Another animal on the Redlands has tested positive for bubonic plague. This time a White-tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel was found with the bacterial disease, which can cause severe illness and possible death.
In addition to the ground squirrel, the Mesa County Health Department has received a number of reports of rabbit and squirrel deaths. These reports follow the positive tests for two cats in the Redlands for the plague, and a confirmed case in a Gateway woman.
Veterinarian Dr. Frank Coons, with the Tiara Rado Veterinary Clinic, says people should keep an on burrowing rodents in their area. You should also contact the health department if you notice animals dying, but at this time there is no reason to panic.
Dr Coons says cats are especially prone to the plague. It is transmitted by infected fleas and is a bacteria that affects the lymph nodes.
Dr. Coons says that many over-the-counter flea preparations can protect cats, but that topical prescription medicines are most affective.
He adds that any cat that is obviously ill or has swollen glands in the neck could have the plague and should be brought to a clinic immediately.
Parents should caution their children not to play around, or with, and dead animals.
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