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June 15, 2012, 2:51 pm Yahoo!7
The flea is the number one cause of allergies in cats and dogs. Dr Harry knows of more creepy crawlies that can annoy your beloved pet.
Often the onset of spring brings with it our yearly bout of hayfever. Well, guess what? Our pets suffer from allergies too, and as the weather warms up, problems get worse. We vets see it as constant scratching, skin redness and loss of hair, coupled with a smell. This is due to bacteria on the skin reacting with serum oozing from the rash. Doesn’t it sound nice? It certainly isn’t for your pet!
Still number one as the cause of allergies in cats and dogs is the flea. The problem with these critters is that they happily see out winter in your home or under the house and, once the mercury starts to climb, they emerge. Of the total flea population in your home and yard, 95 per cent exist as eggs and larvae. You need a treatment that will kill the adult flea, and also stop eggs from developing into adults. Flea rinses are old hat; you need to use a spot-on flea product, applied to the back of your pet’s neck, on a monthly basis.Pets are also often allergic to plants. Wandering Jew is the worst of all. You find it growing in cool, shaded areas, and dogs love to lie on it on a hot day. It is hard to get rid of – smothering with black plastic seems to work best. Grasses and certain native plants like grevillias can also be culprits.
To eliminate as much skin bacteria as possible, wash your dog with a medicated shampoo like Malaseb. Often your pet will need a visit to your vet, who may prescribe low doses of steroids or suggest an allergy screen or skin biopsy to try to determine the cause.