The Plague previously referred to as the Bubonic Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. This bacterium is transmitted through a flea bite. Both people and pets, especially cats are susceptible. The death rate risk in humans is quite high at 8-10%. Pet owners at increased risk are those living near wildlife.
What pets are susceptible?
When contracting the Plague, cats are more susceptible than dogs. Without treatment, this disease is often fatal. Although transmission is primarily through a flea bite, should your pet be scratched by a rodent or ingest a mouse or rat, they likely will become infected. Note that dogs can pick up and carry plague-infected fleas.
What Can Pet Owners do if their pet shows signs of the Plague?
Consult a veterinarian if you suspect that your pet is ill. Pet owners living near wildlife habitats should ask their veterinarian about flea control.
Symptoms of the Plague in People
Signs in people may include, high fever, chills, headache and nausea. Signs usually occur within one week of infection.
Symptoms of the Plague in Pets
Signs in pets vary between animals.
Plaque Treatment is possible
Certain antibiotics are effective to treat the plague, including doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. In various cases hospitalization, supportive care, oxygen and intravenous fluids may also be needed.
What States are at Risk?
Currently, the Plague is spreading from the west coast to the east. California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico are hot spots. As of July 14th, 2020, cases of the Plague have already reached Indiana.
How can Pet Owners Protect themselves & their Pets from the Plaque?
Contact your veterinarian and be sure your dogs and cats are receiving appropriate flea prevention medications.