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Flea Allergy Dermatitis In Cats Disclaimer

You might not think that your cat has fleas or even see any evidence of them, but just one flea can make your cat a miserable mess. Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is due to an allergic reaction to flea saliva which is injected under the skin when the flea bites the cat.


What are the signs of FAD?   Top
FAD can cause a severe reaction, which leads to:

  • Hair loss
  • Scab formation
  • Scaly skin
  • Intense itchiness
  • The most common area affected is along the back near the tailbase, although all areas can be affected and the extent of the problem depends on how allergic the cat is to the flea saliva.

    The affected cat will overgroom (spending an excessive amount of time licking and biting at the itchy areas), and together with scratching, this self-trauma can lead to secondary bacterial infections.

    What is the treatment for FAD?   Top
    Flea control is the most important part of treatment. Since only one fleabite is required to set the problem in motion, all fleas must be removed from the cat and its environment, including other pets in the househould, and then fleas must be prevented from re-entering the environment.

    There are many effective and safe products for applying to cats to kill existing fleas. Treat all other household pets as well and it is advisable to continue flea control on all animals year-round to prevent the problem recurring.

    Then all areas of the house the cat can access need to be fleabombed. This can be done by a professional, or you can do it yourself. Ensure you have sufficient bombs for the area you are treating.

    Many cats require short-term relief for their allergic condition. Corticosteroids are most commonly used, although antihistamines can be effective. Some cats will need antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections.
     

    Editor: Dr Julia Adams BVSc
    Contributor: Dr Rebecca Bragg BVSc
    Image kindly supplied by Bayer Australia Limited



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