Pet Care Basics: What Is a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Pet Care Basics: What Is a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an acute, tick-borne disease brought on by a parasite called rickettsia rickettsii. In the United States, RMSF is considered one of the most severe tick-borne illnesses. Individuals and pets can be vulnerable to this problem.

The most typical transmission is from infected parasites such as wood tick, brown canine tick, and American canine tick. These parasites can attach themselves to your dogs for as long as ten hours, but it takes only ten minutes for an infected tick to transmit the disease to your dog.


A number of the symptoms of RMSF are also present with other conditions. Signs will show up between 2 and 14 days after an infected tick bit your dog. To ensure if your pets have been exposed to this problem, schedule a visit to an animal hospital in Norristown, PA.

Here are some symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea, vomiting
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Swelling in the legs or face
  • Lethargy
  • Nosebleed
  • Pain in abdomen or joints
  • Reduced appetite


A veterinary internal medicine specialist near Norristown will take note of all the signs and symptoms described above. A series of diagnostic examinations like blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays will better help your veterinarian validate the RMSF.

The internist may check for any irregularities in the red blood cells, complete blood count (CBC), and white blood to point out Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Abnormalities in kidney and liver functions, low protein muscles, abnormal calcium and electrolytes levels increase the possibility of RMSF condition.


The most recommended treatment for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is antibiotics. Many canines respond to antibiotic therapy within 24-48 hours; nevertheless, dogs with severe cases might not respond to antibiotic treatments.


There’s generally a good prognosis if the illness is spotted and treated early. Your dog might even develop lifelong resistance after the infection is cleared most of the time. Nevertheless, if your canine had an advanced case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the risk of complications is high.

Some risks include kidney disease, neurological disease, vasculitis, and coagulopathies. The latter may require the service of a pet surgery specialist. The prognosis might be less apparent in all these issues, and it all depends upon the individual cases.


Your veterinarian may prescribe parasite prevention medications to protect your dog year-round from RMSF and other tick-borne-related health problems such as canine ehrlichiosis, canine babesiosis, and Lyme’s disease.

Limit your dog’s exposure in places where ticks typically gather and wait for their hosts. Places like woods, shrubs, and yards usually are where ticks thrive. The peak months for ticks are from March to October.

Each time your dog has come from a tick-prone area, inspect immediately if there are ticks that have attached to your dog. The sooner these ticks are removed, the better the possibility of avoiding the infection.

Constantly use safety gloves when removing ticks to prevent being contaminated. Tick removal kits are inexpensive and can be found in most pet shops and vet clinics; always have this device close to your home.

You can lower the chance of having RMSF by taking all the previously mentioned safety measures.