Here at NorthlineExpress our pets are a big part of each of our families and we want to prevent anything from happening to them as much as possible. I am sure you all feel the same way about your pet whether it is a dog, cat, horse, or other special animal. Some forget that our pets are just as vulnerable to the threat of mosquitoes as we are. They may be even more susceptible to catching a life-threatening mosquito borne disease than us. Protecting our beloved pets is just as important as protecting our families.
Mosquitoes are attracted to our pets for the same reason that they are attracted to us, the production of carbon dioxide when we exhale. A mosquito bite can be just as irritating to an animal as it is to a human. Some animals may even experience various levels of an allergic reaction to the bite. We are the only hope that our pets have to fight off mosquitoes because it is not like they have the ability to swat away a mosquito or to apply mosquito repellents to themselves and their surroundings.
Diseases Pets May Contract
The most common mosquito borne disease to affect pets is Heartworm. It mostly affects cats and dogs. Heartworm is transmitted by an infected mosquito landing to bite an animal and depositing at least one microscopic heartworm larva on the skins surface. The larva will then enter the body through the bite wound eventually migrating to the heart. A heartworm can survive inside a dog or cat for several years causing damage to the heart, blood vessels, and other vital organs. The damage caused can lead to serious illnesses or even death.
Another common pet disease spread by mosquitoes is Equine Encephalitis. This disease affects horses and can be detrimental to their health. Encephalitis is a medical terms that means “inflammation of the brain.” There are two common forms of the disease; Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE).The names derive from the area of the United States in which they are prominent. Both forms are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Each disease has different symptoms and side effects. The EEE is the more aggressive of the two and can cause death as quick as 3 days from the time of infection and has a fatality rate of 30%. With WEE virus there may be no symptoms at all. A small percentage will actually contract encephalitis and approximately 5-15% of the WEE cases that develop encephalitis will be fatal.
Protect Your Pets
The best way to protect our pets is through vaccinations and regular health exams performed by a veterinarian. Using a mosquito repellent that contains DEET will only serve as a short-term preventative and can be toxic to cats and dogs.
Standing water is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminating unneeded water sources when possible is the best way to stop mosquitoes right where they start. If there are water sources on your property that you cannot eliminate then you will want to treat them with a larvacide.
Placement of a mosquito trap is the most effective way to protect pets outdoors. Mosquito traps work by luring, capturing, and killing mosquitoes instead of just repelling them from the area. Start trapping mosquitoes at the beginning of the mosquito season and you will significantly reduce the population of these flying pests on your property. This will lessen the danger to your beloved pets posed by mosquito borne diseases.
Don’t leave a special part of your family unprotected from the dangers of mosquitoes. We all want our pets to be as healthy as possible and to live long happy lives. So protect your pets and ensure they are safe from contracting mosquito borne diseases.