Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dog Disease: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

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Our dogs are very important to us. There are many things we have to be wary of during different seasons, as well as locations that we live in order to provide the proper care for our dogs. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is one of those diseases that can have a detrimental effect on your dog and even you if you are not careful. Rocky Mountain spotted fever was named for the spotted tick. It just so happens that the first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever occurred in, you guessed it the Rocky Mountains. The thing is the disease can occur wherever there are ticks. The fever has been known to be carried in American dog ticks, the wood ticks, and a few other species of ticks.

There are two ways your dog can be infected by the Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The tick must be infected with R rickettsii, which is a bacterium they carry. The parasite usually gets the infection from squirrels and chipmunks. Then the tick bites the dog and transfers the infection in the saliva of the bite during feeding. The other way to get the disease is from the small mammal.
There are several signs and symptoms that will occur to alert you of the infection in your dog. First of all you should know that prevention is rather easy. You just need to use methods to prevent the ticks from coming into contact with your dog. You can either avoid the woods or tick prevalent areas. You can also apply an anti tick medication to the dogs neck. These preventative methods can help you and your dog stay safe from the virus.

Signs include a red rash, hemorrhaging, and secretions from the rash. You will also find that the bumps developed from the rash occur in the scrotum, prepuce, and ears. Joint swelling and other abnormalities will follow. Since it does affect the blood they can develop issues with bleeding from the nose and mouth, coughing, and other issues.

The lesions will continue to get out of hand if you do not seek treatment. You will also find that your dog does get a fever. The fever is one of the more detrimental aspects of the disease because it can cause the mind to be affected as well as the limbs. The lymph nodes will become swollen, and pneumonia can be contracted. There is also a potential of heart arrhythmias because of the blood hemorrhaging.

Treatment for the Rocky Mountain spotted fever in dogs should be sought immediately when you notice a problem. Most often you can spot a problem when you groom your dog and find a tick has latched on. You are alerted to start looking for the signs. Treatment is generally antibiotics called tetracycline, doxycycline, or enrofloxacin. The treatment will last for fourteen days.In some cases the dogs have to be treated for shock or nervous system symptoms and therefore the treatment can last for a few days longer. You will need to have treatment sought in the first few days for the best results.

Those who have not been treated right away can have other issues such as severe damage to the nervous system. In these cases a complete recovery is not always attainable. Certain dog breeds like German Shepherds and the English Springer Spaniel are more susceptible to severities with the disease.

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Gerry Ronson is a writer for dog training equipment, find out more about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.


BeadedTail said...

Very helpful information!

Thanks for visiting my blog! I appreciate it and certainly enjoyed reading your blog too!

Pets Corner said...

Thanks for dropping by and comment. your visit is appreciated