Canine symptoms of West Nile Virus are mild. A fever with a slight decrease in appetite and lethargy. Should we worry? Seek a vaccine?
Are we over reacting? Yes, we are. Here's all you need to know.
Mosquitoes transmit the disease through a bite. If your dog has it, you cannot catch it from him.
In fact, the chances of him showing any signs of West Nile are so unlikely that it is considered a non-disease in dogs.
There is no West Nile Virus vaccine for dogs and there shouldn't be. We've become a bit frightened over even the most simply illnesses and mistakenly think a vaccine will protect us when the truth is, vaccines have side effects as well so it's best to keep them at an absolute minimum.
The only reason I bring up the subject, is that people worry because there have been reports of human death from West Nile and I'd like to put your mind at ease.
The fact is most people have little or no symptoms at all.
Even in areas where the virus is circulating, very few mosquitoes carry the virus so chances are slim of you catching it in the first place.
Then, of those who do get the virus, less than 1% of develop a more severe illness. How would that less than 1% develop illness? The same way anyone gets sick at any time whether its humans or dogs. A depleted immune system.
Of course the best defense is a good offense. While your dog would show no signs and not become ill by this disease, remember if your dog eats nutritious food, is not over-vaccinated and gets some exercise to keep that immune system humming along (since the lymph system can't detoxify without it) it's pointless to concern yourself. As with any disease, you have to have a compromised immune system to catch it.
If after reading this, you still worry about West Nile, or any other mosquito transmitted disease like heartworm, use an herbal mosquito repellent for both you and your dog when mosquitoes are likely to be out.
That reminds me to mention, if you use those once a month pills for dog heart worm, let me give you a little education on the subject because that stuff is bad news.