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Home » Pest Control » Mosquitoes » Mosquito-Borne Illnesses In Pets

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses In Pets

Mosquitoes have long been known to cause health problems in human beings. You have probably heard enough about malaria, dengue, and Zika virus to know that mosquitoes are a serious threat to human health.

Unfortunately, the problems don’t end there – mosquito bites are also a huge health risk to your beloved pets as well. Are you a pet owner? Then you need to be aware of some of the diseases that might affect your pets as the result of a mosquito bite. Let’s have a look at three of the most serious:

Heartworm Disease

This is by far the most deadly mosquito-borne disease in dogs. Heartworms are parasites that live in the heart and blood vessels of dogs. They can multiply and block blood flow to major organs and disrupt heart function.

Heartworms are transmitted solely through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite an infected animal, and therefore help to spread heartworms to more hosts. Without heartworm protection, dogs are vulnerable to heartworm infection, which can be fatal if it is left untreated. Treatment is possible, but it is costly and may even require surgery; all while causing irreversible long-term damage to your pet’s heart and lungs.

Heartworm disease takes time to progress, as the larvae in the bloodstream travel to the heart, where they take root and mature into adult heartworms. As the worms grow and proliferate, they begin to block the heart’s arteries. This can interrupt blood flow and forces the pet’s heart to work much harder. All dogs need to be kept on heartworm prevention year-round to prevent this harmful disease. Read more from Veterinary Emergency Group…

As this is a fatal illness, you need to be alert and watch out for signs of the disease, especially if know that your dog has been exposed.


This is a bacterial disease that is mostly transmitted through exposure to wild animals; mosquitoes are also a vector for this illness. Cats are more negatively affected by tularemia compared to dogs. In most cases, the symptoms will resolve on their own in dogs.

Francisella tularensis is the organism responsible for this bacterial disease commonly found in rabbits and rodents. Once inside an animal, the bacteria is collected by the lymph nodes, where a systemic infection can follow involving the lungs, liver, spleen, and bone marrow. The bacteria then forms masses and abscesses in the liver. It can be transmitted to a dog through the ingestion of an infected animal, or through an infected mosquito bite. Painful lymph nodes, high fevers, pain, jaundice, and organ failure are signs of this sometimes fatal disease. Read more from Wag…

Check for fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, and septicemia symptoms in your cat, as these symptoms may pose a fatal threat to your pet. Be sure to immediately take your pet to the nearest veterinary care clinic in case of such symptoms.

West Nile Virus

The bite of an infected mosquito can transmit this virus to your pet. Mosquitoes contract this virus from birds and transmit it to humans, birds, dogs, cats and even horses. This virus may not cause serious harm to dogs unless the dog is old, very young, or with a compromised immune system.

West Nile Virus is a potentially life-threatening mosquito borne disease found in pet birds and horses. Fortunately, it rarely causes illness in dogs or cats. The reservoir host for this RNA virus is wild birds. The bite of an infected mosquito can cause rapid death in pet birds and meningoencephalitis (inflammation in the brain) in horses.

Dogs and cats can be exposed and can create antibodies to West Nile, but also appear more resistant to the disease than people, horses, and birds. There is limited information on infection since natural infection has rarely been reported in both dogs and cats.

Illness is usually self-limiting in cats and dogs, but if your pet is sick enough to warrant a call to your local veterinarian, then treatment can be beneficial. Read more from Petsbest…

This virus may cause symptoms like fever, seizures, and mobility issues, and could be life-threatening to your pet.

A mosquito bite can be as dangerous to pets as it is to human beings. Preventive measures against mosquito bites must be used to protect them. Treatments are also available for already infected pets, such as injectable medications for heartworms.

At Backyard Bug Patrol, we care about your pets. We know how much of a threat a mosquito bite is to your loved ones and pets, and we are dedicated to ensuring that they are all kept safe from mosquitoes throughout the year. Get in touch with us to learn how we can make your home in Ashburn, VA safer for you and your loved ones.