Treating Flea Bites on Dogs


Your best friend came visiting with her Fido. Your doggie Tippy and Fido hit it off immediately and they run and play as if they have been pals for ages. Time to say goodbye and Tippy came running back indoors. She scratches feverishly and was sleepless throughout the night. Come days past the visit and you see little red-halo spots on Tippy’s body and her fur started to drop off from the repeated scratching and biting and you started to wonder:

“What’s wrong with my beloved Tippy?”

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Tippy has brought home a new friend with her and her name is


Which spells the beginning of a nightmare for you - Tippy is suffering from Flea Bite Dermatitis!

The constant itch and scratching and the skin inflammation are what we will commonly see as the signs and symptoms of fleas on dogs.

Flea bite dermatitis is an allergy reaction to the saliva excreted by the fleas when they bite through the skin, feeding on the blood of your dog. Reaction to flea bites may differ from one dog to another depending on their sensitivity to the flea bites. Two dogs living in the same household infested with fleas, one may develop severe itch and scratching while the other may show little or no reaction at all.

Flea bites dermatitis in dogs is characterized with a red spot surrounded by a reddened halo. It’s most seen in areas like the lower back or tail and the thighs and abdomen areas. (See Flea bites and how they look like)

It’s accompanied with itch causing increased scratching resulting in hair loss, crust and erosions of the skin and pimple-like bumps. In severe cases, the skin becomes thicken and darkened. Hot spots may develop which appear as red oozing sores causing immense pain to your pet.

Treating flea bites on your pet is aim at alleviating the allergic reaction of it to the flea bites. Treatment of dog’s flea bites may include:

  1. Bathing your dog with cold water instead of warm or hot water to keep the skin clean. Heat tends to stimulate itch and hence should be avoided to prevent further discomfort to your pet. Medicated shampoos, which help soothe inflammed skin, may also be used.
  2. Use a mild steroid cream like 1% hydrocortisone available in any local pharmacy to apply to the affected area. This will help to reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with the flea bites.
  3. The constant scratching and biting may lead to raw exposed skin and the use of an antibiotic cream may be needed to prevent secondary infections.
  4. In chronic cases, the whole body may be affected and an oral antihistamine and steroid may be prescribed by your vet to relief the pain and suffering of your dog. A dose of steroid injection may also be prescribed by your vet, which helps to alleviate the itch and inflammation rapidly.

Treating flea bites on your pets is by means an end to your problem. As long as fleas are allowed to remain in the surroundings where your pets live, your problem will be never ending. Hence, the only solution to prevent your dog from repeatedly suffering from flea bites is getting rid of dog fleas completely. Not only on your pet, but also your entire house, garden or yards.

Learn more on “How to get rid of fleas on my dog”, "Getting rid of fleas in your home” and “What will kill fleas outside in the yard” to help you in eradicating fleas completely.


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