Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Did you know that  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Delaware is one of six states with the highest rates of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in people?!  I certainly did not know that or that dogs can get this illness too.  On of my customers told me that her dog was recently diagnosed with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever but is fully recovered.  The dog’s symptoms were excessive swelling.

What is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?   It is a tick-born disease where the host (dog or human) is infected with R. rickettsii after a tick bite from an infected tick.  Most commonly, it is carried by the Brown Dog Tick, show below.

brown dog tick

Symptoms in humans: fever, rash, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite,  muscle pain and red eye.  A photo of the rash is posted below.

Rocky Mountian spotted fever rash

Symptoms in dogs:  listlessness, depression, high fever, loss of appetite, cough, red eye, difficult breathing, swelling of the legs, and joint and muscle pains.

Treatment for Humans and Dogs:  Antibiotics

Of course these illnesses are most common in the summer months when tick activity is the highest.  Please watch for ticks on your family…including the furry members!


Information gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and  Web MD.