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Protecting Your Pet from Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance, they can be the hosts for deadly diseases that can infect your pet. Whether mosquitoes only appear part of the year in your area, or they’re a problem all year round, it’s important to know how to protect your pet.

Which diseases are spread by mosquitoes?

The single biggest threat that mosquitoes pose for dogs and cats is the spread of heartworm. Heartworm disease affects both dog and cats and can be transmitted by a single bite from a mosquito. There is currently no available treatment for cats that develop heartworm disease, so prevention is key.

Cats may develop mosquito bite hypersensitivity, which is not a disease carried by the mosquito, but rather a hyperactive response from the cat’s immune system. The most common symptoms are ulcerated dermatitis, but other symptoms include hair loss, swollen foot pads, swollen lymph nodes and fever. Mild cases may resolve on their own but severe cases will need veterinary care.

Fortunately, the serious mosquito-borne diseases that affect humans, such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus, do not develop in dogs and cats.

Mosquito control for your home

Although mosquitos can certainly travel, reducing the mosquito population in your own yard will go some way to reducing the contact your pets have with these bloodsuckers. The main problem areas are standing bodies of water, which is where mosquitoes breed. This includes ponds and birdbaths, as well as smaller bodies of water like gutters and saucers for potted plants.

Installing screens on your windows and doors will help prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.

Protecting your pet from mosquito bites

Avoidance– mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so keeping your dog and cat away from areas of infestation at these times can help reduce contact.

Repellents–you may wish to consider a natural spray or shampoo that will help repel mosquitoes.

Medication – some parasite treatments such as Advantix for Dogs repel mosquitoes before they bite.

Medicated options for mosquito borne-illnesses

Although the above tips will help reduce the chance that your dog or cat is bitten by a mosquito, these precautions will never be 100% effective. The only way to ensure your pet does not develop heartworm disease is with medicated treatment.

Usually, this involves a once-a-month dose of topical or oral heartworm preventative. Products such as Heartgard Plus will also treat other worms, while Advantage Multi or Revolution will also treat fleas, mites and intestinal worms.


Protecting Your Pet from Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

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Pet Bucket Ltd is a UK registered company | Company no: 08345021 | 21 Pickford Rd. St.Albans | AL3 8RS UK Translation and Localization by Localizer