The summer months bring good weather and the opportunity for fun outdoor activities with our dogs. The downside is that pests can end up ruining that fun. Just one little bite from a mosquito and your dog runs the risk of contracting all kinds of diseases, some of which even have the potential to be deadly.
Be on the Lookout for Those Nasty Mosquito Bite Threats
- Heartworms – As far as dog diseases go, this is far and away one of the most dangerous of them all. If the parasite is allowed to take hold in the body of your dog, it will release heartworm larva into the bloodstream. Once that larva starts to grow and mature, the heart and other vital organs in your dog’s body can become clogged. This will limit the amount of blood flow, which in turn can affect the lungs. Your dog will develop a cough and become tired very quickly.
- West Nile Virus – This is definitely a health problem that affects humans more negatively, but it can have an effect on your dog, too. If a mosquito bite does lead to your dog coming down the West Nile Virus, he will appear lethargic and feverish, but he will not become seriously sick.
- Zika Virus – The effects of the Zika Virus for dogs is unknown at this time. It is believed the symptoms for dogs are the same as people. The majority of Zika Virus symptoms are mild and include fever, rash and joint pain lasting a few days to a week.
- Allergies and infections – The most common result of mosquito bites is a localized itching on the skin of your dog. That said, extreme cases can see you pooch succumb to diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, and some other health issues. A sure sign that your dog is being affected by mosquito bites is if they start to obsessively scratch or chew at their skin. If they do this, they will begin to aggravate the affected area and cause it to spread and become infected. Chances are the bite will still remain fairly local, but the infection can spread to other parts of the skin and even the organs if left untreated. Furthermore, it only takes the irritation from the scratching of a single bite for that to quickly turn into hot spots.
A Quick Word on Mosquito Bite Prevention
The best way to stop these problems from spreading is to prevent the bites from happening in the first place. If you have stagnant water in your yard, get rid of it. Think about having citronella plants, as these keep mosquitos at bay. When out walking, steer clear of spots that are known to be home to mosquitos, such as lake shores and swamps. Mosquitoes are at their most active during dawn and dusk.
Check your local pet shop, and look for pet-safe insect repellants that you can spray on your dog. NEVER use sprays intended for humans, as these are toxic to pets.