Like us, our dogs can also become victims of mosquito bites. The problem is not so much the bite itself, which does not usually have great consequences, but the diseases that these insects can transmit to animals. This is why it is so important to protect dogs from mosquito bites.
In this article we will discuss how to treat mosquito bites in the case of dogs. We will explain how to identify bites and, above all, what precautions you must take to make it happen.
Symptoms of a mosquito bite in dogs
Typically, a mosquito bite on a dog will mean nothing more than a small mark or red bump on the skin. At best, this only produces some inflammation and itchiness. Only in some cases can more serious discomfort occur. For example, if they are allergic to mosquito bites or if the bite is on the face, nose, or inside of the mouth. Some bites can cause inflammation of the throat and make it difficult for the dog to breathe, causing suffocation in the worst case.
In these cases, the dog may suffer a significant allergic reaction, known as anaphylactic shock. This is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention. The severe reaction occurs after the bite, or a few hours later, and its general symptoms include nervousness, diarrhea, vomiting, breathing problems, and weakness, as well as swelling, redness, or itching at the site of the insect bite.
More than the bite itself, the most important problem with similarly stinging mosquitoes or insects (such as bees) is the fact that they carry and transmit serious and life-threatening diseases. These diseases can include canine leishmaniasis. In such cases, the bite would form a wound that does not heal, even after considerable time has passed.
Another serious mosquito-borne disease is filariasis, also known as heartworm in dogs. Both filariasis and leishmaniasis can reside in the dog for months before triggering any symptoms. Therefore, even if you think that the bite is not serious, in reality the disease may have already been transmitted to the dog by the mosquito or a sandfly.
What can I do if my dog has been bitten by a mosquito?
Generally, mosquito bites in dogs go completely unnoticed, partly because of the hair. If you detect a bite or find a mark that could be, you can easily treat it at home. Only if your dogs show signs of anaphylactic shock, you should see a vet urgently. In this situation, a professional should also control bites that are very swollen or that affect more delicate areas such as the eyes, nose or the inside of the mouth.
If leishmaniasis or filariasis is common in your area, it is especially important that you inform your vet about any mosquito bites or marks that may be of concern. This professional will be able to advise you on what steps to follow, carry out the relevant tests to check if there is an infection in our dog and recommend the most appropriate preventive measures.
Home remedies for mosquito bites in dogs
If your dog shows signs of being bothered by the bite, you can treat the area with something cool. This will minimize the swelling and itching of the animal. For this, you can use ice, or a bag of frozen food wrapped in a cloth or towel so as not to damage the skin.
To reduce the chance of infection, you can wash the area with plenty of soap and water. Remember that mosquito bites in more sensitive areas, or that cause more than a local reaction, should not be treated at home. In these cases a veterinary check-up is necessary.
How to prevent mosquito bites in dogs?
In order to prevent mosquito bites and their possible diseases, veterinary products that contain repellent are recommended. Pipettes, collars, and sprays are commercially available at many pet stores. Consult your veterinarian about the most suitable product for your beloved dog’s situation. It is advisable to apply it every month, especially for those dogs that live in areas where filariasis or leishmaniasis are, unfortunately, more common. They should at least be applied during months when mosquito numbers are at their peak (like summer).
You must bear in mind that some substances that claim to be mosquito repellants do not achieve the expected results. Either the effects are non-existent or limited to a short period of time, leaving the dog unprotected immediately. Therefore, only specific veterinary products should be used to deal with serious diseases such as leishmania or filariasis. In addition to this, there are certain precautions that you can take at home and abroad:
- Avoid leaving your dog outdoors, especially at times of the day when mosquitoes are most active, such as dusk, dawn, and at night.
- Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by placing screens on doors and windows.
- Remove any organic material from the garden or patio, as this is sure to attract mosquitoes.
- Eliminate standing water, as it is the ideal place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
Now you know. It is important to take care of our furry animals and protect them against mosquito bites. Do you have any questions about it? Do you need us to advise you on the best products to repel insects in your pets? Come visit us at Hospital Veterinari Glòries or call us at 932 460 805, we will be more than happy to advise you on the best remedy.