What are Flea Treatment Allergies?
There are multiple ways you can treat fleas pestering your dog. One of the main options comes in a topical form you apply to the skin of your dog, usually on the back of his neck. Some dogs are sensitive to such topical medications and can develop allergies to these products. Another form of flea treatment is an ingestible pill. If you give your dog one of these treatments and then he develops allergy-like symptoms or begins to act abnormally in any way, contact your veterinarian. She will discuss with you the best way to proceed allowing for the best possible recovery for your dog.
Fleas are pests to our dogs and to us as owners. When your dog is constantly scratching due to these pests, you look for a treatment to offer him some relief. However, some of the treatments available for owners to purchase can cause allergy symptoms to develop in your dog.
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Symptoms of Flea Treatment Allergies in Dogs
Symptoms of flea treatment allergies in dogs can vary from case to case. Reactions can range from mild to severe. Symptoms may include
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Respiratory distress
- Skin inflammation
- Loss of hair
- Itchy skin
Most of the flea treatments out there today are topical or ingestible. With the topical medications, you apply a liquid to the back of the neck and onto your dog’s skin. Allergic reactions can happen immediately, after a few hours, or after a few days. As for the ingestible version, depending on what brand you buy, it comes in a flavored or flavorless tablet. If you believe your dog may be experiencing allergies from a flea treatment, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Causes of Flea Treatment Allergies in Dogs
The majority of topical flea treatments contain pyrethrins. The treatments can come in different concentrations leading to different reactions in each dog. It can cause an allergic reaction to develop on the surface of the skin where it is applied, or on a deeper level as it is absorbed. As for ingestible medications, it is often an ingredient used to flavor the tablet that causes allergy-like symptoms to develop in your dog.
Diagnosis of Flea Treatment Allergies in Dogs
When you first arrive at the veterinarian’s office, she will begin with a physical exam. This will allow her to note any abnormalities of your dog’s vitals as well as all his symptoms. Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment. A packed cell volume (PCV) may also be performed to determine hydration status. If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function.
If your dog’s skin has a rash or is inflamed in any way, your veterinarian may take a skin scraping sample in order to rule out external parasites or a bacterial overgrowth. If your dog is experiencing any type of respiratory issue, the veterinarian may take a radiograph to give her a proper look at his lungs. This will help her rule out other possible diagnoses such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
Treatment of Flea Treatment Allergies in Dogs
If your dog is experiencing breathing difficulties, your veterinarian may start your dog on oxygen via flow-by or place them in an oxygen cage. If your dog is experiencing severe difficulties and swelling, the veterinarian may have to intubate him and maintain oxygen administration via intubation until he stabilizes. An antihistamine will be administered to help decrease the swelling and you should begin to notice a reduction in swelling in 2 to 4 hours.
If your dog is experiencing any type of skin irritation, the veterinarian may wash your dog with a type of dish soap to wash the topical medication off your dog. Some type of medicinal ointment or cream may be applied to any areas inflammation to help heal it quicker. Depending on the symptoms your dog is experiencing, additional medications and therapies may be administered according to his needs.
If you gave your dog an ingestible flea treatment, you may just have to wait until it gets out of his system with the help of supportive therapies.
Recovery of Flea Treatment Allergies in Dogs
The sooner you receive veterinary care for your dog, the better his prognosis for a full recovery. As long as the topical medication is removed and not repeated, your dog should not suffer any long-term side effects. However, if you wait too long to receive veterinary treatment or continue to apply the flea treatment month after month, your dog may develop severe symptoms. If this occurs, prognosis for a full recovery declines greatly.
If your dog is allergic to one type of flea treatment, there are other options you can try. Discuss with your veterinarian the best way to handle fleas and your dog. Together, you can come up with a safe way to treat your dog.