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Mosquitoes are bad news for dogs, too

dog health ecobug ecospot

 

We know that mosquito bites are more than an annoyance. Those pesky pests can also transmit diseases to humans. What many people don’t realize is mosquitos pose health risks to our pets, too. Depending on our region, mosquitos can be a year-round problem or a seasonal challenge. Either way, our dogs need to be protected from the dangers of mosquitoes and their bites.

Mosquitoes are bad news for dogs, too | Vet OrganicsEcoBug is an all-natural, safe way to keep dogs and our homes fresh, irritant-free, and smelling great. The fast-acting formula reduces the risk of exposure to dangerous diseases and pathogens through hazardous fleas, ticks, mites, and mosquito bites. Give it a try now, and keep a bottle on-hand for pest season.

Mosquitoes are bad news for dogs, too | Vet Organics

Why are mosquitoes bad news for dogs?

Tiny as they are, mosquitoes can cause serious health problems for both humans and dogs. With a single bite, these itty bitty suckers can transmit diseases that could prove fatal for Fido. In addition, several blood-borne pathogens carried by mosquitos are zoonotic, meaning humans and animals can carry them. Some of them can even be passed from dogs to humans and humans to dogs.  

Heartworms. Heartworm disease, or dirofilariasis, is a common and potentially fatal health issue that our furry pals can contract from mosquitoes; it is also easily preventable. Just one bite from a carrier mosquito is needed to infect Fido with the deadly parasite larvae of Dirofilaria immitis. Larvae are deposited in the dog’s blood, which takes it to the heart, where it matures and reproduces. Adult worms can thrive inside our beloved pal’s heart, pulmonary artery, and adjacent blood vessels for up to seven years. Each one can grow up to a foot in length, and there can be as many as 300 heartworms infecting our pooch all at once. 

  • Symptoms include loss of interest in exercise and other physical activities, fatigue after moderate activity, loss of appetite, weight loss, a persistent cough, and a swollen belly. Heart failure can occur in serious infestations. With early detection and treatment, heartworm disease is curable. 

West Nile Virus. Puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with a weakened immune system can be susceptible to West Nile Virus (WNV), which is primarily a human disease. Mosquitoes become carriers when they bite infected prey. The effects of WNV in dogs are mild. However, proper treatment is still necessary to avoid more serious complications, as well as the possibility of the disease being passed to Fido’s human family.  

  • Symptoms include: lethargy, lack of coordination, muscle weakness or spasms, fever, or mild seizures. Infected dogs can fully recover from WNV with appropriate treatment.

Skin problems. As with humans, mosquito bites can cause localized skin irritation. But if Fido excessively scratches, licks, or chews his mosquito bites, his skin can become severely irritated, leading to hot spots and infection. 

Mosquitoes are bad news for dogs, too | Vet OrganicsEcoSpot hot spot spray for dogs and cats is an all-natural solution that clears most hot spots and Demodex in just 2-3 days. This skin-safe hot spot spray provides long-lasting relief, prevents repeat symptoms, and also works on fungal, bacterial, yeast, and skin mite infections. Buy a bottle now to apply to existing irritation, and so you’ll be prepared for future mosquito bites on your dog. 

Mosquitoes are bad news for dogs, too | Vet Organics

How can we protect our furry pals from mosquitoes? 

Reducing, if not totally eliminating exposure, will also reduce our pal’s risk of developing serious problems from mosquito bites. 

  • Get rid of stagnant water. Water can collect and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes in tarps, umbrellas, buckets, gutters, and even potholes. Even our dog’s water bowl, when not cleaned regularly, can become a home for mosquitoes. 
  • Use dog-safe repellent products. Never use insect repellents made for humans on Fido; these usually contain ingredients that are toxic to animals. Fortunately, there are dog-safe repellent sprays, lotions, and wipes are now available that we can use to keep the pesky insects off our pets. Some stores also carry other dog products that are made with insect-repelling material. We can get our pooch an anti-mosquito bed, blanket, bandana, and shirt for added protection. 
  • Keep Fido indoors, especially during peak hours, when pests are at their worst. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, although the hours mostly depend on the species. Depending on where you are, find out what hours these suckers are more prevalent and aggressive, and keep our furry friend indoors during this period. Doors and windows should also be kept closed during these peak hours.  
  • Grow mosquito-repelling plants. Citronella is one of the best plants to grow to keep mosquitoes at bay; however, it is toxic to dogs, so we should also make sure it is out of our pet’s reach. Other plants that mosquitoes hate include lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, mint, and catnip. 
  • Protect Fido from heartworm disease. We can give our pooch a monthly heartworm preventative - with a vet’s recommendation, of course - during mosquito season or if we live in an area where mosquitoes are part of the local ecosystem, and especially if there is a prevalence of heartworm disease. 
  • Use a trusted, fast-acting, potent, but all-natural pest repellent like EcoBug to deter biting insects as well as soothe irritated skin. 

We should not underestimate these tiny and annoying blood-suckers; all it takes is a single bite to cause serious health problems for our dogs. We should take the necessary precautions to protect our dogs from mosquitoes because prevention is not only better than cure - it’s also a lot cheaper. 

 

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Michelle Lievense

Michelle is a writer and ghostwriter, specializing in wellness, sustainability, and global social change. She is particularly fond of serving ethical organizations who contribute to a better life for people and animals through humane and environmentally responsible missions. At Vet Organics, Michelle uses her time as a vet tech, her academic studies in animal science and behavior, and nearly a decade working on a ranch teaching animal husbandry to write on a variety of cat and canine health topics. When she isn't writing, Michelle can be found hiking in the mountains of Colorado with her dogs or snuggled up with a good book and her cats.

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