During the summer months and mosquito season we protect our kids and ourselves but don’t give much thought to protecting our pets from mosquitoes. We often just worry about fleas and ticks but overlook how mosquitoes can also make our pets sick. We can’t spray our pets down with the same type of insect repellant that we use, unfortunately they could end up digesting and making them sick. The best way to avoid getting sick from mosquito bites is to avoid getting bit but that is often easier said than done. That being said the next time you bring your furry friend to the vet make sure you ask them about preventing mosquito bites in addition to fleas and ticks. In the meantime here are some of the diseases that your pet can contract from mosquitoes.
Heartworm is extremely dangerous to dogs and it can be life threatening, it is also one of the most common parasites that affects both dogs and cats. Mosquitoes who carry the roundworm larvae can pass this along to your pet when they bite. Your pet may be bitten in the summer but you won’t even notice any symptoms for months later. These parasites live in the heart of your dog or cat and you only see the symptoms when there is enough of them to stop blood flow to your pets heart and other organs. Talk to your vet they can help protect your pet from heartworm.
West Nile Virus
West Nile can infect birds, horses, dogs and even you! The mosquito picks up West Nile from bird and then the pass it around, horses seem to be most affected but that doesn’t mean that other animals won’t get sick. A healthy dog is probably safe but an older or sick dog is not. If you have an outdoor cat that hunts it can also get sick if it catches a bird that carries West Nile.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
This is far more common in horses but dogs can get it too. This is a potentially fatal virus that is often misdiagnosed. If your dog has diarrhea, uncontrolled eye movements and a fever then get them to your vet as soon as possible.
Be very careful with your pets during mosquito season they are just as susceptible to mosquito bites as people and the results can be fatal. Talk to your vet to make sure your pets stay safe.