part of the skin.
How to Treat Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Fleas found in thick fur of the pet multiply in numbers at a rapid pace. Therefore, the moment you observe itchy symptoms, you should consult your veterinarian. They will conduct thorough physical examination of your pet to ascertain the severity of the condition and treat it accordingly. The allergic reaction in both cats and dogs are controlled with oral antihistamines. It is often accompanied by steroids that can reduce skin inflammation. If there are signs of bacterial infection on the skin sores, then antibiotics are given. Fatty acid supplements are also recommended in this condition as they help to improve the skin condition.
Along with these oral medicines, topical ointments and hydrocortisone sprays are given for treating the skin rashes. They also prescribe flea shampoos. These are specially formulated medicated shampoos that can kill the fleas living in the pet's body. The instructions for using the shampoo are provided by the vet. Flea collar is popularly used for repelling the fleas that cause such a condition. These collars are tied around their neck which release toxic chemicals that can effectively eliminate the fleas. If there is a severe flea infestation in the pet's body, your vet may opt for some commercial flea products. When the fleas come in contact with the chemical components of these products, then they are killed almost instantly. Thus, they do not get the scope to bite the pet.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Flea Allergy Dermatitis
There are some excellent natural treatments available that can be used for extermination of the fleas and bring about relief from symptoms. A few such excellent remedies are as follows:
- Brush your pet's fur thoroughly with the help of a flea comb daily. This will remove fleas, larvae and eggs stuck in their fur. While combing, avoid those areas which are inflamed or have skin rashes as they may get hurt.
- Applying vitamin E oil or olive oil can heal the hot spots of cat flea allergy. Take a few drops of this oil on your fingertips and rub it gently over the affected spot. It should be repeated two times daily for faster results.
- Feed your pet cat with one teaspoon of brewer's yeast every day by spreading it on their food. Brewer's yeast has thiamine in it which reaches the skin surface after digestion. The fleas living on the cat skin do not like the taste of thiamine and thus they are repelled from their skin surface.
- The irritation on the dog skin can be controlled to a great extent with the help of citrus extracts. Put half of a lemon with the rind in a pint of boiling water and soak it overnight. Pour this liquid in a bottle and store in a refrigerator. Apply this liquid on the sensitive pet skin with the help of a cotton ball at least once a day to provide relief to them. Lemon has a component named D-limonene that can also repel the fleas.
- Garlic juice is a suitable internal repellent for dog fleas. However, you should not offer garlic to your pet cat. When garlic is taken by the dog, then a foul smell is given off through their skin which the fleas cannot bear. You should add the garlic juice to the food offered to your dog but not in concentrated amounts. Also if the dog has an underlying medical condition like anemia, garlic should not be included in their diet.
The only way you can prevent flea allergy dermatitis in your pets is by keeping your house free from fleas. For this, you must thoroughly vacuum clean every nook and corner of the house regularly. The pet bedding and all other items that are used by them should be given hot water treatment once a week. Most importantly, bath your pet using a herbal flea shampoo after a regular interval of time as per your vet's instructions.