The New Mexico Department of Health is investigating a confirmed case of plague in a dog.
The dog was most likely exposed to plague by infected rodents and their fleas while walking with the owner along the Santa Fe river.
The Department of Health Public Health Veterinarian, Paul Ettestad, spoke on the increased vegetation and construction debris along the river where rodents hide out.
“It is especially important if you walk your pets in these areas to take precautions to avoid rodents and their fleas which can expose people to plague. Pets that are allowed to roam and hunt can bring infected fleas from dead rodents back into the home, putting household members at risk,” said Ettestad.
Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.
Plague cases in animals can occur any time of the year in New Mexico, but it is most common in summer.
The Department of Health recommends:
- Avoid sick or dead rodents and rabbits and their nests and burrows
- Keep your pets from roaming and hunting
- Talk to your veterinarian about using an appropriate flea control product on your pets as not all products are safe for cats, dogs, or your children
- Clean up areas near the house where rodents could live, such as woodpiles, brush piles, junk and abandoned vehicles
- Sick pets should be examined promptly by a veterinarian
- See your doctor about any unexplained illness involving a sudden and severe fever
- Put hay, wood and compost piles as far as possible from your home
- Don’t leave your pet’s food and water where rodents can get to it
Read more: http://krqe.com/2015/08/14/santa-fe-officials-confirm-plague-in-dog/