Flea allergy is the most common type of allergy in dogs and cats, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. The allergy is to the saliva of the flea, and even one bite can set off a severe reaction in sensitive animals. Classically, flea allergy dermatitis causes itchiness and rashes on the back half of the animal (back legs, tail base, and belly), although signs can be seen anywhere on the body (including in the ears). The goal in managing flea allergy dermatitis is minimizing the number of bites that an animal receives. The more effective the flea treatment, the more allergies are avoided.
Flea products have evolved significantly over the last 20 years, and now they are much more effective. Advantage and Frontline started this trend with the concept that one application on the skin can have lasting effect and kill adult fleas. With Advantage and Frontline being used heavily over the last many years, concerns about resistance have become common. The “next generation” of flea products have now been developed are proving to be even more effective. The flea products that we are now using for allergic dogs and cats are Nexgard, Simparica, and Cheristin.
They kill fleas quicker and have not been around long enough to have a resistance problem. Since we mostly deal with dogs and cats with allergies, we have started using the newer flea products. These newer flea products are very safe and more effective, making a big difference with allergic dogs and cats.