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Dog Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

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Dog Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Information

Ticks carrying the bacteria known as Ricksettsia rickettsii spread Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This bacteria comes from the class Ricksettsia, which can cause various diseases in canines and humans. The disease is prominent during the tick season, which generally runs from April to September. It is transmitted when adult ticks carrying the bacteria attach and feed from a host dog.

Ticks carry the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.


The most common areas for this disease include the Southeastern, Midwest, and Southwestern portions of the United States, as well as the Plain States. The disease is named for the Rocky Mountains where it was first discovered, though it is no longer very apparent in that area.

Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Dogs

There are basically two stages of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in dogs: Subclinical and acute.

For the first stage, your dog may not show any sign of the disease, although, if tested the laboratory test will show abnormalities. Dogs that are diagnosed during this first stage of the disease will usually recover very quickly.

The second stage of the disease brings with it a variety of clinical signs: Dog Depression, Dog Fever, Dog Coughs, Dog Vomiting, Dog Diarrhea, reduction in appetite, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lymph nodes, and pain in the joints. A rash is rarely seen surrounding the area of the tick bite. An altered mental state and seizures can also suggest Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Other symptoms may include pneumonia or heart arrhythmia's, which can lead to a dog’s sudden death.

If the first signs are left undetected, bleeding from the nose and blood in the urine and stool can become present 1-2 weeks after the tick bite. Organ failure, shock, and even death may occur if the signs of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are disregarded.

Veterinary testing will show increased liver enzymes, Dog Anemia, and a decrease in the number of platelets.

Unfortunately, these signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can mimic many other diseases too.

Risk Factors

A history of tick infestation during the height of the tick season can suggest Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a sick dog. This is especially true for dogs that spend a great amount of time outside.

Treatment for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Dogs

Antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, and enrofloxacin are often given to treat Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in dogs. Medication is to be started immediately upon recognizing the signs and symptoms of the condition. High mortality rates are associated with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever when treatment is not quickly administered. Though dogs tend to react positively to the antibiotics within the first 2-3 days of treatment, the medication should be continued for 2-3 weeks.


Practicing tick control is the primary way to avoid Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in dogs. Ticks that transmit the disease must be attached to the canine for 5-20 hours before spreading can occur. Checking your pet 2-3 times a day for ticks is beneficial to avoid this serious disease.

Suggested Products

Plantaeris for Dog Diarrhea LessStress for Dog Anxiety Respiratory Aid for Dog Coughs

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