CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – West Nile Virus poses a real threat to humans but what about your pet?

Mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile Virus peak July through early September and while West Nile Virus primarily affects birds and horses, the good news is that it is less likely to affect your pet.

“Apparently there are cases of it. It’s nothing that we’ve ever see around here,” said Dr. Sherry Himmelstein from Spruce Hill Veterinary Clinic.

Since testing began on June 12, just under 20 mosquitos have tested positive for West Nile Virus in Massachusetts. In Western Massachusetts, West Springfield, Pittsfield, Hadley and South Hadley have all had positive samples.

If your pets contracts the disease, Dr. Himmelstein says the signs should be obvious. West Nile Virus causes encephalitis or injury to the brain and nervous system, so symptoms your pet could show include lethargy, depression, staggering, seizures and muscle spasms.

The good news is that some of the flea and tick medications you may already give your pet also work to protect them from mosquitos. There are additional precautions you can take as well.

“The normal steps are to avoid getting mosquito bites, which means using insect repellent if you must be out during dawn and dusk and if all possible to avoid being out during those times of day. And especially to avoid being near areas, swampy areas, etc. that have high mosquito population,” said Dr. Himmelstein.

Maria Salvador of Ludlow limits the time her dog Sophia spends outdoors, “Well, she’s basically an indoor dog. So I just take her for a walk everyday and I’ll take her in my backyard. We just kind of keep her confined a little bit but she’s happy.”