4:18 am   

Dog Tip: West Nile Virus, Mosquito Control, Nicotine

The following articles appeared in a recent ASPCA News Alert, a weekly e-newsletter from the ASPCA. Thanks to Joanne Goldman and Liz Dietz for submitting this.


If there's a companion canine in your life, you may be wondering if Rover is at risk of contracting West Nile Virus (WNV). Good news: the vast majority of dogs are not in danger. Because there have been very few reported cases of canines suffering from WNV-related illness, dogs do not appear to be particularly susceptible to the virus.

But to set minds at ease and educate dog owners on how to minimize exposure to mosquitoes that transmit various diseases, including WNV and heartworm, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) offers the following suggestions:

* Keep pets indoors during times when mosquitoes are most active--dawn, dusk and early evening. Eliminate areas of standing water that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and remember to recheck after each rainfall. Be sure to change outdoor water bowls daily to prevent mosquitoes from using them to lay their eggs.

* The APCC does not recommend the use of mosquito control products that contain DEET. Dogs--and cats, too--are extremely sensitive to DEET and may develop neurological problems if a product formulated with DEET is applied to them.

* Avoid using pest control products with concentrated essential oils such as tea tree, pennyroyal and d-limonine. Not only can concentrates of these products cause weakness, paralysis, liver problems and seizures in pets, their effectiveness has not been proven.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned by pesticides or any other potentially harmful substance, call your veterinarian or the APCC at (888) 426-4355.


The effects of cigarette smoking on humans have been well-documented, but did you know that tobacco products can be fatal to domestic canines, felines and birds if ingested? Signs of nicotine poisoning often develop within 15 to 45 minutes, reports Jill A. Richardson, DVM, of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Signs can include excitation, salivation, panting, vomiting and diarrhea. More advanced signs include muscle weakness, twitching, depression, collapse, coma, increased heart rate and cardiac arrest; death can occur secondary to respiratory paralysis. It's more common for a dog than a cat to eat cigarettes, but pet birds often chew on them, too.

If you or any of your family members smoke, please keep cigarettes and cigars out of your pet's reach. The same applies to the nicotine patches and gum often prescribed to stop smoking. Butts contain about 25% of the total nicotine content of a cigarette, so dump those ashtrays frequently.

For more information on WNV and pet poison prevention, visit www.apcc.aspca.org. The Center also runs a 24-hour emergency hotline at 1-888-4-ANI-HELP.


For more Dog Tips and other information about pet care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit our website at:

Partnership for Animal Welfare, Inc.
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport