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West Nile Virus – Protect Your Pets


Last updated 7/16/2015 at 1:21pm

With a record number of mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus this year, the danger of disease, isn’t just limited to humans.

An increase in heartworm infections in local dogs has been noticed by one local vet. Heartworm, a parasitic roundworm that can cause heart failure in dogs and cats as well as wild animals, is spread through the bites of mosquitoes.

Dr. Kathryn Carlson, owner and director of the Village Park Animal Hospital in La Quinta, has already had to begin treatment for three local dogs in the last two weeks despite the usual rarity of a heartworm diagnosis in the desert.

Carlson recommends annual heartworm testing and preventative medications. “We have always believed in the ease of prevention over the difficulty of treatment,” she said. “If you want the freedom to take your dog any place at any time, prevention is a must.”

The West Nile virus, which can be spread to humans and animals, has been detected at alarming rates this year with the total positive readings at 54, when last year, there had been none.

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