As a cat owner, you are fully aware of how annoying fleas can be for you. But, do you realize just how problematic they can be to your beloved kitty? The reality is that a flea bite can result in more than just a small, itchy spot for your cat. In fact, a flea bite can potentially lead to far more serious skin issues that can make your cat truly miserable.
An Unrelenting Foe
As any pet owner who has experienced a flea infestation can attest, fleas can be an unrelenting enemy that is quite difficult to get rid of. Not only are they hard to remove from a home that has become infested, they are also relentless when it comes to annoying you and your pet. This is because the flea uses its specialized mouthparts to pierce the skin in order to siphon out blood. After piercing the skin, the flea injects its saliva into the skin in order to prevent the blood from coagulating. This way, the flea can easily and freely feed from your cat without the blood clotting.
The Effects of the Flea Bite
Flea bites are irritating to any pet or human but, unfortunately, some cats are even more sensitive to flea bites than other cats. In fact, some cats become very sensitive to the saliva the flea injects into their skin. When a cat develops this hypersensitivity, it is referred to as flea allergy dermatitis and leads to severe itching. In addition to being very uncomfortable for your cat, the allergy will also cause your cat to scratch the area feverishly, which can further irritate and damage the skin. In fact, a cat that has developed flea allergy dermatitis may experience all of the following problems:
o Small hives where the fleabite occurred, which may heal or may develop into a small red bump that ultimately crusts over.
o The development of raw, hairless areas where your cat has scratched and chewed itself. The areas, which are referred to as hot spots, may also weep.
o The development of areas that are red, hairless and scaly can lead to bacterial infection. The skin pigmentation may also change in the impacted area.
If you notice these signs of flea allergy dermatitis in your pet, it is important to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible in order to have the situation evaluated.
Treating Flea Allergy Dermatitis
The most important step you can take to prevent flea allergy dermatitis is to simply keep your kitty free of fleas. There are many products available on the market that can help keep your cat flea free, but you also need to focus on keeping your home free of fleas. Using flea powder when you vacuum, for example, can help keep your home free of these pests.
If your cat's skin has already become irritated by the dermatitis, your focus should include using medication to help alleviate the irritation your cat is experiencing. Again, you should work closely with your vet in order to find the right medication to help bring relief to your precious kitty.
CS Swarens is the CEO of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065
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