Cat Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Flea saliva has several antigens, any one of which may cause an allergic reaction in your cat. Cats can develop flea allergies at any age, but they almost never grow out of them. No breed or age of cat is exempt from the possibility of developing a flea allergy.
Symptoms of Flea Allergy Dermatitis
Flea allergy symptoms can seem similar to other skin allergies in cats. If you suspect your cat may have a flea allergy, watch for:
- Seasonal skin allergies that are worse in the summer and fall
- Frequent scratching
- Biting fur especially at the base of the tail
- Hair thinning or loss
- Evidence of fleas
- Red skin
Your cat may also exhibit symptoms of:
- Miliary Dermatitis (rash with small crusts)
- Alopecia (fur loss)
- Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex ( a pattern of skin lesions involving the skin, gums, and mouth)
Treatment of Flea Allergy Dermatitis
The best way to treat your cat for flea allergy dermatitis is to eliminate the fleas from your cat’s environment, and allow the skin to heal. You might treat your cat for fleas using the following products:
You will also need to treat your cat’s environment for fleas, or your cat will simply pick them up again. You can eliminate the flea problem in your home using products such as:
Once your cat and home are free of fleas, you can prevent a recurrence of the infestation using such products as:
Cats with flea allergy dermatitis would benefit from staying indoors if at all possible, because it is very easy for cats to pick up fleas when they go outdoors. If your cat must go outside, be sure to arm him/her against fleas with flea prevention.
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