Rickettsia in dogs - Symptoms and treatment


Ehrlichiosis in dogs is an infection caused by the organisms Ehrlichia canis and Ehrlichia lewinii. These bacteria are transmitted by the brown tick and the Lone Star tick, respectively. Rickettsias are a type of bacteria that invade cells, in this case, white blood cells, which are destroyed in the process.

While there are a number of species in the genus Ehrlichia, E. canis and E. lewinii are the two of greatest concern for dogs, with E. canis being the most diagnosed form (keep in mind that these bacteria can infect other animals, including humans). This disease is observed throughout the year and throughout the continental territory, in geographical areas that tend to have a large number of warm days. The chronic and severe forms of this disease are more representative in the Doberman Pinscher and the German Shepherd.

Rickettsial diseases in dogs

Rickettsias they are a kind ofbacteria that parasitize cells in different animals among which dogs and humans are found. Rickettsia in dogs it is transmitted through vectors like fleas and ticks and give rise to various diseases. In this article we will focus on the ones that most often can affect us, dogs and humans, such as the Rocky Mountain fever and the Mediterranean buttony fever.

Is rickettsia in dogs cured?

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

Prevention against rickettsia in dogs

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

  • According to our veterinarian we must establish and comply with a deworming calendar appropriate to the characteristics of our dog and the parasites of 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 get information about parasites and diseases that may affect the destination to establish med>

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Rickettsia in dogs - Symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter our section on bacterial diseases.

What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by deer ticks. The disease can be transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. If left untreated, the disease can cause several health problems. However, if diagnosed early and with the administration of antibiotics, Lyme disease can be cured quickly and completely.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

The initial symptoms of Lyme disease can be mild and are often ignored. If you feel that a tick has stuck to your skin, remove the tick with tweezers and see if Lyme disease symptoms appear. Between 60 and 80 percent of cases, the first symptom is a rash known as migratory erythema that:

  • It occurs at or near the place of the tick bite.
  • It is a solid red "porthole" rash that gets bigger.
  • It appears within the first three days to a month after the tick bite.
  • It has a diameter of 2 to 6 inches.
  • Lasts 3 to 5 weeks.
  • When touched, it may be hot or not.
  • Normally, it does not cause pain or itching.
  • Multiple eruptions may appear.

Ticks stick anywhere, but prefer the folds of the body, including the armpits, the groin, the back of the knee and the neck. If it has been infected, the rash will most likely appear in one of these areas.

When the rash appears, other symptoms may also appear, such as joint pain, chills, fever and tiredness, but they may be too light for medical attention.

As it evolves, Lyme disease can cause severe tiredness, stiff and painful neck, tingling or numbness of the arms and legs or facial paralysis.

The most severe symptoms of Lyme disease do not appear for weeks, months or years after the tick bite. These symptoms may include severe headaches, painful arthritis and swelling of the joints, and heart and central nervous system problems.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

If you think you have Lyme disease, you should see your health care provider immediately. The early diagnosis of Lyme disease can only be made based on the symptoms and history of possible exposure to the tick. Blood tests done during the first month after the tick bite give false results.

How is Lyme disease treated?

Early treatment of Lyme disease includes the administration of antibiotics and almost always produces the complete cure. However, if the treatment is delayed, the possibility of a complete cure is diminished.

In a small number of cases, Lyme disease can become a chronic disease. However, some patients have indicated a slight improvement and even the disappearance of symptoms, months or even years after treatment.

How can I protect myself against ticks and prevent Lyme disease?

Deer ticks live in dark and humid areas at ground level. They adhere to tall grasses, weeds and shrubs, but usually not more than 18 to 24 inches from the ground. Ticks also live in grass and gardens, particularly at the edges of forests and around ancient stone walls.

Deer ticks cannot jump or fly, and cannot fall on people or animals. They are only subject to humans and animals by direct contact. Once the tick sticks to the skin, it usually climbs until it reaches a protected area.

