ZIKA VIRUS: Recently we have had inquiries about the possibility of Zika
infection in pets.
As of this date, human cases of Zika infection have been reported by the
Florida Department of Health as close as Alachua, Duval and St. Johns
counties. Most of the cases were acquired in another country, however
there appears to have been transmission, possibly through mosquito
bites, in a small section of Miami.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although
Zika appears to have spread from non-human primates (apes and monkeys)
to humans, originally in Africa, other animals including dogs and cats
are not involved in transmission of Zika to humans; one study conducted
in Indonesia in the 1970's indicated that cows, horses, goats, ducks and
bats as well as water buffalo were infected with Zika virus however they
were not involved in transmission to humans (so don't get rid of your
water buffalo yet). The CDC suggests that "more research is needed to
better understand Zika virus in animals"
Mosquitoes are responsible for transmission of HEARTWORMS to dogs and
cats, and we see multiple cases of heartworm infection every month: so
mosquito control in our area is always a good idea. You can read about
simple measures you can take at the following site:
and don't forget about monthly heartworm prevention for dogs and cats.
DEET containing products, considered safe for humans, have not been
approved for use on pets and should probably not be used, in part
because a dog or cat may lick the product off of their hair. Some pet
products containing pyrethrins (Advantix - for dogs only) or pyrethroids
(Ovitrol - for dogs or cats) are labelled for use as mosquito
repellents, however avoidance of mosquitoes (see the CDC website) is
probably a better option.