FAIRBANKS — Wildlife authorities are warning Interior Alaska residents to beware of hares.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game veterinarian Kimberlee Beckmen says tularemia is showing up in hares.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports tularemia can be transmitted to dogs and cats that mouth or catch sick hares.
The disease is spread by bacteria through hare and vole ticks. It's most often seen in summer when ticks are most active.
Late stages of the disease can make hares slow and easy to catch by pets.
People can become infected by handling hares or coming into contact with an infected pet's saliva.
The most common symptoms in people and pets are lethargy, high fever and swollen lymph nodes.
The disease can be fatal if untreated but cured with antibiotics if diagnosed quickly.