Back

Get started

Customized by You

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds.

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
Mosquitoes buzzing around a dog outside

So far, no reports of Zika virus infecting pets

Q: Can cats or dogs get the Zika virus from a mosquito bite?

A: Probably not, though the mosquito-borne virus hasn’t been studied enough in pets to know for sure.

The Zika virus was discovered in a captive rhesus macaque monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947. The first human cases were recognized in 1952. By 2015, the virus had invaded the Western Hemisphere, striking first in Brazil.

Your question about whether pets can get Zika suggests four concerns:

1) Can the Zika virus invade pets’ bodies, thrive and reproduce?

2) Do infected pets get sick, showing clinical signs associated with the Zika virus?

3) Can the virus migrate from pet to pet, or from pet to mosquito to another pet?

4) Can humans catch the virus from their pets?

The answers to all four questions are the same: Veterinarians have no evidence that this occurs, because very little research has been done in pets.

However, mosquitos can transmit heartworms and other disease-causing organisms to cats and dogs, so it’s important to treat pets with heartworm preventives. Some pet flea and tick repellants also prevent mosquito bites.

It’s essential to control mosquitos by eliminating standing water and circulating or changing other outdoor water every day or two, especially the water in bird baths.


Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at AskDrLee@insurefigo.com.

Tags:

As dog lovers, we all want our pets to...

Whether you have a cat that is outside...

Q: My cat Cupcake...

More From Figo Blog
Labrador Retriever retrieving a blue frisbee from the yard

One of the best things about owning a dog is...

You may have heard the phrase, “Cats can’t...

Man holding sick cat while chatting with veterinarian on mobile phone

Technology has made getting quick access to...

If you have extra time these days, perhaps...

Pet Professionals: Interview With Kristen Levine Pet Blogger | Figo Pet Insurance

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

Puppy crate training in progress

There are many tools I utilize when training...

A sense of satisfactions comes with doing...

Halloween’s right around the corner, and it’...