Protect your pets from West Nile
The West Nile Virus has affected hundreds of people here in Texas and the numbers seem to keep rising.
It's not just humans that can be affected by this virus, pets can as well.
Sharon Phillips told KETK, "The ones that are most susceptible to it are larger animals, horses are specifically susceptible along with birds."
Although it is not as common, dogs and cats can also get infected by West Nile.
Horses, can receive a vaccine for West Nile, but other pets cannot.
So what can pet owners do to prevent their four-legged friends from getting bit?
Phillips said, "In dogs and cats its only about mosquito control, so it's the same thing as with people, you want to make sure the mosquito population around your house is under control, standing water needs to be gotten rid of, there are some products that deal with mosquito control with dogs but with cats they're somewhat toxic to them."
Owners are advised not to use insect repellant that is not pet approved on their dogs and especially not on their cats since they are allergic to it.
She said, "mosquito repellant, there are ones that you can use in dogs that are really good, but unfortunately with cats, they're more sensitive to it plus they groom themselves so they ingest a lot more of it so theres really not a great mosquito repellant, I just encourage them to try to keep it away from their house as much as possible."
Most dogs and cats go undiagnosed when infected by West Nile, but when bit, they will usually become lethargic and have a fever.
Fortunately, pets can't transmit the virus to humans, so you don't have to worry about getting West Nile from your dog or cat.
Just be sure not to have your dogs and cats outside during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most present and be sure not to have standing water around by their dog houses or toys outside.