Rickettsia in dogs - Symptoms and treatment

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In this AnimalWised article we are going to explain what rickettsia in dogs consists of, a intracellular parasite that it will cause a series of symptoms, which we will list, and that can also affect humans, being considered a zoonotic agent, that is, susceptible to infect animals and humans. We will also explain what is the appropriate treatment and, above all, prevention, since dogs acquire rickettsiae through tick bites, therefore, by maintaining an adequate deworming calendar we will be able to minimize the risk of bites and infestation. Keep reading and discover how to treat rickettsia in dogs.

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  1. Rickettsial diseases in dogs
  2. Rocky Mountain Fever
  3. Mediterranean button fever in dogs
  4. Can rickettsia in dogs be cured??
  5. Prevention against rickettsia in dogs

Rickettsial diseases in dogs

Rickettsiae they are a type of bacteria that parasitize cells in different animals, including dogs and humans. Rickettsia in dogs is transmitted through vectors such as fleas and ticks and give rise to various diseases. In this article we will focus on those that can affect us most often, dogs and humans, such as Rocky Mountain fever and Mediterranean button fever..

Rocky Mountain Fever

This disease is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, It is very important in humans, it is transmitted by ticks and it is common in different areas of the United States. More cases occur during spring and summer, as good weather favors tick activity. The dog but also rodents are reservoirs of rickettsia.

¿What are the symptoms of Rickettsia rickettsii in dogs?

The affected dog will be listless, with fever, anorexia, cough, conjunctivitis, respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhea, edema in extremities and face, and pain in muscles and joints. This rickettsia in dogs can also cause difficulties in walking by instability, behavioral disturbances and seizures. If the heart becomes inflamed, a condition known as myocarditis, its operation may be altered, which may cause the death of the dog. In addition, it is possible that bleeding, with nosebleeds, bruises, or blood in urine and stools. This picture can also lead to the death of the dog.

¿How to treat Rickettsia rickettsii in dogs?

It is important that we transfer it to a veterinarian and that it is this who, through examination and tests, reaches the diagnosis. Can be treated with antibiotics for 2-3 weeks, in addition to other drugs to control symptoms according to the condition of the dog. It is essential to implement early treatment, hence the importance of establishing an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible and starting medication at the slightest suspicion, since mortality is high. Given the severity of the condition, it is important that we focus our efforts on prevention, deworming our dogs to keep them free from tick bites.

Mediterranean button fever in dogs

This disease is caused by Rickettsia conorii and it is also transmitted by ticks. The dog acts as a reservoir and, from it, by feeding on its blood, ticks can become infected that at some point could bite humans, transmitting the disease to them. This fever is on the rise in areas such as France and Spain.

¿What are the symptoms of Rickettsia conorii in dogs?

On the dog this disease alone has no clinical relevance. In humans Dark lesions can be seen where the tick has caught. Produces fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain, which can be mistaken for the flu, in addition to skin rashes. In severe cases, kidney failure, liver and blood clotting problems, and even death occur. In other people, on the contrary, it is asymptomatic. If it were to develop in the dog, the clinical picture would be similar to that of humans.

¿How to treat Rickettsia conorii in dogs?

As with the previous one, it must be the specialist who guides the treatment to combat this type of rickettsia in dogs, so it is essential to go as soon as possible. Likewise, as in dogs it is used to asymptomatic cursas, to avoid its development we recommend visit the vet in case of finding ticks in the animal in order to carry out a detailed examination that allows us to know if it has suffered any type of contagion. We must bear in mind that ticks are carriers of multiple diseases, explained in the following article: "Diseases transmitted by ticks ".

Can rickettsia in dogs heal??

As we have exemplified, rickettsiae can cause serious diseases in our dogs. The rickettsial diseases can be cured but, if not treated or treated late, they are capable of causing death. In addition, the cure always passes through the diagnosis and treatment of the veterinarian. As once the dog is sick, the prognosis is reserved, it is worthwhile to focus on the prevention measures that we can adopt and that we will explain in the last section.

Prevention against rickettsia in dogs

Prevention measures will focus on the control of ticks, for which the following measures stand out:

  • In agreement with our veterinarian, we must establish and comply with a deworming calendar suitable to the characteristics of our dog and the parasites in its environment. For more information, see the article "How often to deworm a dog ".
  • We must deworm all the animals that live together and disinfect the environment.
  • If we are going to travel with our dog, we must obtain information about parasites and diseases that may affect it at the destination in order to establish adequate protection measures.
  • If we walk through the countryside, especially during the warm months, we must examine the body of our dog and immediately eliminate the parasites that we find. Infected ticks take a few hours to transmit the parasite, so if we unhook them earlier, we will avoid contagion. Check our article "Ticks in dogs - How to identify and eliminate them " to know what to do.
  • We must not handle ticks without protection.
  • Any symptoms such as those described are a reason for veterinary consultation even if we have not observed any ticks.

This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.

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