In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf debris and vegetation. However, if you work in your garden, go for outdoor walks, go camping, hunting, work or spend time outdoors, you can protect yourself in the following ways:

  • Wearing soft colored clothes with a tight fabric to see ticks easily.
  • Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirt and closed shoes. Put the end of the pants inside the socks or boots, and the shirt inside the pants.
  • Frequently checking the presence of ticks on clothes and bare skin while outdoors.
  • Considering the use of insect repellent.
  • Remaining on clear and marked roads. Avoiding contact with vegetation.
  • Avoiding sitting directly on the ground or stone walls.
  • Tying back long hair, particularly when working in the garden.
  • Looking carefully throughout the body at the end of the day in case any tick adhered (Also observe children and pets), and withdraw them as soon as possible.

What do ticks look like?

The two most common types of ticks are dog ticks and deer ticks. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme disease. Dog ticks can transmit the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. As far as is known, dog ticks have never transmitted Lyme disease.

Enlarged view Tick
deer female

Female deer ticks They have 4 pairs of legs and are red and black, while the males are black. Young deer ticks are light brown and are the size of poppy seeds and are very difficult to detect. Adult deer ticks are only the size of a sesame seed - still very small.

Ticks of
real size deer

Enlarged view Ticks
of dog, male and female

Dog ticks They are the most common type of tick, and can be as large as a small pea when feeding. These types of ticks have 4 pairs of legs, are reddish brown and are easier to detect. Most dog ticks turn gray while feeding. Ticks can be found year-round, but they are more active in the spring, at the beginning of summer and fall when the weather is hot and humid.

Dog tick Real size

And about insect repellents?

Two active ingredients found in repellents are DEET (the label can say N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) and permethrin. Permethrin is used only in clothing. Repellents containing DEET can come in different concentrations, with percentages as low as 5 percent or as high as 100 percent. In general, the greater the concentration, the greater the protection, but the risk of negative health effects also increases. Use the lowest concentration you create will give you the protection you need. The New York State Department of Health recommends that the following precautions be taken when using repellents containing DEET:

  • Before applying them, keep them out of the reach of children and read all the instructions on the label.
  • Do not let children apply repellent to themselves.
  • DO NOT apply repellent directly to children. Put it in your hands and then apply it to the child.
  • When applying repellent, avoid the face and hands of children.
  • DO NOT apply repellent on skin damaged by sunburn, cuts, abrasions or other conditions such as Psoriasis.
  • Avoid prolonged and excessive use of DEET.
  • DO NOT apply repellents in enclosed areas.
  • DO NOT apply directly to face.
  • DO NOT apply near eyes, nose or mouth.
  • When returning to covered enclosures, wash treated skin and clothing.
  • If you believe that you or a child has an adverse reaction to a repellent containing DEET, wash the treated area immediately and contact your local health care provider or local poison control center.

Consider also these Important Facts:

  • If you put the pants inside the socks and the shirts inside the pants, keep in mind that ticks will climb into hidden areas of the head and neck, therefore observe the clothing frequently.
  • Clothes should be sprayed with DEET or permethrin. Follow the instructions on the label carefully.
  • Upon returning home, the clothes should be put in the dryer at high temperature for 20 minutes to kill the ticks that have not been seen. It is possible that if you take a shower and wash your hair with shampoo, it helps you to dislodge the ticks that might creep, but this is not always effective.
  • All contact with vegetation, even if it is to play in the garden, can expose you to ticks. Frequent reviews of the presence of ticks should be followed by a full-body exam and removal of ticks that are found every night. This is the only most effective method for the prevention of Lyme disease.

How can you remove a tick safely?

If you find that a tick has attached to your skin, do not be alarmed. Not all ticks are infected and your risk of getting Lyme disease is greatly reduced if the tick is removed within the first 36 hours.

To remove the tick:

  • Use pointed tweezers to hold the tick by the head or mouth cavity where it enters the skin. DO NOT hold the tick by the body.
  • Without shaking it, pull firmly and constantly out. DO NOT twist the tick.
  • To kill it, put the tick in a small container containing rubbing alcohol.
  • Clean the sting wound with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Observe the place of the bite in case a rash appears for the next 30 days. If you develop a rash or flu symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.




Search online for an "insecticide pump for ticks" or fogger. You put that in the affected rooms, and let it act for a few hours, leaving home.

