Dear Valued Client,

As you may or may not be aware according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) as of As of October 16, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, mosquitoes and Horses, and this includes Nevada.

Q. Can West Nile virus (WNV) cause illness in dogs or cats?
A. A relatively small number of WNV infected dogs and WNV infected cats have been reported to CDC . Experimentally infected dogs* showed no symptoms after infection with WNV. Some infected cats exhibited mild, nonspecific symptoms during the first week after infection–for the most part only showing a slight fever and slight lethargy.

It is unlikely that most pet owners would notice any unusual symptoms or behavior in cats or dogs that become infected with WNV.

Q. How can my veterinarian treat my cat or dog if they are/may be infected with WNV?
A. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. Full recovery from the infection is likely. Treatment would be supportive (managing symptoms, if present) and consistent with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent.

What this means is that mosquitos have become more prevalent in our valley, and though West Nile can cause illness, our biggest concern at this time should be Heartworm as this is also spread through infected mosquitos.

Heartworm disease is a serious illness that can rob your dog or cat of its health and even its life.

Heartworm

Heartworm larvae are transmitted by infected mosquitoes that bite the dog and deposit heartworm larvae on the dog’s skin. The larvae migrate through the tissue and into the bloodstream of the dog or cat where they continue developing. By the time clinical signs of heartworm disease appear, the disease can already be in its advanced stages.

Heartworms spend their adult lives in the right side of the heart and the large blood vessels that connect the heart to the lungs. The adult worms block the heart and major blood vessels leading from the heart to the
lungs, liver, and kidneys and can grow up to 12 inches long.

“The American Heartworm Society strongly recommends that dogs and cats be on heartworm prevention twelve months a year,” stated Wallace Graham, DVM, president of AHS. “Our vision is a heartworm-free world, and prevention is the key.”

As your pets health care provider, we feel it is in the best interest of your pet to be tested yearly, starting now, for heartworm and to be placed on a once a month chewable preventative tablet. Please call us today to schedule an appointment and to answer any questions you may have 702-648-8583.

To learn more about heartworm, visit our blog post by clicking HERE!

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