Since flea season is right around the corner, I wanted to talk about Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). FAD is the most common skin condition that veterinarians see. FAD occurs when a dog or cat is allergic to flea bites.
FAD symptoms worsen during peak flea seasons, usually during the summer or fall. Once your pet has been bitten (even just once), you will notice excessive scratching, chewing, licking or biting. More extreme signs of FAD include small, red skin lesions and hair loss. Hot spots can also be present.
Diagnosis is based on your pet’s history, clinical signs and the presence of fleas. Your veterinarian might also do an intradermal test, this is similar to allergy testing in humans, where a small amount of solution is placed under the skin. If a reaction occurs, you are allergic to that particular allergen.
Pets with FAD are treated by keeping the pet itself and its environment flea free. To control fleas on your pet, you will want to use a spot-on flea control product, such as Advantage or Frontline Plus.
To treat your home, you can use a combination of vaccuming and insecticide, such as Virbac Area Treatment to rid your home of any current flea infestations.