Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick and the lone star tick. In dogs, Rocky Mountain spotted fever appears suddenly with severe illness lasting about two weeks. If not treated early enough, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can result in death.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people as well as pets.

What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?

While people infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever are likely to develop a visible rash, dogs do not. Common symptoms of canine Rocky Mountain spotted fever include:

  • Arthritis-like stiffness when walking
  • Neurological abnormalities

Where is Rocky Mountain spotted fever found?

Despite the geographic implications of its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be found throughout the United States and Canada. Areas with the highest concentrations are the eight Rocky Mountain states, California and the Southeast.