2. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is commonly seen in dogs in the east, Midwest, and plains region of the U.S. Cats can also be infected with RMSF, but the incidence is much lower for them. It is transmitted by the American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick, though the tick must be attached to the dog or cat for at least 5 hours in order for transmission of the organism to occur. Signs of RMSF may include fever, reduced appetite, depression, pain in the joints, lameness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some animals may develop heart abnormalities, pneumonia, kidney failure, liver damage, or even neurological signs (e.g. seizures, stumbling). Oral antibiotics are used for about two weeks to treat RMSF, for which there is currently no vaccine available.