Unlike the complex process of allergen reactions in the dogs body, Flea bite allergies are simply caused by the anticoagulant the flea has in its saliva to prevent the blood from clotting as it is sucking blood out of the dogs body.
The reason that dog allergies from flea bites are not seen as such an issue as dog skin contact allergies or food allergies is that standard flea deterrent medication given monthly to discourage fleas from biting and sucking blood have mostly eradicated this issue.
However you should be aware that flea bite hyper-sensitivity is still the MOST COMMON skin disease in pets. It is most common for dogs between one and five and with breeds susceptible to skin allergies.
The flea life cycle has four stages: adult flea, egg, larva, and pupa. Curiously after the adult fleas bite they are then interested in moving on for survival of their species. But they cannot survive if they are not on the dog so it is in their best interest to lay their eggs and then fall off to lay on another host. This is why it is vital that all dogs in a pack have flea resistance.
Once a flea falls off a dogs body its up to the eggs to mutate through the rest of their life cycles.
What symptoms do flea bites on dogs cause?
Severe itching of the dog skin is a condition medically called pruritis.
One of the greatest obvious and difficult to heal issues from flea bites are hot spots. It is not 100% correlated with fleas, but most professionals and owners agree that in the center of a red itchy rash, a bite and sometimes a remaining flea can cause severe itching.
Some dogs can also suffer behavioral problems from flea bite hypersensitivity. This condition is called neuro-dermatoses.
You may also find hair loss from the body reaction and the scratching and scabs that don’t heal easily on the dog’s skin, because of continual scratching.
Dog flea bite allergy PREVENTION
If you walk your dog regularly and they play with other dogs and they go to areas their might be fleas, it might be difficult to avoid fleas all together, but as mentioned there are flea medications that are said to be very effective at preventing the adult flea from staying on the skin or keeping sucking once they have tasted the medication tainted blood.
Be aware that these flea medications need to be used as regularly as described on the packet for the life of the dog – along with regular worm and heart-worm medication and tick medication in some areas.
What you are unlikely to be told is that the medication is typically only effective against the flea adult. So if an adult manages to lay eggs (without biting) and there are enough eggs so that some of the resulting adult fleas can resist the medication and bite the dog, and make them itch from the anticoagulant, then you may need to use flea egg medication as well.