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Rising temperatures and the resulting increase in mosquito populations are a dangerous combination for our health and our pet's health. Cases of the West Nile Virus, a member of the flavivirus group of viruses, are most prevelent during the warmer months when the increased temperatures and still bodies of water become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are the biological vectors that transmit the virus- typically from infected birds to other birds. However, the virus has been known to affect humans as well as horses, dogs, cats and other mammals bitten by mosquitoes carying the virus. Besides increasing the number of carriers, warmer weather increases the activity and transmission of the virus itself. Fortunately among mammals, there is yet to be any instances of transmission from mammal to mammal. Mosquitoes that bite infected pets do not ingest a sufficient amount of the virus to transfer it to other pets or humans.
Symptoms of the virus appear 3-12 days after initial infection. Among pets, symptoms include depression, lack of appetite, contortion of muscles in and around their face, as well as the inability to swallow. In severe cases, the virus can cause life-threatening swelling of the brain, polio-like syndrome, and even partial paralysis.
Currently there is no specialized treatment or vaccine for the West Nile Virus in cats and dogs at the momment. Any evident symptoms should be treated with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent. In most cases, with proper care your pet will recover from the infection on its own.
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and at dawn. Keeping your pet indoors during these periods will decrese the likelyhood of infection.
Install or repair screens around of your house, doors, windows, and patios to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Remove any standing water around of your house.
Mosquito Halt is an effective way to prevent infection of the West Nile Virus. Mosquito Halt eliminates mosquitoes at their breeding sites (areas of stagnant water) around your home and property. Mosquito Halt For Dogs safely kills and repels mosquitoes.
Another way to prevent transmission of the West Nile Virus is through the use of K9 Advantix. K9 Advantix conveniently kills off fleas, ticks, AND mosquitoes. The topical solution provides protection for your dog up to one month after application.