The plague (black death, Yersinia pestis) causes death of prairie dog colony near Flagstaff, Arizona
This disease is due to a bacteria, Yersinia pestis, which causes multiple symptoms throughout the entire body. Common signs are headaches, swollen lymph nodes, fever and malaise. This bacteria is transmitted through the bites of fleas.
Scientist have positively identified this bacteria within the fleas that had infested this population of prairie dogs. This disease was made famous for causing the death of 1/3 of the european population in the 1300s.
With today’s medicine, this we can help prevent spread of disease to our pet population with external parasite prevention and treatment of disease with modern antibiotics if needed.
At Laveen Veterinary Center, we strongly recommend all dogs and cats be treated with flea prevention, especially if your pet will be spending anytime in northern Arizona.
Cats and dogs infected with the plague show signs of fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and lymph node enlargement. Skin, draining tracts from lymph nodes and oral lesions have also documented. If any of these signs are noted please call your local veterinarian or Laveen Veterinary Center at (602)559-9600.