West Nile Virus and Dogs

Not only can West Nile Virus be dangerous for humans, but it can affect pets just as much. This infection has already been identified in horses and birds. Luckily, the risk is low for cats and dogs, but it's always best to stay protected.

West Nile Virus is known as an arthropod-borne virus that causes swelling of the brain. This virus is known to be caused by mosquitoes, and other blood hungry insects. This is started by mosquitoes who feed off of infected birds. The mosquitoes that become infected will then transmit the virus to humans and other animals. Of course, the virus can't be transmitted between humans and animals.

Even though the threat of West Nile Virus to pets is small, young dogs can become affected. There have been no serious cases of pets or dogs becoming ill to the virus. Dogs are pretty resistant to developing any exposure to illness of West Nile Virus.

When a dog does become infected, its symptoms are similar to those of an infected horse. These symptoms include depression, decreased appetite, difficulty walking, tremors, abnormal walking, along with many others. If your pet shows any of these signs, be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there is no West Nile Virus vaccination for dogs and cats. The only way to prevent this virus from infecting your dog is to reduce the risk of mosquito bites.

Here are some tips to seriously consider for West Nile Virus prevention. It's best to keep your dog inside early in the morning and evening hours. This will greater reduce the risk of possible exposure and mosquito bites. Also, prevent your dog from getting into close contact with any dead squirrels or birds that may be affected by the West Nile Virus. Before using mosquito repellent on your dog, make sure it's approved for pets. Some repellents contain a chemical that can bring serious harm to pets. Check the label if you're not sure, or ask your veterinarian for a pet approved insect repellent. Lastly, always make sure your pets are inside when pesticides are being sprayed in your area. These can make your dogs really sick.

When it doubt, always ask your veterinarian. They can always provide you with more information on West Nile Virus, and how you can prevent it. These tips are just the beginning in preventing your dog from this virus. Even though the numbers are high, this information can prove beneficial in the future.

Imagine one summer day, you're playing outside with your dog and he gets bitten by a mosquito. Now, what do you do? You can take him to the vet, but it will cost you. It may even be too late. Your dog could become infected with the West Nile Virus. You'll then wonder what you did wrong.

With these prevention tips in mind, you're able to maximize the risk of infection in your dog. You and your pet can live a happy and carefree summer.

This article was written by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies - your online dog supplies site for tough dog collars, including leather, spiked and many more styles.

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