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Ten Tips to Keep Kids and Pets Safe

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Parasitology and Your Veterinarian

Veterinarians are well trained in parasitology and infectious disease.  Most people do not know that veterinarians, as a part of their training, study public health issues.   Zoonoses are those diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people or from people to animals.  Ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Parents love both their children and their pets. Many pet owners even call their pets fur children. But it is important to create a safe and healthy environment for both children and pets. We especially worry about parasite and bacterial transmission from animals to people, although the reverse can occur as well. The following are some ideas to keep children and pets safe.

1. Take a pet’s stool sample to your veterinarian at least twice yearly to check for parasites. This is a routine test, but some parasites are “sneaky” and won’t show up in every sample.

2. Make sure all your dogs and cats are on monthly parasite preventatives.  Some of the heartworm preventatives will also prevent some intestinal parasites that can infect people.  Discuss with your veterinarian which preventative medications are effective for which organisms.

3. Do not ever feed raw meat to your pets.  Uncooked meat can harbor parasites and bacteria that are dangerous to both people and pets.

4. Keep your cats as indoor-only pets.  Cats that are allowed to roam can eat mice or other animals that can give them parasites such as Toxoplasma, which then can be transmitted to people.

5. Reptiles can be fun to own but they are frequently found to harbor Salmonella.  There is no method to determine with certainty which reptiles have this bacteria or any way to clear them of the organism.  It might be best to not allow small children to own reptiles until they are old enough to understand that hand washing is imperative after handling.

6. Do not have a sand box in your yard or allow your children to play in one.  Roaming cats love these as they think sand boxes are a great big litter box.  Serious parasites can be transmitted from the cat’s stool to kids for months or even years after the sand is contaminated; the eggs can even survive freezing and hot weather.  These parasites can cause blindness or organ damage.

7. When your dog goes outside to defecate, pick up the stool immediately.  Parasites will have less time to become infective. If the stool is allowed to sit on the yard, the parasites are spread into a wider area by rain or water from sprinklers.

8. You should deworm puppies and kittens even before you bring them home.  It is best to obtain medicine from your veterinarian for this, as the dewormers used by breeders are usually less effective over-the-counter medicine.

9. Wash food and water bowls daily.  A recent study showed that hand scrubbing and then washing in a dishwasher was the only effective method of cleaning.  Each method done separately did not provide good sanitation.

10. A different topic is keeping kids safe from bites.  Do not let your child run up to a strange dog. Teach your children what to do if approached by a dog:  don’t run, don’t put your hands out, and don’t stare into their eyes.  If the child is able, they should back up slowly. If in danger, they should roll into a ball on the ground and protect their head.

Pets and children are wonderful, they give us so much joy and are very important members of the family. They may be initially uncertain around each other, but with some knowledge and precautions we can keep everyone in the family happy and healthy.

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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