Flea Allergy Dermatitis: Sensitivity To Flea Saliva
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Many dog owners are surprised to learn that one of the most common allergies in dogs is hypersensitivity to flea saliva.

The word dermatitis means inflammation.
Fleas are aggravating for any dog. But for dogs allergic to flea saliva, flea bites cause severe skin inflammation, and itching that lasts for days or weeks. This not only makes your dog miserable, the ensuing scratching and licking often leads to a skin infection, which makes itching even worse.

The key to good flea control is using an excellent flea preventive, such as Advantage® II, every month, year-round.
Year-round flea control is important for all dogs, but even more essential for dogs with a flea allergy. People sometimes assume they don't need to use a flea product during the colder months, especially in a northern climate. But fleas can survive quite well in the warmth of our homes, even in the winter. Also, remember that fleas go through a life cycle of eggs to larvae to pupae to adults. If you stop using a flea preventive today because you see no adult fleas, next month when any remaining eggs or larvae develop into biting adults, your pet will be unprotected.

For a dog allergic to flea saliva, adequate protection against fleas may mean doing more than just applying a topical product. You may also need to treat your home, yard, and outdoor kennel.