Allergy to fleas
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is the most prevalent skin problem among dogs and cats. It derives from an allergic reaction of animals to flea saliva. Laboratory tests found that there are more than 14 allergens in flea saliva: each of them separately may cause an allergic reaction. Fleas are wingless insects, brown-colored & 1.5 – 3.3mm in size. The flea’s hind legs are strong and long and enable it to jump a great distance, more than 200 times its body length. Fleas have a full four-stage lifecycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larvae feed on various organic materials and adults are parasites that feed on blood.
Every time a flea feeds on animals, it injects its saliva under the skin. The clinical signs of allergy to fleas are itching, redness of the skin to the point of lesions, abscesses, peeled skin, and increased hair loss and even balding in areas on which the fleas feed. Dogs or cats may injure themselves by biting and scratching, mainly at the base of the tail and in the lower abdomen, head and ear areas.
Flea allergy dermatitis development process:
- The flea attaches itself to the skin
- Flea saliva creates an anti-inflammatory reaction
- A trauma is created in the area, the skin peels and creates inflammation
- A severe bacterial infection is created
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