Does your dog or cat scratch a lot? Not just a lot, but A LOT a lot? Do they have a bald spot above the base of their tail? Are they scratching that spot till it bleeds? Ouch!
Are they trying to twist every which way to lick, scratch or bite themselves?
If so, then your pet may be obsessing over a fad. And by “fad” we mean flea allergy dermatitis. This is nothing to be very enthusiastic about, trust us. This means your pet may have an allergy to the saliva of fleas.
For your dog or cat, it’s a literal pain in the bootie or neck...back...all of the above.
When it comes to excess itching, pet owners commonly turn to blaming food (especially corn) for their dog’s itchy misery. But the unfortunate truth is that their itchy skin is more likely caused by flea bites than bites of food if they aren’t on a year-round flea and tick preventive. Luckily for you though, it’s actually easy to keep fleas off your pet’s backside and avoid this problem.
Stop Your Pet from Obsessing Over This FAD
Here’s how FAD develops: Fleas wine & dine on blood, and once flowing, the blood normally clots. But sneaky fleas have developed a way to keep the blood coming. While they are sucking blood out of your pet, their saliva acts as a natural blood thinner that prevents clotting until they’ve had their fill.
The problem is that after many flea bites, your pet’s immune system says, “Hey, quit it!!” and develops an allergy to the saliva. This takes a normal itch and escalates the whole kit ‘n caboodle into inflamed, blistered, ulcerated skin.
Once the allergy develops, your pet is locked into a perpetual cycle of “bite, scratch, itch” – not the ideal daily routine. After a flea bite, your pet begins to chew at the itchy area, damaging their own skin. Think of this the same way you might scratch at a mosquito bite until it’s much bigger than it initially was. We’re sure you can all relate to that horrendous feeling.
Because there is exposed, damaged skin, infection can soon set in, which then makes the itch not only even itchier but downright painful! So you can see how this cycle can get out of hand fast and lead to lots of skin damage and misery for your pet.
One (Flea) Bite, Everybody Knows the Rules.
With one pesky bite, fleas can get this cycle started within only 2 weeks. Pet parents with furry family struggling with FAD claim they can never see fleas on their pets. Why? Well, there are several reasons:
- Fleas are masters at hiding amongst the hair Like incognito vampires.
- Fleas are tiny little things — not much bigger than the 'e’ at the end of this sentence. Did you see it?
- They often scamper around on the belly, where you may not be looking. Look closer while you give out belly rubs.
There may only be a few fleas on your pet, but that’s plenty to start the allergic reaction! And once that allergy is established even one bite can set off a big reaction.With all that being said, we hope you understand better now that PREVENTION is ESSENTIAL. Preventive action keeps fleas from biting, thus preventing the whole FAD process. Nip fleas in the bud so your pet isn’t nipping at their butt! Apply a monthly flea and tick topical to your dog or cat and check out topical sprays, collars, or powders that kill fleas, ticks, and other parasites for year-round protection.