Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
Flea Allergy Dermatitis is one FAD you don’t want to follow.
For some of us, the summer and fall months tend to be our favorite because we have the chance to get outside with our dogs and head for an adventure to the beach or watch the leaves change on a nature trail.
The problem is that outdoor excursions tend to come with their own set of obstacles, one of them being unwanted critters such as fleas. And once fleas are tracked indoors, they can hide in pet beds, carpets, curtains, and even on other pets like cats.
Signs of Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Similar to when we get a mosquito bite, fleas tend to annoy your pet just as much. Cue the excessive scratching and obsessive nature that comes along with being overly itchy.
You may notice visible signs of redness, patches of missing hair, bumps (may or may not be pus-filled), and scabs around your pet’s neck, back, tail, or legs.
The sad news is that, in cats, these minor annoyances can escalate to more serious conditions. Therefore, you should monitor your cat closely if you notice any of those red flags and see your veterinarian immediately if you suspect something is up.
What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?
Essentially, Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is a skin disease that results from fleas biting your pet to the point of creating a skin irritation. It’s not only the constant biting and crawling that affects their skin, rather, the chemicals found in the fleas’ saliva (which are left behind on your pet’s skin) that also cause irritation.
So now that you know what to look for and what FAD is, it’s time for some preventative measures.
How to Keep Your Pets Safe
Regularly bathing your pet is one of the best ways to keep FAD away. Most vets agree that one bath a week is all your furry companion needs to stay clean. Of course, if your pet already has a skin condition, then you may need to speak to your vet first and see what’s recommended.
On top of keeping your pets clean, all of their bedding needs to be washed weekly as well. Using a hot water wash and rinse, you’ll want to clean anything that your pet sleeps on in case the fleas have set up shop where your pet snuggles.
Lastly, you’ll want to vacuum once a week to prevent critters from infesting your carpets. If you suspect a possible infestation, you may need to set off bug foggers. However, most brands on the market don’t let humans or pets in the house when the foggers are set off, so you’ll need a place to stay for several hours after. You can find more tips on fending off the pesky flea on our natural flea control page.
Although FAD can be a very serious condition, it’s also one that can be prevented and treated. Stay diligent with your cleaning efforts and keep a watchful eye out for potential signs of an issue, and your pets should be safe.
Craig is a lifelong pet owner and dog advocate with a special interest in animal and human longevity. He founded Vet Organics to develop an affordable, all-natural, safe and effective ear infection remedy for his dog, Lucy, whose chronic ear problems could not be solved by the vet.