Beyond being bothersome, the bites of these insects can put our dogs’ health at serious risk. Therefore, it is important to know well what are the main diseases that mosquitoes transmit to dogs.
So you can take some precautions, especially if the dog spends a lot of time in the field or near areas with standing water.
Index of contents
- 1 What diseases do mosquitoes transmit to dogs?
- 1.1 Canine leishmaniasis
- 1.2 Heartworm or the so-called “heartworm” in dogs
- 2 How do I prevent my dog from developing these diseases?
- 3 Tips to repel mosquitoes at home
What diseases do mosquitoes transmit to dogs?
Among the diseases that mosquitoes infect, there are two that occur more frequently in dogs: leishmaniasis and the heartworm disease or “the heartworm ” Both are ills with a difficult prognosis for our furry companions, especially when they are not treated quickly. In order to detect them in time it is important to be informed and know how they manifest.
The leishmaniasis canine
The leishmaniasis it is a parasitic disease caused by microscopic protozoa of the genus Leishmania. It is difficult to control and can affect dogs of all ages and breeds. Being a chronic disease, an early diagnosis is essential to ensure the dog a good quality of life for several years.
After infection, the incubation period of the disease can last from 3 to 18 months. The signs it causes are diverse, although they are mainly reflected in the dog’s skin. Among the most frequent we find:
- Flaking (or acral dermatitis / exfoliative).
- Hair loss, especially on the legs and head.
- Various skin lesions, which may be located around the eyes, ears and extremities.
- Sudden loss of appetite and weight, which can lead, in extreme cases, to malnutrition.
When the disease is very advanced, the dog can also suffer kidney problems. You should know that currently there is no definitive cure against leishmania. Therefore, the best possible prevention is to vaccinate against this disease and take measures to prevent mosquitoes from biting our four-legged friends.
The heartworm disease or the so-called “heartworm” in dogs
The heartworm disease, popularly known as “the heartworm”, is one of the most serious parasitic diseases that can suffer a dog. This parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes of the genera Culex, Aedes and Anophelesson. To survive and that their larvae transform into worms requires an intermediate host.
When a dog is bitten by an infected mosquito, immature worms enter its body. Once there, they reproduce very quickly and spread to other parts of your body through the blood. After a period of between 80 and 120 days the larvae reach their stage of maturity. In this stage, the worms lodge mainly in the heart and lungs.
One of the difficulties of this disease is that its signs are not always easy to detect. However, dogs infected with “heartworm” may have:
- Cough or shortness of breath after performing simple tasks
- Exercise intolerance, weakness or depression.
- Weight loss and poor appetite, which can lead to canine anorexia and malnutrition.
- Increased heart rate
- Bleeding from the nose and mouth
Many furry ones do not show symptoms until several days – or even weeks – after being infected. For this reason, the best way to detect these parasites is to be very vigilant and not miss any periodic visit with the vet.
How do I prevent my dog from developing these diseases?
In addition to vaccination, regular deworming will help keep the dog healthy. On the other hand, there is a wide range of special pipettes, sprays and collars on the market. These products are useful to reduce the risks of contracting diseases related to mosquito bites.
In any case, your trusted vet is the one who can help you find the best option for your dog. Also, change certain habits and take a series of precautions at home It will help to keep insects away from our canine companions.
Tips to repel mosquitoes at home
Getting mosquitoes away from our lives and those of our furry friends is not an easy task. However, with a little organization and taking into account some suggestions, you can avoid more than one annoyance:
- Install mosquito nets on the doors and windows of the house, as this barrier substantially reduces the presence of insects inside the home.
- Mosquitoes love dense vegetation. Therefore, do not overgrow the plants in your garden.
- Avoid keeping containers that can accumulate water: they are the breeding ground for mosquito larvae.
- Insect repellent is a classic that never hurts. But remember: those sold for human use are not suitable for dogs.
- With the arrival of the warmer seasons there will be a greater presence of mosquitoes. Therefore, you must redouble precautions and be much more careful when taking walks with the dog outdoors.
We know that it is impossible to completely eradicate disease-carrying mosquitoes for dogs. However, even if we manage to prevent new cases from occurring every day, we can do much of our part to try not to happen in our environment.
Finally, do not forget that preventive vaccines and complying with veterinary controls is also essential to prevent the “heartworm” or the leishmaniasis make an appearance. And you, have you already made sure that your best friend is up to date with his vaccinations? Do you know any dog that has been diagnosed with any of these diseases? Tell us.
- Source: Lima-Netto, C. (2002) All about Canine Leishmaniasis. Tikal – Susaeta.