Vet reminds animal owners to protect pets against mosquitoes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Vet reminds animal owners to protect pets against mosquitoes

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Veterinarian Myron Graham said the two cases of EEE so far this year are not overly concerning, but because of how prevalent mosquitoes are in South Georgia this time of year, it's important for animal owners, especially those with horses, to take steps to guard against mosquito born illnesses.

"Horse owners need to be aware. They need to consult with their vet to come up with a vaccination protocol," Graham emphasized.

But Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE, is not the only mosquito born illness Graham said people need to be aware of. "Heart worm disease in dogs, which is also transmitted by mosquitoes," said Graham. "Heart worm prevention is available once a month to help prevent heart worm disease in dogs."

Dr. Graham also pointed out that he's seen an increase in the number of horses being vaccinated since the first report came out August 12th that a horse in Lowndes County tested positive for EEE. This gives him hope there will not be any more cases in the county.

"[It's] promising that horse owners are being proactive and being responsible and getting their horses vaccinated," Graham admitted. 

Animal owners should also be aware of the signs of possible mosquito born illnesses in their animals. For dogs, "loss of appetite, coughin', lethargy, maybe weight loss," said Graham. For horses, "tends to be more neurological, meaning staggering, potentially even head pressing," said Graham.

If you suspect your horse has EEE, contact a veterinarian immediately.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.

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