Rare Case of EEE Kills Puppy

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

Summer can also mean mosquito season and perhaps for the first time, pet owners are also asked to watch out.

In a rare case, a puppy in Van Buren County contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

The serious viral disease is spread by mosquitoes and can lead to inflammation of the brain or even death.

"As the disease progressed, it [puppy] developed seizures and when it was apparent that the puppy was not going to survive, the puppy was euthanized," said Dr. Thomas Mullaney, associate director of MSU's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health.

EEE typically affects horses and humans, though doctors say the virus has not been much of a problem this summer, which is why they were even more surprised to find it in a puppy. The case in Van Buren County is likely the first case of EEE in a dog in Michigan. However, just the one case is enough to put some pet owners on edge.

"I didn't know dogs were susceptible to those diseases, it's definitely something i'll make sure I'm more conscious of," said Riley Collins.

Doctors say prevention is about reducing mosquito exposure, like keeping pets indoors from dusk till dawn if possible and removing standing water around your home which can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

"It's obviously a very rare event. However, it does remind us that the virus at least in some places here in Michigan is circulating at this time," said Dr. Mullaney.

For pet owners, the news shouldn't cause alarm, but experts certainly recommend taking precautions.

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