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Beware the Bugs: Essential Parasite Prevention for Pets at Burlingame Family Pet Hospital


Spring has sprung in California, bringing blooming flowers, chirping birds, and, unfortunately, a surge in pesky parasites. As a pet parent, you're likely familiar with the challenges these unwelcome guests can pose to your furry friend's health. Fleas, ticks, and heartworms can not only cause itchy discomfort for your pet but also transmit serious diseases.

Common Parasites and Their Threats

California's sunny climate may be a haven for us humans, but it also creates a breeding ground for a variety of nasty parasites that can wreak havoc on our furry companions. Some of the most common culprits include:


Fleas: These tiny, jumping insects are notorious for causing intense itching and irritation. Their bites can also trigger allergic reactions in some pets, leading to hot spots, hair loss, and even skin infections.  Fleas can also transmit tapeworm infections to pets if accidentally ingested during grooming.


Ticks: These blood-sucking arachnids can latch onto your pet while they're exploring outdoors. While a single tick might not cause major problems, their bites can transmit a range of serious diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Early detection and removal of ticks are crucial to prevent these illnesses.


Heartworms:  These parasitic worms live inside your pet's heart and lungs, causing significant damage over time. Spread by infected mosquitoes, heartworm disease can be life-threatening if left untreated. Regular testing and preventative medications are essential for protecting your pet from this silent killer. 

Warning Signs Your Pet Might Have Parasites

Even the most vigilant pet parent can't prevent every parasite encounter. But the good news is many signs can tip you off to a potential infestation early on.


  • Itchy, Scratchy Discomfort: Excessive scratching, licking, and chewing, particularly around the tail base or paws, are classic signs of flea or mite irritation. Pets may also develop red, inflamed skin or visible sores from constant scratching.


  • Skin and Coat Issues:  A dull, dry coat with excessive shedding or hair loss can indicate a parasite problem. Fleas and mites can also cause patchy hair loss or scabbing.


  • Digestive Distress:  Vomiting, diarrhea, or scooting (dragging their rear end on the ground) can be signs of intestinal parasites. Weight loss, despite a good appetite, might also occur.


  • Lethargy and Weakness:  A sudden decrease in energy or unusual fatigue can be a red flag, especially in conjunction with other symptoms.  Heavy infestations of parasites can lead to anemia, making pets feel tired and weak.


  • Visible Signs of the Culprit:  In some cases, you might actually spot the culprit itself. Fleas are tiny, brown jumping insects. Ticks are larger, spider-like creatures that latch onto your pet's skin. Tapeworm segments may resemble small, white rice grains in your pet's stool.


If you notice any of these warning signs in your pet, don't wait. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for preventing serious health complications.  Remember, addressing a parasite problem head-on keeps your pet healthy and happy. 

Why Year-Round Parasite Prevention is Crucial

While springtime often brings a surge in parasite activity, the reality is these nasties can pose a threat year-round. Here's why:


California's Climate: Our state's mild winters and warm weather create ideal breeding grounds for many parasites. Fleas can survive indoors year-round, and ticks can be active even during cooler months. Don't be fooled by the season, and parasites are always a potential threat.


The Lifecycle of Parasites:  Many parasites have complex lifecycles, meaning they can survive in the environment even when your pet isn't actively infested.  For example, flea eggs can lie dormant in carpets and furniture for months, waiting for the right conditions to hatch.  Year-round prevention helps break this cycle and prevent re-infestation.


Protecting Your Pet's Health:  Parasite infestations are not just itchy nuisances; they can transmit serious diseases. Early intervention is key.  Regular prevention helps safeguard your pet's health and well-being throughout the year.


Peace of Mind for Pet Parents:  Knowing your pet is protected from these harmful threats provides peace of mind. Year-round prevention allows you to relax and enjoy all the fun activities California has to offer with your furry companion worry-free.


Fortunately, various safe and effective parasite prevention options are available.  

Partnering for Pet Wellness: Keep Your Furry Friend Parasite-Free with Burlingame Family Pet Hospital.

At Burlingame Family Pet Hospital, our compassionate veterinarians are here to help keep your furry friend parasite-free. We understand the common parasites in our region and can recommend the best year-round parasite prevention plan for your pet's individual needs and lifestyle.


Don't wait until you see signs of a problem, protect your pet proactively. Schedule an appointment with us today and let's work together to ensure your pet enjoys a happy, healthy, and parasite-free spring season.

Burlingame Family Pet Hospital

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Burlingame Family Pet Hospital

Your local veterinarian in Burlingame.

Burlingame Family Pet Hospital

Your local veterinarian in Burlingame.

As a full-service veterinarian, we provide comprehensive care in a clean and welcoming environment.
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