Skip to comments.Colorado Cat Tests Positive for Bubonic Plague
Posted on 06/08/2011 11:42:42 AM PDT by EBH
Officials in Boulder County, Colo., announced last week that a pet cat and a dead squirrel tested positive for the bubonic plague.
The cats owner took it to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley to be checked by veterinarians, and it was there that the presence of the bacteria was confirmed. A dead squirrel also tested positive for the plague.
Jennifer Bolser, chief veterinarian at the Humane Society clinic, said that the cat brought the dead squirrel home and likely became infected from it.
The bubonic plague is caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. It begins its life cycle in a rats blood. When fleas feed on that blood, Y. pestis bacteria begin growing in the fleas gut, and the disease is transmitted when an infected flea bites a new host.
In Colorado, the disease typically spread among wild rodents and other small mammals such as squirrels, rats, prairie dogs and rabbits. Household pets like cats can either get plague or carry infected fleas home to their owners.
In very rare cases, the plague can be transmitted from a sick cat to a human, but its much more likely that a person will contract the disease from flea bites or bites from squirrels, prairie dogs or other wild rodents.
This is the first time plague activity has been confirmed in Boulder County this season, county health officials said. Its been six or seven years since Boulders humane society clinic has come across a plague case, Bolser said, although the disease does occur naturally in Colorado.
But unlike the Dark Ages, when the plague caused countless deaths and terrified two continents, the disease is easily cured with modern medicine.
The plague, in general, is highly treatable if you can catch it and diagnose it early, and dont ignore the symptoms, Bolser said.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include high fever, extreme fatigue and painful swollen lymph nodes.
The cat was treated with antibiotics and did not need to be euthanized, said Humane Society of Boulder Valley spokeswoman Kim Sporrer.
Keeping cats indoors is the best way to protect them from getting plague, said Joe Malinowski, Boulder County Public Health Environmental Health Division Manager. In addition, pet owners should discuss with their veterinarians the best way to protect pets from fleas.
Oh GREAT now we have the “Black Death” to contend with. This nation had BETTER get on it’s knees and confess sin to the almighty!
“’The plague, in general, is highly treatable if you can catch it and diagnose it early, and dont ignore the symptoms,’ Bolser said.
Symptoms of bubonic plague include high fever, extreme fatigue and painful swollen lymph nodes.”
Right. Go to the doctor and complain about high fever and fatigue. See how quickly it gets diagnosed as plague.
Naw...it is just the summer flu...
Folks keep your pets up to date with their flea treatments!
Don’t panic. I read some years ago that Bubonic Plague is endemic among wild rodents in 17 western US states. The greatest danger is that when encountering a dead animal and getting too close, hungry fleas will jump to a live blood source—you.
Historical tidbits: The Black Death was enhanced in Europe by the association with and subsequent killing of cats because of witchcraft. Nostradomus may have curtailed an outbreak by recommendending rose hips tea (high in Vitamin C content). The Black Rat that brought in the BD was an upstairs and attic dweller, which brought them into close contact with humans. As they died out they were superceeded by the Norway rat, a basement and sewer dweller
which came into less contact with humans. This may be an important reason why BD died away over time.
“And the EPA just banned rat poisons”
Well I guess we will have to fall back on the tried and true method of lead poisoning. LOL!!
My doctor sent me to a specialist right away.
Just an FYI ping...
Reminder to keep up on your flea treatments.
Actually plague first came to the United States in the 1850's. The rail companies were importing Chinese Coolies to work on the transcontinental railway.
There was a small plague outbreak in San Francisco's Chinatown district. An alert doctor spotted the outbreak almost immediately, and appealed to the city council to institute a quarantine and rat catching program.
The town fathers refused to believe there was plague in their fair city.
They screwed around long enough for it to infect the local ground squirrel population where there was no hope stopping it from spreading. Thanks to their inaction, one can be exposed to plague anywhere in the western US.
Any parallels one wishes to draw with a more recent "gay plague" are left to the reader as an exercise.
Those who do not learn the lessons of the past...
Kitty survived. :-)
Thank goodness my 2 kitties are strictly indoor kitties!
> Right. Go to the doctor and complain about high fever and fatigue. See how quickly it gets diagnosed as plague.
I know you meant it a sarcasm, but that is exactly what happened to me in December 1970. I was in Vietnam and I went to the field hospital to complain of being sick. I went back every day after that and finally on the 4th day, they admitted me. It took them another week to determine that I had become infected bubonic plague from the immunization shot. I got out of the hospital 24 days later and 64 pounds lighter.
Oh, him? He's my cat that had the plague.
Great story material. Sorta like the 11 year old Florida kid that lived through an alligator attack. Great story for life, and scars to prove it.
Some doctors are pretty useless. Unless I’ve got a limb severed or a knife stuck in my forehead, I’ll treat my stuff at home. I had a stomach ailment for about 3 weeks. Went to the doctor after it didn’t go away after a week. He pressed on my belly, told me it was probably a virus, and charged $200.
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