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Pet Care & Pet Health Information

West Nile Virus

What is it?

The West Nile virus is part of a group of viruses called flavivirus, a member of a larger group of viruses called arboviruses, which are transmitted by mosquitoes and other blood-sucking vectors. As late summer and early fall approaches, the mosquitoes will continue to multiply. They carry the highest amounts of virus in early Fall. While the virus can infect your pets, your pets may not exhibit any detectable symptoms. This is why it is important to prevent mosquito bites altogether to avoid contraction of the West Nile Virus.

How Do Pets Become Infected?

Dogs and cats can become infected if they are bitten by an infected mosquito. The mosquito draws the virus from infected birds and transmits it to other animals- which could be you or your pets.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment or vaccines for West Nile. Most likely, the infected pet will fully recover on its own. Any evident symptoms would be treated and consistent with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent.

Does My Dog or Cat Put Me At Risk?


There is no documented evidence that a dog or cat can transmit the virus to a human.

If your pet becomes infected with West Nile, then you probably have infected mosquitoes in your surrounding area, and should take the following precautions.

How Can I Protect My Pets From WNV?

  • The most effective way to prevent infection with West Nile Virus is to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites (areas of stagnant water) around your home and property. You can use one of the various mosquito repellants (that are harmless to pets) to decrease the risk of you or your pet being bitten by an infected mosquito. Mosquito Halt For Dogs safely kills and repels mosquitoes.
  • Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and at dawn, keep pets indoors during these periods.
  • Install or repair screens around your house, doors, windows and patio.
  • Remove any standing water that you may have around your house where mosquitoes like to breed. Siphotrol Mosquito Granules treats over 6,525 square feet. For use in bird baths, water gardens and other water-holding receptacles. It has a 21-day protection.
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