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Q. My 7 yr old dog is scratching and licking till her fur falls out. She has patches alkl over now. I have found no fleas. Border collie x lab

Answered By
DR. JENNIFER LADD, DVM

A. Many times I see dogs in my clinic with similar symptoms and I cannot find a flea on them. Having said that, it is a condition that we often called flea allergy dermatitis. They have been bit by fleas to the extent that they develop allergic reaction much like humans with bee stings. Usually in these cases I start them on a low dose of prednisone to stop the inflammation and make the animal more comfortable while we treat for fleas. I then recommend usually an oral flea preventative such as comfortis or in other cases a topical flea treatment such as advantage. In addition it's important to decontaminate the environment so washing all their bedding on super hot water, vacuuming often etc. It's important to remember that fleas hatch every 2 to 3 weeks and so new generations will continue to hatch. The bald patch at the base of the tail is very typical for this condition so I encourage you to treat despite the visual absence of fleas. Also I redose the flea media cation every 3 weeks instead of 4:


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