CSU veterinarians euthanize dog that had the plague

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A dog infected with the plague was euthanized four days after it was admitted to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Larimer County officials said.

The dog likely became infected with the disease by sniffing a dead prairie dog before becoming sick, the Larimer County Department of Health said.

County health officials said the dog came from outside of Larimer County and tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that cause plague.

“The type of plague this dog had was pneumonic plague, which is a lung infection,” the Larimer County Department of Health said in a statement.

“The dog may have become infected by sniffing a dead prairie dog a day or two before becoming ill.”

The university said there is no plague risk to the public and the veterinary hospital officials who worked with the dog are being closely monitored.

Officials said this was the seventh domestic pet to be diagnosed with the plague in Colorado this year.

The plague is common among rodent populations in Colorado and the potential infection of animals exist.

Health officials say it is rare for humans to develop the plague, but it is treatable if caught early.