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Recognizing the Signs of Parasites: Protecting Your Pet from Fleas, Ticks, and Worms This Spring & Summer

As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, we eagerly welcome the arrival of spring and summer. It's a time for outdoor adventures, picnics in the park, and long walks with our furry companions. However, along with the joys of warmer weather come pesky parasites that can pose serious risks to our pets' health. Fleas, ticks, and worms are common parasites that thrive during the spring and summer months, making it crucial for pet owners to be vigilant and proactive in protecting their beloved animals. Here are the signs of parasites, along with a few tips on how to safeguard your pet's well-being during the warmer seasons.


Fleas are tiny, wingless insects that feed on the blood of mammals, including dogs and cats. These parasites can cause itching, skin irritation, and even transmit diseases such as Bartonella and tapeworms. Although less likely, indoor pets can still get fleas, ticks, or worms. Regardless if your pet remains indoors or rolls around in the grass, parasitic infections are possible in all scenarios. Pets with fleas are most likely infected with tapeworm as well. Testing for tapeworms should be done when finding fleas. Ticks are another common threat, capable of transmitting serious illnesses like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis to both pets and humans. Additionally, intestinal worms, such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, can wreak havoc on your pet's digestive system, leading to weight loss, diarrhea, and other health complications if left untreated. It is important to note some intestinal parasites are transmittable to humans too. 


Recognizing the signs of a parasitic infestation is crucial for early intervention and effective treatment. Here are 5 common symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Excessive Scratching or Biting: Fleas and ticks often cause pets to itch excessively, particularly around the ears, neck, and tail area. Persistent scratching or biting may indicate the presence of these parasites.

  2. Visible Parasites: Fleas are usually visible to the naked eye, especially if your pet has a light-colored fur coat. Ticks, on the other hand, may be harder to spot due to their small size, but they can often be found attached to the skin, particularly in areas with less hair, such as the groin or armpits.

  3. Skin Irritation: Flea bites can lead to redness, inflammation, and small raised bumps on your pet's skin. In severe cases, flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) may develop, causing intense itching and discomfort.

  4. Lethargy and Weakness: Some pets may exhibit lethargy, weakness, or a decrease in appetite as a result of a parasitic infection. Anemia, a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count, can occur in severe cases of flea infestations, particularly in young or small animals.

  5. Changes in Stool: If your pet has intestinal worms, you may notice changes in their stool, such as diarrhea, bloody stool, or the presence of worms in the feces.


Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your pet from fleas, ticks, and worms. Here are some essential tips to keep your furry friend safe and parasite-free this spring and summer:

  • Use Flea and Tick Prevention Products: Talk to your veterinarian about the most suitable flea and tick prevention products for your pet. Options may include topical treatments, oral medications, or collars that repel parasites. Understanding the dangers of external parasites, Five Star Veterinary Center prioritizes proactive pet care to shield them from potential health risks. Ensure your pets' safety by employing appropriate flea and tick prevention methods. Combat the ongoing battle against infestation with treatments like Simparica Trio® Chewable Tablets. Recognizing the importance of preventive measures such as flea and tick protection, Five Star Vet Center provides a range of essential products in our online storefront. Talk with your veterinarian to select the ideal solution for your pet's requirements. Through customized prevention strategies, vets can aid pet owners in upholding a pest-free environment for their cherished companions, enhancing their overall health and comfort.

  • Maintain a Clean Environment: Regularly vacuuming your home and washing your pet's bedding can help eliminate flea eggs and larvae from your environment. Frequent vacuuming will help reduce spread of unwanted pests as well. Pay special attention to areas where your pet spends the most time indoors.

  • Inspect Your Pet Regularly: After outdoor activities, thoroughly inspect your pet for any signs of fleas, ticks, or unusual skin irritations. Promptly remove any ticks using fine-tipped tweezers, ensuring that you grasp the tick close to the skin and pull it out gently but firmly in a steady motion. Conducting thorough inspections after outdoor excursions can aid in identifying and eliminating any unwelcome pests, and frequent visits to the groomer can help catch possible tick or flea infestation and help prevent.

  • Practice Good Hygiene: Keep your pet clean by bathing them regularly with a gentle pet shampoo. This can help remove any fleas or ticks that may be hiding in their fur.

  • Administer Preventative Medications: Administer deworming medications as recommended by your veterinarian to prevent intestinal parasites. This is especially important for puppies and kittens, as they are more susceptible to worm infestations.

  • Avoid High-Risk Areas: When possible, avoid areas known to be infested with fleas and ticks, such as tall grass, wooded areas, and areas frequented by wildlife.

By staying informed and proactive, you can help protect your pet from the threat of fleas, ticks, and worms this spring and summer. Even indoor pets can get fleas, ticks, and worms. It’s also important to note that humans can get some intestinal parasites too! Remember to consult your veterinarian for personalized advice and recommendations based on your pet's specific needs. Knowing the signs of parasitic infections and  having the right preventative measures in place, you and your furry companion can enjoy a safe and parasite-free season of outdoor adventures together.

Five Star Veterinary Center in Springfield, Illinois, is a premier pet clinic known for its comprehensive and compassionate pet care. Five Star Vet Center is a state-of-the-art facility that offers an extensive array of services to safeguard the health of pets, including concerning flea, tick, and worm cases. Featuring a specialized urgent care unit, the center ensures immediate attention for pets in critical situations, whether due to sudden illness or injury. Our online storefront is available for purchasing pet medications and treatments, ensuring convenience in any urgent situation, promptly delivering them to your doorstep. Discover more about Five Star Veterinary Center's services and facility by visiting our website at

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