A Pet Owner’s Guide to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a severe, tick-borne illness triggered by a parasite called rickettsia rickettsii. In the United States, RMSF is considered one of the most severe tick-borne health problems. People and pets can be vulnerable to this condition.
The most usual transmission is from infected parasites such as wood tick, brown canine tick, and American dog tick. These parasites can attach themselves to your dogs for as long as ten hours; however, it takes as little as ten minutes for an infected tick to transmit the disease to your canine.
A number of the symptoms of RMSF are also present with other conditions. Indications will show up between 2 and 14 days after an infected tick bite your canine. To ensure that your pets have been exposed to this condition, schedule a visit to an animal hospital.
Here are some symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:
- Diarrhea, vomiting
- Discharge from the eyes or nose
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Swelling in the legs or face
- Discomfort in abdomen or joints
- Reduced appetite
An internal medicine vet will make a note of all the symptoms described above. A series of diagnostic examinations like blood work, urinalysis, and x-rays will further help your vet validate the RMSF.
The internist may watch out 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 raise the possibility of RMSF condition.
The most prescribed treatment for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is antibiotics. Most canines respond to antibiotic therapy within 24-48 hours; however, dogs with severe cases may not respond to antibiotic treatments.
There’s a good prognosis if the illness is found and treated early. Your dog might even develop lifelong resistance after the infection is cleared in many cases. However, 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 call for the service of a specialist in pet surgery in Norristown. In all these complications, the prognosis may be less clear, and it all depends on the individual cases.
Your veterinarian might 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, bushes, and turfs are usually where ticks flourish. The peak months for ticks are from March to October.
Each time your dog has come from a tick-prone area, examine right away if there are ticks attached to your dog. The earlier these ticks are gotten rid of, the better the possibility of preventing the infection.
Always wear safety gloves when getting rid of ticks to prevent being infected. Tick removal kits are inexpensive and can be found in most pet shops and vet clinics; always have this tool close to your home.
You can decrease the possibility of contracting RMSF by taking all the abovementioned preventative measures.