Affected dogs are likely to be restless and uncomfortable, spending much time scratching, licking, rubbing, and chewing the skin.
Clinical signs in dogs include:
- Pruritus, which may be intense and manifest over the entire body
- Lumbosacral irritation, often starting at the base of the tail, spreading to the dorsal lumbosacral region, perineum, caudal thighs and abdomen
- Skin lesions, commonly erythema and papules, followed rapidly by areas of alopecia, scaling, papules and reddish brown crusts.
In extremely hypersensitive dogs, extensive areas of alopecia, erythema and self-trauma are evident. Traumatic moist dermatitis (hot spots) can also occur. As the disease becomes chronic, the dog may develop generalised alopecia, severe seborrhoea, hyperkeratosis and hyperpigmentation.
- In addition to a symptomatic treatment, it is important to remove the source of allergy from the animal.
The treatment of the animal with an insecticide immediately active against adult fleas is the first step. Flea management has to be completed by the treatment of the other animals in contact with the affected one, and by the treatment and cleaning (vacuum cleaner etc.) of the direct environment (furnitures, beddings) against flea immature stages. The use of a fipronil-(S) methoprene adulticide, combined with an IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) spot-on constitutes an excellent therapeutic solution.
Whichever treatment is proposed, anti-flea management should be pursued throughout the year. The use of persistent adulticides (fipronil, imidacloprid, selamectin, pyriprole, metaflumizone, afoxolaner etc.) allows the number of fleas to be kept below the allergenic threshold triggering symptoms.
Ask your vet for more information.