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I believe my 2 year old Cairn Terrier may be suffering from a case of flea allergy dermatitis, or hypersensitivity to flea bites. We experienced a case of fleas 4 months ago and since then, we've had her on Advantage which works well. In the past two weeks, she's been scratching a lot and various red bumps as well as scabs/lesions have been appearing. Typical symptoms of a flea bite allergy.

As I said, she's been on Advantage for a few months and in all that time, I've only seen one live flea. Everything I read online for treatment and prevention of her allergy indicates that we need to get the flea situation under control... but other than treating her monthly and making sure our apartment is clean, is there anything else that can be done?

It seems a single flea bite can cause these symptoms so I'm worried that after we treat this case, it will reappear if we don't change the prevention routine. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
 

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It is likely that the fleas are still there. If you saw one, there have to be more. As you know, the fleas will also be in the carpet, the dog bed and other areas of the home.

If the spots keep appearing and you suspect flea allergy, then most likely you still have fleas.
 

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When you say your apartment is clean, what did you do to exterminate the fleas? Fogger/bomb/sprays? That's actually as if not more important than treating the dogs because the fleas live/lay eggs in the environment and just get the occasional meal/ride on dogs. This has to be done for several months on the same cycle as your topical treatment for your dog.

Also, one flea bite is enough to set off an allergic reaction in some dogs. So even if your apartment is actually flea-free, if you took your dog somewhere public, a lone flea could have hopped on.
 

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I feel your pain!! :(

One of my cats has allergies to fleas bites, as do I! :eek:
She actually has OCD tendencies after our encounter with fleas, she grooms herself so much that her stomach, bumm and half of her tail is just like goose down, not fur. :(

No matter what I did, I couldn't get them out of the carpet. I don't know if they got under the carpet and crawled in under the baseboards or what but it didn't matter that I vacuumed 6 times a day, ran the carpet cleaner with bleach, vinegar, garlic (separately), I steamed it and I treated it! :(
Bagged and taped all clothes, blankets, sheets and washed it on scalding hot and bagged/taped again!

The only way I managed to get rid of every last one, I tore up all the carpet in my house! :eek:

They are extremely hard to get rid of once you get them and they can make your life a living hell!

It can take a little while for the symptoms to go away but until they do disappear, I would clean your house like you still had them.
If you relax at all and it turns out you had a couple of stragglers, before you know it you'll be overrun again. :mad:

What and how did you treat your house? Your furniture?
 
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Ugh, fleas are horrible. My dog had flea allergy dermatitis when I lived in Georgia. The apartment complex I lived in had a ton of feral cats and every time I took Mazzik out to potty, he would get fleas on him. It was an endless cycle. And he was miserable; he pretty much scratched out all of his fur. It was terrible and I felt so bad. I actually ended up moving into a house with some other friends and then after college I moved back up to Wisconsin. In the past 4 years his hair has slowly grown back in and he is finally looking like he used to.
I wish I had more answers for you... but like others have stated, you have to get rid of all the fleas. Just one flea can make your and your dog's life hell. I wish you the best of luck!
 

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Kabota was infested with fleas, but they were in his britches, which are very thick and long and I never saw them. The groomer found them while she was washing him.

Fleas are becoming immune to Advantage. You need to try something else, Vectra, a Seresto collar, Comfortis, etc.
 

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Comfortis is great.

Just like everyone said: most likely those little *[email protected]'s are still hiding in the house. I had a vet tell me once that once they got fleas, they could not get rid of them and eventually ended up MOVING all together!! I hope you don't have to go through all that!! <3
 

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You could also look into allergy serum injections from your vet/specialist.

There's only a 75% success rate on them, and take up to 12 months to start working BUT I know a few people that have done this and saw a night & day difference with their dogs.
 

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My Lexi lost half of her coat last summer due to flea allergy... I put her on comfortis and haven't had any problems since. I never did see a flea on her but we spend time in the forest and all it took was a bite, luckily we never had the nasty little buggers in the house!
 
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