It is unlikely that most pet owners would notice any unusual symptoms or behavior in cats or dogs that become infected with West Nile Virus. Dogs and cats become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito.
There is also evidence that cats can become infected with the virus after eating infected mice.
There is no documented evidence of dogs or cats to people transmission of West Nile Virus.
Studies have not been able to detect virus in the saliva of infected dogs. This suggests that dog bites pose a low risk, if any, of transmission of West Nile Virus from dogs to other animals or people.
There is no West Nile Virus vaccine for cats and dogs.
Do not use insect repellent on your pets because animals tend to ingest them when licking. Ask your vet for advice.
For updated information on pets West Nile Virus go to www.aphis.usda.gov
Here are some helpful tips in the event you need to rescue your pet.
Poisoning and toxin exposure
Keep your pets from any potential hazards around your home, like cleaning products, antifreeze and even certain houseplants. If your pet ingests something that may be harmful, or if he is exhibiting symptoms like seizures, loss of consciousness or breathing distress, call your vet immediately as well as the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Information is also available at their website at http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
There may be times when your pet comes into contact with another animal and suffers a bite or other wound that may result in bleeding. Or they may suffer a wound in other ways. Take a clean gauze pad and apply pressure to stop the bleeding. More serious bleeding may require a tourniquet along with a bandage and pressure on the wound. Take your pet to a vet as soon as possible for any serious bleeding.
If your dog has a broken leg or fracture, you want to keep your dog as calm as possible while you prepare to transport it to the vet. You might need a flat board to serve as a stretcher, but you might also find that you can wrap your dog in a blanket or throw rug. While some people are tempted to use a homemade splint, it can create more problems if it isn’t placed properly. The best bet is to let your veterinarian handle the splint and bandaging.
If your dog exhibits symptoms of choking, breathing problems and pawing at the mouth or choking sounds, look into the mouth to see if an object is visible. Be careful, though, and be aware that there is potential for your dog to bite. If you can’t remove the object, you can apply quick pressure to the sides of a small pet’s rib cage to try and push the object out. If you have a large dog, try a modified version of a Heimlich maneuver by putting your arms around his belly, joining hands, making a fist and pushing up and forward behind the rib cage.
If the weather is warm, don’t put your pet at risk by leaving it in your car. The temperature inside a car can escalate to dangerous levels very quickly. If you do suspect your pet is overheated, place a cool or cold wet towel around his head and neck, move the pet to the shade and even take a hose to keep water running over his body.
Ask your vet to have the pharmacy make the medicine liquid taste good like tuna flavor liquid or even a chewable treat. If your cat has to have two medications, it would be better if you can combine into one syringe. It is the amount of times that is a big deal for the cat. Ask your vet before you combine the medications.
It may be advisable to restrain the cat by wrapping it in a blanket or towel with only its head exposed. The first few times, it may also be helpful to have someone else hold the wrapped cat while you administer the medication.
Use the syringe into the corner of your pet's mouth between the teeth and the cheek. There is no waste of medication with the syringe. The pet does not like it in front of their mouth. You can also use a dropper. I find it easier to use the syringe there's usually no waste.
Don't tilt your pet's head back, that could cause the medication to go to your pet's lungs. Slowly squeeze the syringe to dispense the liquid medication. Make sure you do this slowly so the cat has time to swallow the liquid and breath. You can gently hold your pet's mouth closed and stroke your pet's throat to encourage swallowing.
Most cats will spit out some of the medication. DO NOT re-medicate unless you are certain
that NONE of the medication was taken.
Afterward, give your pet a treat.
Very important! Pet medications should always be given for the full length of time prescribed.
If you are not sure on how to administer medications, ask your vet for a demonstration technique.
Professional Pet Sitting Services offered in the Upper to Mid-Pinellas County Area