Mosquitoes - solving a mozzie problem on your pet

Townsville can seem like mosquito central sometimes, especially during the warmer, wetter times of year. While our pets often aren’t bothered too much by mosquitoes there are a couple conditions that mosquitoes can cause. 

Mosquitoes and pets

Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and is a serious disease. Dogs are most at risk from heartworm but it can affect cats as well.  Fortunately, heartworm can easily be prevented by using either a monthly medication or, in dogs, an annual injection.  If your pet isn’t currently protected, talk to your vet before starting medication as a heartworm test is usually needed first to ensure prevention medication doesn’t cause a reaction.

Mosquito bite hypersensitivity is another issue that is most commonly seen in cats.  Essentially the cats have an allergic reaction to mosquito bites and can develop really nasty sores.  It is usually seen on their nose and ears as these are the areas that aren’t protected as well by their fur.  Sometimes their nose can become extremely swollen as well as having big lumps or ulcerated sores, it may even look like cancer because the reaction is so nasty.  Medication can be used to reduce the inflammation and help heal the sores but the most important thing is to avoid mosquitoes.

As most people are aware, reducing the opportunity for mosquitoes to breed around your house can have a big impact on their numbers. Townsville City Council has a great checklist on their website about what you can do to reduce mosquito numbers. Visit Townsville City Council website

For our pets, avoiding mosquitoes would ideally involve keeping them indoors or in a screened area outdoors. If this is not possible, there are several products that may be helpful at repelling mosquitoes. These include some sprays, ointments, topspots and collars.

It is important to note that cats are very susceptible to the toxic effects of some repellent products and so products should only be used if they are labelled as being safe for your particular pet. We even recommend avoiding the use of permethrin-based products on your dog if you also own a cat because of the risk of contact between them. See our article about dog flea products and toxicity to cats