What are Mosquito Bites?
Pets are often targets for mosquito during the warmer months. Mosquitoes are tiny insects that breed in water which can range from tide water pools, sewage effluent ponds, ditches or bird baths in order to survive.
They live in places that are humid with high temperatures, and over 150 different species of mosquitoes can be found in the United States. Only the adult female mosquito feeds on animals and humans while the male mosquito feeds on plants. The female has to feed on an animal to obtain enough blood to produce eggs. Without a blood meal, the mosquito will die.
Mosquitoes spread diseases such as the West Nile virus and heartworm disease. Although West Nile virus is rare, dogs and cats can develop this disease and symptoms include fever, lethargy, muscle weakness, spasm, paralysis, seizures or depression. Heartworm disease can be transmitted by the bite of a mosquito and is a serious, life threatening disease that frequently affects dogs and cats.
Mosquitoes carry parasitic worms which live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of animals. These pests also cause skin irritation and inflammation as well as allergic reactions. When a mosquito bites your pet, the affected areas are the nose, ears and pads of the feet. Swelling, tenderness, redness, lesions, raw ulcers, and crusts will develop on the affected area.
Help for Mosquito Bites
Protection from mosquito bites is the best form of defense for your pet. Ensure that your dog or cat is vaccinated against heartworm for up to six months. Use cat and dog mosquito repellants recommended by your vet and avoid using products that contain DEET. Keep animals indoors during mosquito season and seal your home with good screens to prevent you and your pet from being bitten.
Natural remedies are a safer, gentler alternative to use on pets when they are bitten by mosquitoes. Essential oils are highly effective without the harsh side effects of chemical based products. Carefully selected ingredients such as Aqua, Coconut oil, Castor oil, Olive oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Ethanol, Glycerine, and Grapeseed extract soothes and calms the skin irritation and inflammation, and reduces swelling.
More Information on Mosquito Bites
Tips to prevent mosquito bites in pets
There are several ways to prevent mosquito bites in pets and these include:
- Keep your pets away from standing water such as ponds, ditches, birdbaths, pet bowls, gutters, storm drains, and plant saucers
- Keep your pet indoors around dawn and dusk, because that is when many mosquito species feed.
- Get rid of potential breeding sites for mosquitoes
- Use a good insect repellant recommended by your vet and avoid using DEET on your pet
- Never use mosquito repellants designed for humans
- Make sure that your pet is vaccinated against heartworms
- Invest in a propane powered mosquito trap to reduce mosquito bites