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Plague Infection in Prairie Dogs

Treatment

 

Antibiotics such as tetracyclines or trimethoprim-sulfa are generally used to control the plague infection. However, since the bacterial disease can be transmitted from the infected prairie dogs to humans, it is generally advisable to euthanize any infected prairie dogs.

 

Living and Management

 

Isolate the infected prairie dog from other pets. Make sure that its living quarters are cleaned and sanitized. Be sure to wear gloves when cleaning the cage and disposing of contaminated mate­rials, and wash your hands and arms thor­oughly when done.

 

Prevention

 

The risk of pet prai­rie dogs becoming infected and infecting their owners is very low; however, appro­priate precautions should be taken with any newly wild-caught prairie dog.

 

In addition, prairie dogs should not be kept in outside cages in areas where plague is known to be a problem. Taking steps to provide appropriate sanitation and disin­fection, wild rodent control, flea removal from all animal species present, isolation of sick prairie dogs and proper disposal of dead infected prairie dog is also useful in preventing transmission of plague disease to humans.

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