Can West Nile Virus infect my pet?

Q

Can West Nile Virus infect my pet?

A

West Nile Virus infections have been identified in wild birds and horses. The virus can also infect dogs and cats. Horses are particularly susceptible to the virus that can cause depression, lack of appetite, circling, tremors and even death. Fortunately, the risk of illness in dogs and cats is very low.  The pets most at risk are the very young, older pets, and those with a weak immune system.

West Nile Virus is spread by mosquitoes that have fed on infected wild birds.  Protection from mosquitoes is important.  Keep your pet indoors in the mornings and evenings to reduce the risk of mosquito bites.  Keep your pet from coming in contact with dead birds or squirrels.  Use mosquito repellant only approved for pets.

There is no evidence that a pet infected with West Nile Virus can directly pass the virus on to another pet or person. As always, prevention is important.

Call us with any questions, we would be glad to help.

Hudson Veterinary Hospital.  (330)650-2929.

Dr. Bob