There has been a lot of concern raised recently about the threat of West Nile Virus to residents in our area. As a result, several people have asked me about whether their pet is at risk and how best to protect them from the virus.
Thankfully, dogs and cats don't tend to become ill from the West Nile Virus if they are healthy. One large study found that over 25% of dogs and almost 10% of cats tested were infected with the virus but none of them showed any signs of illness. What this tells us is that if a pet is bitten by a mosquito that carries West Nile Virus, as long as the pet is healthy, it will likely be able to fight off the virus without becoming ill. Illness in dogs and cats have been reported. However, those cases are not as common as those reported in birds and humans. The animals affected tend to be old, very young, or immune compromised. Their signs have been similar to those seen in people and can include fever, staggering, weakness, muscle tremors, pain, and altered mental state.
Talk to your veterinarian about the best mosquito prevention for your pet. Suggestions for mosquito repellants are listed on our website at http://woodridgeanimalhospital.com/Main/MosquitoRepellent.html
If you have a question you'd like answered in this blog, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.