Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a Nutshell

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a Nutshell

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an acute, tick-borne disease triggered by a parasite called rickettsia rickettsii. In the United States, RMSF is considered the most severe tick-borne ailment. People and animals can be vulnerable to this problem.

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


Much of the symptoms of RMSF are also present with other diseases. 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 condition, schedule a visit to vet Norristown, PA facilities.

Here are some symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

  • Cough
  • Diarrhea, vomiting
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Swelling in the legs or face
  • Sleepiness
  • Nosebleed
  • Discomfort in abdomen or joints
  • Reduced appetite


A veterinary internal medicine specialist will note all the signs and symptoms described above. A series of diagnostic tests 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 dogs respond to antibiotic therapy within 24-48 hours; nevertheless, dogs with severe cases may not respond to antibiotic treatments.


There’s generally a good prognosis if the illness is identified and treated early. Your dog may even develop lifelong resistance after the infection is gotten rid of most of the time. Nevertheless, if your dog had an advanced instance of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the risk of complications is high.

Some risks include kidney disease, neurological disease, vasculitis, and coagulopathies. The latter might need the service of a veterinary surgery specialist. The prognosis may be less apparent in all these problems, depending on 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 usually gather and wait for their hosts. Places like woods, bushes, and turfs are typically where ticks flourish. The peak months for ticks are from March to October.

Each time your dog has come from a tick-prone area, check as soon as possible if there are ticks that have attached to your dog. The earlier these ticks are gotten rid of, the better chances of staying clear of the infection.

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

You can decrease the possibility of contracting RMSF by taking all the abovementioned preventative measures.