A Johnson County pet has been confirmed as the third known cat confirmed with the plague in the state in the past six months, according to a release from the Wyoming Department of Health.

Plague is a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly for both pets and people, according to Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer, and WDH epidemiologist. Only six human cases of plague have been identified in Wyoming since 1978, with the last such case reported in 2008. The cat lives in Kaycee and is known to go outdoors.

The other two recent cases of plague-infected cats were reported in Campbell and Sheridan counties.

WDH officials are recommending precautions against the disease:

·         Use insect repellent on boots and pants when in areas that might have fleas
·         Use flea repellent on pets, and properly dispose of rodents pets may bring home
·         Avoid unnecessary exposure to rodents
·         Avoid contact with rodent carcasses
·         Avoid areas with unexplained rodent die-offs
 
Plague symptoms in pets can include enlarged lymph glands; swelling in the neck, face or around the ears; fever; chills; lack of energy; coughing; vomiting; diarrhea and dehydration. Ill animals should be taken to a veterinarian.