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Flea control and prevention is essential for dogs with flea bite hypersensitivity. There are numerous options on the market that kill the adult fleas for a period of time, but all should be repeated (as indicated) for continuous flea control. Insecticides often are applied as spot-on treatments - typically topical treatments that are applied to a small area, usually at the top back of the neck where the dog is unable to lick it off. Oral products are also available, some of which may be more useful and practical for you and your dog. Flea shampoos can also be beneficial for young animals or for an acute flea infestation, but continuous management with one of the long-term products is essential.
Flea control for outdoor pets is virtually impossible, but current flea control products that are available may be sufficient for short term treatment, as long as the house does not become infested. There are many pet products that can be used to treat for fleas during their immature stages of life (i.e., eggs). However, if the house or yard has an infestation, environmental treatment will be necessary. Fleas will actually bite humans in the house if flea medications cause them to leave their animal host to search for another host.
Dogs that are allergic to fleas may require steroids or antihistamines to combat their sensitivity to the bites. Likewise, if a secondary bacterial infection develops as the result of open sores, antibiotics may be prescribed. Follow-up exams are often necessary to determine how treatments are progressing.
Living and Management
The most important factor in managing a dog with fleas is the application of regular doses of flea treatment on a timely basis. Because it takes only one or two bites for a flea allergic animal to start itching, it is best that you be consistent with flea control products. Other factors to consider, such as frequent bathing, and whether you are using spot-on treatments or other topical products, will determine how long to wait between product applications.
Image: Jaromir Chalabala / Shutterstock
Any type of arachnid excluding ticks
An insect that has hatched from an egg but has not yet reached the pupal stage
A condition in which the skin becomes inflamed
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.
A reaction to a certain pathogen that is out of the ordinary