Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever too!!??

So I've been feeling more like my old self every day. My energy is going up and I've been in the mood to play with Jet more and more. Since I've been going through treatment for Lyme Disease and Ehrlichiosis these past three weeks, the antibiotics are making a big difference. But if all that wasn't enough, my latest bloodwork also revealed that I'd been exposed to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I really hit the tick jackpot! Now the RMSF is probably something that I was exposed to a while ago and my immune system knocked it out, but Jenn wanted me to learn about it just to be safe.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a disease caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii. RMSF is transmitted by the American dog tick and the wood tick and is prevalent in every state in the U.S. except for Maine.

There are two stages of the disease: subclinical and acute.
  1. In the subclinical stage, there are no symptoms and some dogs recover quickly, probably like I did.
  2. In the acute stage, 2 days to 2 weeks after infection, there are a range of symptoms such as joint swelling, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, fatigue, pneumonia, bleeding from the nose, neurological problems, among others. Some dogs that reach this stage get very sick very fast. RMSF is diagnosed by blood tests that reveal antibody levels and is treated with antibiotics. A full recovery is most likely if early treatment happens.
People can be exposed to RMSF by a tick bite or from improperly removing an infected tick from your pet. See my previous blog entry on how to remove a tick properly. Symptoms in people include sudden fever, headache, muscle pain, and 85% also get a rash that looks like this:
Eeck!! It's real important that people get treated as soon as possible if they suspect RMSF. It is some nasty business! So be careful out there and check yourself and your pets for ticks every day.

The good news in all this is that Jenn had Bernie tested with the SNAP 4DX hearworm/tick screening and he is negative on all the exposures.

You can learn more about canine RMSF here and human RMSF here.

3 comments:

Jim said...

Jenn, your posts are sooo helpful. Wow. We learn so much from them. Thanks, Jim Alexander

Niamh said...

Oh Royal we are so sorry to hear about all your tick problems. Ticks are evil little things. Thanks for all the good info you share.

Your friends,
Niamh & Ambrose

Priscilla said...

Poor Royal, hope the tick problem can be solved as soon as possible.