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Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which can erupt from the bite of a single flea, is the most common allergy in dogs. Many dogs are highly sensitive to certain substances in flea saliva, and the allergic reaction caused by the bite results in severe itching, inflamed skin, and red bumps on the skin, even long after the fleas have been eliminated. While FAD is at its worst in high summer during flea season, it can last year-round if fleas aren’t controlled in the home.
Good flea control is the only real treatment for FAD. Itching can be relieved with antihistamines and short-term doses of corticosteroids. If the dog chews at the bites so much that the skin becomes infected, topical and oral antibiotics will be necessary.
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Reprinted from The Original Dog Bible © 2005. Permission granted by BowTie Press.