09-29-2016, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by lzrddr
Few comments about above comments:
1) when fleas leave, their itch can remain for weeks or longer, particularly if the pet chews on him/herself. Flea saliva can cause an allergic reaction very similar to how poison oak causes on allergic reaction in us. Once the saliva is in the skin, the itching can last quite a long time, even when the fleas are taken care of. The allergy is now its own disease, fleas or no. Of course, as mentioned above, not all dogs react the same to flea saliva- some are severely allergic, some mildly and many not at all.
2) fleas are generally NOT all over the dog's body, and far prefer the rump to anywhere else. Most flea allergy dogs have sores, hairloss, scabs and inflammation exactly where that photo shows the hair loss on that westie above. In fact, one of the ways we diagnose flea allergy versus other skin allergies is where on the body the problem is. On the rump only- almost always fleas! Everywhere on the dog- COULD be fleas but probably not. On the belly and feet only- NEVER fleas. On the face only, rarely if ever only fleas. This does not mean that every rash or scabby rump is due to fleas, but certainly highly suspicious of them. As mentioned, there are a lot of other things than can make a dog's rear end itch, but generally those are NOT on the dorsal rump, but more under the tail (which is also a common flea allergy area).
Cats are not dogs, though still fleas prefer cat rumps... however, fleas do tend to run all over a cat's body, far more often they do on a dog's. Finding fleas on a dog or cats face is not rare, but finding a flea allergy there is less common.
3) in this situation, the problem could certainly have been fleas some time ago, but if enough damage was done to the skin, left over dermatitis/damaged skin can attract a dog's attention for long periods (years even) if not stopped or treated somehow. So many times we see dogs that had a flea allergy at one time and the pets are STILL chewing their rump even if the fleas have been gone for weeks to months. Dogs often chew anything that itches, and skin rashes, sores, scabs and infections itch.
4) as for seeing a dermatologist that is ALWAYS a good idea, but there are few tests that are reliable that show whether an allergy is due to fleas or not... that one is more a diagnosis of finding the fleas, flea dirt (poop) or the location (rump).
Wow thanks for the insightful response that's very informative, you sound like a vet from the way you talk?
I never knew dogs could react for such long periods of time to fleas or wounds from a long time ago, but it makes a lot of sense considering what our pup is going through. It sounds as if he is doing exactly what you mention. The issue seems to be solely located on or near his rump area. He does not itch or chew any other area of his body. When we visited the vet there was obvious signs of fleas but now there are no signs at all so I do not think he has any, but I guess he may still be reacting to the wound area or the fleas from a while ago.
In this case what would you advise to do? Is allergy testing worthwhile? I believe it's an expensive process but I guess it would be quite definitive. If it provides lifelong information for diagnosing issues it's probably useful to get done anyway, but if he can become allergic to things later in life then perhaps not.
I somewhat feel we are maybe jumping the gun by returning to the vet so soon now you imply it's likely still the fleas from a couple of weeks ago, or the wounded area.