Denise Williams wrote in to say she walks her dogs near the area where a horse was discovered recently with West Nile Virus. She wants to know if dogs can get West Nile ?
I talked to Doctor Robert Coconour over at Klaich Animal Hospital this afternoon. He says in his 40 years of practicing medicine he's never seen a case of a dog or cat contracting West Nile.
He said the manual they use for a guideline says West Nile occurs in humans, birds and horses. And he says tests have been done researchers injected West Nile Virus into dogs or cats and the animals ended up showing little or no signs of the illness.
However, Dr. Coconour added there have been some cases, very few, where dogs and cats were tested after they died and they did have West Nile Virus.
So it sounds like it can happen, but it is extremely rare.
Dr. Coconour says for whatever reason the disease typically does not manifest itself in dogs or cats and at this point no one is sure exactly why. But if you are a dog or cat owner, It doesn't sound like it something you need to be too worried about.