The majority of residents in Southeast Massachusetts and Rhode Island are well aware of the problems posed by mosquitoes and the potentially fatal diseases they may spread. As incidences of these illnesses have been increasing all summer, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus in Massachusetts have dominated the news. Even though fall is approaching, these problems don’t seem to be going away because there are still a lot of mosquitoes biting people all throughout the neighborhood. This year, the effects on people have been particularly severe. But what about your pets? Although heartworm prevention for pets, which may be spread by mosquitoes, is commonly discussed by pet owners seeking veterinary treatment for cats and dogs, should they also be concerned about other diseases?
When to Schedule a Veterinary Check-up
While the “equine” in Eastern Equine Encephalitis refers to horses, we do hear a lot about the effects that these viruses have had on people and horses, but there isn’t much talk about cats and dogs. The Massachusetts government website states that while WNV can occasionally be discovered in cats and dogs, it is quite uncommon. The majority of the time, cats and dogs that have contracted these infections have been able to make a full recovery. EEE is considerably less common in cats and dogs, however it has occasionally been identified in puppies that were kept outside.
Rarely have “house pets” like cats and dogs been infected with EEE or the West Nile virus in Massachusetts; however, other domesticated animals including horses, alpacas, and llamas have been more commonly affected. Other non-native species, such as ostriches, emus, and game birds like pheasants and quail, are also more vulnerable to Eastern Equine Encephalitis, according to the government website. By getting bitten by an infected mosquito, these animals get the same viruses as people do. It’s crucial to realize that many of the signs of WNV and Eastern Equine Encephalitis are also present in other serious illnesses, such as rabies. A trip to the neighborhood veterinary clinic in Dartmouth might offer a thorough diagnostic to rule these worries out or confirm them.
Vet Care for Cats and Dogs
If you have any cause to believe that your pet could need veterinary care for cats or dogs, call your neighborhood vet. EEE and WNV symptoms are dangerous and should prompt pet owners to take their animals to the doctor. These signs include of fatigue, clumsiness, lack of appetite, depression, and fever. However, they can also contain other really dangerous symptoms including circling, convulsions, irritability, blindness, head pressure, and coma, independent of the diagnosis. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, get immediate medical attention from an emergency veterinarian even if it might not be one of these illnesses.
With West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts, encephalitis is the main worry. But it is crucial to realize that encephalitis alone does not necessarily indicate that an animal also has WNV or EEE. rare of the bird species mentioned above that are susceptible to these illnesses don’t have encephalitis; instead, they experience other severe problems including severe stomach or intestinal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, or even, in rare cases, abrupt death. If you think your pet may be ill, call a vet who treats these species of animals right away so they may get the care they need.
Parasite Prevention in MA
The spread to people has reportedly been the major worry in relation to the EEE and WNV occurrences in New England. Pet owners need to be aware that the viruses cannot be transmitted by touch with bodily fluids or in any other manner, similar to heartworm prevention for animals and other forms of veterinary treatment for cats and dogs. They do not spread from one animal to another. When a pet exhibits one of these symptoms, care should be taken to prevent contact with any potentially contaminated blood or excrement. If you think your pet may have EEE or WNV, call Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth as soon as possible so that testing may be done to confirm the diagnosis. Since every animal and situation is unique, it is beneficial to seek a veterinarian’s diagnosis, counsel, support, and treatment.
There is a vaccination that has been authorized for use in horses that can prevent EEE and West Nile Virus in Massachusetts. Your best choice for other animals is to discuss preventative and treatment options with your veterinarian. Eliminating stagnant or standing water will help cut down on the quantity of mosquitoes in your region, much as heartworm prevention for animals. Other actions, such as removing organic materials that has begun to decompose, such as leaves, manure, and other items that might attract mosquito activity, can also be helpful. When mosquitoes are most active, such as at dawn and dusk, keep dogs indoors; fix screen holes or keep your home closed; and apply insect repellents formulated for use on animals. Again, if you have concerns about young or old dogs, as well as animals with other medical disorders, talk to your veterinarian.
Visit a Dartmouth Animal Hospital
Concerns regarding veterinary care for cats and dogs? Call 508-996-3731 to get in touch with Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth and talk to a member of our amiable staff about your worries. We provide a full range of regular veterinarian services, emergency care, and preventative care. For the most recent information on West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts and the surrounding area, please visit the Massachusetts government website.