Your pet is an easy target for parasites, and in southern California, we have several pests that can cause serious health issues for your animal companions. The most common are:
- Fleas. These tiny bugs feed on mammals and lay eggs in fur, as well as the carpets and furniture in your home. In addition to triggering dermatitis and hot spots, they can also transmit tapeworms and cause anemia. This summer, our hospital has found that just under 50% of visiting dogs without flea control has been infested with fleas due to the high heat and humidity.
- Ticks. They lurk in shrubs and tall grass and are nearly microscopic—until they start gorging on your pet’s blood. A single tick bite can pass along Lyme disease, typhus, ehrlichiosis and more. Even if your pet is on tick preventive, these insects can jump to people and pass along those same diseases. That’s why it’s important to manually check pets for ticks after they’ve been outside.
- Mosquitoes. Aedes, a new mosquito to the area, are carriers of heartworm and bite during the day. Heartworm is the major danger if your pet is bitten by a mosquito. While many people think heartworm isn’t a problem in our area, confirmed cases are on the rise nationwide and in our region.
Year-round prevention of these parasites is so important for your pet, and there are many types of preventive medications available. OC Veterinary Medical Center staff and doctors will be happy to help you determine which one is right for your pet—make an appointment online or call us at (714) 602-4713.