West Nile Disease in American Bulldog

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The Basics of the West Nile Disease

West Nile disease is a disease that is caused by a viral infection of the West Nile virus, and may result to encephalities. It is more common in some countries such as Africa, Middle East, and West Asia. It can occur in a wide variety of animals such as dogs, cats, birds, and horses. It is a viral disease that is simply passed around from one animal to another through insect carriers. The West Nile disease can cause deaths in some instances, but the fatality rate due to the West Nile virus infection is quite fortunatrely low. However, dogs do not face a high risk of West Nile virus infection, despite the fact that the virus is transmitted by insects that feed on blood, particularly mosquitoes. However, canine West Nile disease is still possible in dogs, and in humans as well. In dogs, the West Nile virus infection can strongly affect older dogs and young puppies. This is because the immune systems of both types of dogs are weaker, thus making them less resistant to various types of diseases. In general, however, the risk of West Nile disease in canines is very low.  

The Symptoms of West Nile Disease in Dogs

The West Nile disease in dogs can be accompanied by several symptoms, which can affect various parts of the body in separate occurences. This means that the symptoms may vary in kind. They can be physical symptoms, behavioral changes, and dietary irregularities. When we say dietary, this means that a dog with West Nile diseasewill probably not be in the mood to eat a lot. Physical symptoms can range from fever, headaches, slight movement strains, especially in walking, convulsions and tremors, stiff necks and an abnormal head position, which is a clear sign of a possible encephalitis or swelling of the head. Severe cases may also include more severe symptoms such as coma and paralysis. Behavioral changes may also occur, such as depression, and an unexplained tendency to roam around or circle around without aim. These symptoms are pretty easy to identify, so West Nile disease more or less stands out from other diseases, enabling dog owners to detect them early enough. When you observe any of these symptoms in your pet, call your veterinarian immediately.  

Treatment and Prevention of West Nile Disease

As of the moment, there are still no available vaccines to counteract the symptoms and contraction of West Nile Disease in dogs. This is why prevention of the West Nile disease is the key, and should be given much attention to. You can prevent canine West Nile disease by keeping your pet safe from the carriers of the West Nile virus: the mosquitoes. To do so, keep your surroundings clean and sanitary at all times. Don't allow your dog to roam around dirty locations, wherein the risk of meeting a mosquito is high. You can never tell which mosquitoes are safe from the West Nile virus, and which are carriers of the West Nile disease, so it would be better if you can protect your pet completely from mosquito bites. Include an insent repellent in your medicine cabinet list. These are insect repellents designed for pets, which will be more effective in keeping mosquitoes, as well as the West Nile disease, away from your pet.

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West Nile Disease in American Bulldog

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This article was published on 2010/10/09