With 28 people in Key West testing positive for Dengue Fever pathogen / antibodies in their system people all over Florida are worried that there is an outbreak. There is a difference between someone who is seropositive (the pathogen/antibody is present in their blood) and someone who has the disease. I knew my readers in Florida and bordering States would want to know how to help protect their pets and if they could be at risk so I want to get this up quickly in order to help all of you. Here is some information about Dengue Fever in Dogs
Some key information:
- Only the female mosquito of a specific species carries the disease.
- Humans and non-human primates are susceptible to the disease
- Dogs cannot contract Dengue Fever it does not affect their blood system like it does a human.
- Dengue Fever itself is not deadly and can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
- The complication a Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics and IV Fluid.
- If you have flue like symptoms visit your doctor.
What can you do to protect your family and your pets?
- The first step is to make sure you do not have standing water around your home that mosquitoes can lay eggs in.
- After a rain storm when mosquitoes are more prevalent wear long sleeves and pants.
- If you are going to be playing outside wear bug repellent reapply according to directions
- Make sure your pet is up to date with their flea and tick medication. Most though not all preventatives will protect against mosquitoes as well. (Read the label if you are unsure).
- If you have your windows open make sure there is a secure screen in place that does not have any holes that would allow mosquitoes inside.
- When you take an infant or toddler out in their stroller use mosquito netting that will not allow the mosquitoes to get at your child.
- If you are having a BBQ and will be outside use citronella candles around the area, use bug repellent, lemongrass and citronella can be used as a bug repellent and can be diluted and sprayed directly on your family and your dog (cats can have reactions to essential oils).
- Try to limit outdoor exposure between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- If anyone in your household is immune compromised please call your doctor to see what steps you can take to protect them.
- Put bug repellent plants in your garden most have a citrus-y or a woodsy smell and many have beautiful flowers as well.
* I am not a scientist or a veterinarian. If you think you are is sick please go to your doctor to be properly diagnosed and treated. If you think your dog is sick please take them to the vet.