How to deal with Dogs with Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) or Flea Infestations.
Flea allergy dermatitis and flea infestation can cause intense itching and discomfort for your dog. Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is a common allergic reaction that can last up to two weeks after a flea bite.
Because of the severe, prolonged allergic reaction caused by FAD, many dog owners decide that the dog’s severe reaction to flea bites outweighs the potentially negative effects of pesticide containing flea treatments.
Routinely applying flea treatments to all pets in the household to protect the health and comfort of dogs with Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD).
Fleas are biting parasites that can also transmit tape worms and other infectious diseases.
- The cat flea is the most common flea found in the United States. The adult fleas live on the blood of cats, dogs and other mammals.
- Only 5% of the flea life cycle, the adult fees, are visible to the naked eye.
How Long Do Fleas Live on a Dog
Flea eggs, larvae and pupae may infest your home without your knowledge.
Adult female fleas can lie up to 50 eggs per day, and those eggs transfer to carpet, bedding, soil and other surfaces.
The complete life cycle of the flea infestations may last anywhere from two weeks to two years, so year-round prevention efforts are necessary.
Does Cold Temperatures Kill Fleas?
The typically mild winters in the western United States allows fleas to thrive. It takes a temperature below 37°F for 10 days with full frost penetration to kill fleas of all life stages.
Any area that is warmer, such as a garage or under a porch, can protect dormant fleas from death. Thus, mild winters lead to pronounce spring and summer fly seasons.
The Natural Approach to Kill Fleas on Dogs
Preventing flea infestations with a natural approach to maintain a comfortable home is ideal. But natural remedies may not resolve some serious flea infestation‘s, and they don’t do enough to protect dogs with Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD).
Under these circumstances, you may want to consider a veterinarian prescribe topical flea treatments or chemical pesticides.
These products provide high-impact approaches that may negatively impact the long-term health of dogs, humans and the environment with heavy, repeated use.
However, they can be an essential part of controlling flea infestation or preventing allergic reactions when used on an as needed basis.
Warning for Dog Owners who are also Cats Owners
Cats are very sensitive too many of the chemical and natural ingredients used in flea killers and flea repellent.
Never use a flea product, chemical or natural, on a cat unless it is specifically labeled for use on cats.
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Went to Contact your Veterinarian
See your veterinarian if your house has a severe infestation that doesn’t improve after four weeks of using several alternative flea treatments.
- If your dog has significant hair loss, bleeding or smelly skin, please don’t wait, and visit your veterinarian.
- If your dog, or cat, begins to vomit, drool heavily, twitter shake, immediately call your veterinarian and remove any flea products on your dog’s skin with Dawn dish detergent.
How to Get Rid of Flea Infestations on Dogs
- Choosing the Best Pesticide
Be on the lookout for counterfeit flea products when shopping online discount stores. Buying from your veterinarian is safest, but if you do buy online, choose a reputable source and check for signs of counterfeiting.
Counterfeit flea products may not have childcare packaging, and EPA registration number or English directions.
A package may include misspellings, a foreign label, or a mismatch between a picture of the animal and the product within.
Contact the EPA if you think you might have a counterfeit flea infestation product.
Veterinary products - consulting with your veterinarian allows you to work with your veterinarian to get the best possible solution for your individual dog. You’ll also avoid buying a counterfeit product.
Over-the-counter products - talk to your veterinarian before using any pesticide based flea products unless you have a healthy, middle-aged adult dog.
While we base our recommendations on safety studies and product availability, your veterinarian may recommend other products that better match your dog’s needs.
Veterinarian recommendations are particularly important for dogs with health problems, dogs who take medication, senior dogs, young dogs and puppies.
Fipronil or Fipronel and S-Methoprene - Products are available in a spot on a liquid that kills fleas and ticks.
Products that contain these active ingredients are waterproof after three days. Wait to apply them at least 24 hours after a bath.
Most dogs can use these products and less you pay them more than every seven days. Currently, those are the only products that can be safely used on your dog if she is pregnant or lactating.
Dogs as young as eight weeks old can also use these products.
Filronil or Fipronil and s-methoprene are the active ingredients in Frontline and Frontline Plus.
Nitenpyram - Nitenpyram is an oral tablet and best used if you bathe your dog at least once a week. While this is an over-the-counter option that is very safe and can be used in animals as young as four weeks ( over 2 lbs), it is only effective for 24 hours.
These products are not as effective in helping an animal with FAD or flea infestation.
They are best used before bringing a pet home after boarding, before introducing a new animal into the house, or immediately after exposure to fleas before they are brought into your home environment.
If you prefer tablets over spot on liquids, talk to your veterinarian about a similar but longer acting oral medication for regular use.
2. Eliminate and Repel Flea Infestations from your Dog
Apply the pesticide - Always follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure correct application. Different products may have completely different instructions.
Watch your dog - If you see weakness, shakiness or any other unusual behavior, call your veterinarian.
3. Naturally Eliminating Fleas from your Home.
Vacuum your house frequently - Vacuuming eliminates fleas in every stage of their life, and it eliminates flea larvae food sources.
Vacuum every few days, paying particular attention to the places your dog spends the most time.
Add a grocery store chemical flea collar to your vacuum cleaner’s bag to kill and trap flea infestations or empty your vacuum bag or container immediately after vacuuming.
Wash and dry bedding, clothing and toys - Soap and water drown adult flea infestations, and a dryers high heat kills flea infestations and all life stages. Spray wash bedding and dog clothing with the natural repellent you use on your dog.
4. Strengthen your Dog's Skin.
By helping your dog’s skin and coat become strong and as healthy as possible, you’ll make your dog a less attractive house for fleas and reduce the secondary problems caused by fleas and flea bites.
Switch to a diet specifically designed to strengthen skin and coat. Raw is an especially excellent choice for improving skin and coat health.
Supplement with digestive enzymes to help your dog get the best possible results from his diet.
Look for products with Protase, Amylase, Cellulose, or Lipase.
Digestive enzyme supplements to consider are:
Essential fatty acids supplements support healthy skin and coat as well as overall health.
Consider adding one of these essential fatty acid supplements to your dog's diet:
- Please be careful when using flea products. The artificial, and even some of the natural, ingredients used to kill and repel fleas can permanently injure or even kill some animals.
- Cats are particularly susceptible. If you have any doubts on whether something is safe, we recommend talking to your veterinarian before using it.
- Dogs get routine pesticide flea treatments are still likely to benefit from any of the preventative measures outlined above.
Expect improvement within 48 hours of treating a dog in the house, but it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to resolve an infestation.
After two months, if you haven’t eliminated the problem, consult your veterinarian for alternative recommendations.
When the flea infestation is under control, you may be able to switch back to using only natural, preventative treatments.