West Nile Causes Dog Death

By  | 

Not only are people fearing being infected by the West Nile virus themselves, they're also worried about their pets. Animals can also contract the virus.

An eight-year-old dog in the Bloomington-Normal area is the first known case of a pet dying from the West Nile virus. But a Rockford area vet says not to worry, he doesn't think any more cats or dogs will be affected.

Patricia Sanderson and her dog Michael love to go to the park in the evening, but that may soon be changing.

"We probably, with this announcement won't be doing that so much anymore, with Michael being so old and vulnerable to viruses, and now especially with the West Nile virus,” says Sanderson.

Veterinarian Dr. Chris Lendman doesn't believe pet owners have much to worry about. While the virus has been found in horses, crows and squirrels, he says dogs and cats should be safe.

"So it may be that we hear a little more about infections in some of our other animals, but I don't expect us to hear a lot about infections in cats and dogs - they don't seem to be susceptible at this time,” says Dr. Lendman.

Dr. Lendman says pet owners should be a little more concerned about something else, "I think people need to be more alarmed about themselves than their dogs and cats."

Dr. Lendman says to follow the same precautions as you would for yourself with your pet. But he says not to use bug spray on them because that could do more harm than good.