Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common allergy in dogs and cats.  It is caused by flea bites, specifically skin reactions from the saliva of the flea. It is a very itchy disease and predisposes to the development of secondary skin infections.

Oddly enough, most animals with flea allergy have very few fleas – because they are so itchy, they groom themselves excessively, eliminating any evidence of fleas. However, a couple of flea bites every two weeks are sufficient to make a flea allergic dog itchy all the time. Any animal can become allergic to fleas, although some pets are more attractive to fleas than others.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Flea allergy is generally diagnosed with a thorough history and physical examination, and seeing fleas on the animal. If no fleas are seen and the animal has a positive response to flea control, flea allergy can be diagnosed.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Pets with flea allergy must be treated with flea preventative. Skin infections are treated with antibiotics and the intense itching may be treated with antihistamines or corticosteroids. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
  •  Prevention: The most important part of treatment is preventing flea bites with aggressive flea control on your pet and in the environment.


What to Watch for*:

  • Severe itching
  • Chewing and biting the tail, rump, back legs
  • Oozing lesions from chewing
  • Hot spots on hips and face from intense scratching

Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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