I live just north of Dallas, Texas where the greatest number of West Nile cases are being reported. It’s scary–people have died. Horses at least have a preventative vaccine to help protect them. But what about dogs and cats?
Apparently while pets CAN contract the disease from mosquitoes and a few have been reported, symptoms typically are mild. But there’s no vaccination for pets, or for people. Some flea medications purport to help prevent or repel mosquitoes but it’s best to prevent buggy bites altogether. Petfinder.com has posted an excellent report on West Nile and pets here.
In fact, our dogs act like magnets for parasites. It’s not just fleas or those creepy-crawly ticks, either. If you have puppies (or kittens) there’s a good chance you’ll need to address roundworms, those spaghetti-like creatures passed in the potty deposite (urk!) because those can be a health risk to kids (double urk!). But the intestinal worms are just the tip of the buggy iceberg. Everything from ringworm (fungus) and mange mites that attack the skin, to protozoan parasites so tiny they’re hard to detect or even heartworms–also transmitted by mosquitoes–can affect dogs. Check out this Pet Peeves radio show with Dr. Wallace Graham for the latest on heartworms. I’ve compiled a roundup of more than a dozen articles covering everything you need to know about these most common puppy parasites here.
What about your dogs? How do you protect them from buggy hitchhikers? Magical-Dawg gets a monthly preventive called Revolution that helps prevent the lion’s share of these parasites. My cat Seren-dipity came to us with a case of ringworm–minor, thank goodness, and it resolved quickly.
As for West Nile virus, are you protecting your horses? What about your human family members? I’m one of those folks mosquitoes loves–Mom always said I must have “sweet blood.” So I stay inside during prime mosquito feeding at dawn and twilight. How do you “bite back” at the mosquito menace? Please share!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay tuned for more news about my forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!