Gustavo Vadquez says

Hi. My 7 year old labrador dog has a current weight of 30 kg. It seems to me that it has a heirloom since it has some of the symptoms listed above, I see this from 4 weeks before. If you can send me the drug treatment I should continue, I would appreciate your help thanks. Gustavo thanks [email protected]

you can give 500 pesos for the consultation

My dog ​​is snawser is pregnant and can no longer have a cesarean because her pups are very large has 6 pups approx and they detected the disease of the canine heirloom tick my are applying the large with vitamins my question is if my puppy runs the risk of dying

Marco Antonio says

Good afternoon I would like to know if the dog when she is pregnant and gives birth can infect her puppies I hope to have an answer

My dog ​​suffered an accident and a car ran over her, but she didn't kill her at that moment, but she was sore or almost in agony. But she was calm, she lost her appetite completely and for more than 4 days she only drank water. one veterinarian hit only, but another managed to cause this bacterium because of the accident, because she gave no signs. Now she only depends on luck if she continues to live, antibiotics have already been applied, but when she tried to receive the oral route, in an hour she expelled them with digested remains from many days ago. They take care of their pets

Emilio Marcenaro says

HELLO, people, This is really the heirloom, a very deadly disease if you don't go on time, pay attention to your pets
This is a story of my life
I am just 14 years old and I already feel that they weigh heavily on what happened.
My pet was a fundamental part of my family, was one more member, the most beloved child, was playful, he loved to walk a lot and gave it that luxury I took him to parks I bought toys and many things that in the end ...
My pet started with a very strong diarrhea, this was cured normally by the veterinarian days later, about three, he began the symptoms of the heirloom I did not know this, he began, by a kind of bruises on his abdomen, call Quickly to the vet to see what it was, then he prescribed some pills and some medications to heal which did not work, but rather made the case worse, I called him two days later to check it again, as my pet had improved I did not take much importance to the second case that was where the heirloom had taken possession of it, the next day a great wound appeared on his face, the thing went from bad to worse, on the third day he decided to apply medications and pills to control some symptoms which were the constant vomiting and a very liquid diarrhea that was part of the eradication but the naive believed that it was a simple diarrhea and vomited the night of June 24 of this year I spent all at dawn taking care of him because he decided to give him serum and spent 12 hours taking care of him, well but that does not matter, what mattered was that he was well so on June 25 I took him to his clinic to review it better, I went with him to see what medications he applied to control the case, the day went on while the veterinarian did not take blood samples to know what it was, I decided to go for a couple of hours to study my exam the next day, I really did not concentrate very well, for the disease that I had my pet so I went to see him around 4:46 pm, when I arrived at his clinic I was very surprised to see him with serum in his veins (injected) he was hospitalized and the worst thing was that he was admitted to the wax of his clinic , the protection he had was Mayan, the weather was rainy, then cloudy and part of my pet's head was not getting wet but I felt very cold, I could not get out of the car because if he was not going to go crazy and the syringe could be hurt I returned hours later to see how it went, the vet was already there, it was until then that he wanted to perform the blood test, they gave 11:46 at night on June 25 and the blood test was almost ready, came the At the time of the results, my puppy had a positive era, it was until 1 in the morning that we all realized that he had an era. I spend a short time two hours to be exact the veterinarian informs me by a text message that my puppy has DEAD this message I saw him at about 6: 12 am since I was very tired to study hard for my exam at that time already nothing was the same, I saw everything cloudy, gray, pale, without grace, that day was not the same, it seemed like a walking zombie knowing that MY FAITHFUL COMPANION, MY BROTHER was no longer with me at all.
The objective of this message is that the person who reads it, prioritizes a lot of your pet TAKE CARE OF, LOVE, PROTECT IT, GIVE HOMEWORK, HOSPITALITY, EDUCATE IT DO THE BEST OF YOURSELF, AS IF YOU WERE CARING FOR YOUR SON, my big mistake was to leave it there at night for going well in my studies, but the most important thing in those moments was his life, the heirloom had already developed his body, also when you look for someone to see you, to be a good veterinarian, a person who Know about your profession and not someone who does not even know the concept of what the consequences are for another being because of their irresponsibility
PLEASE if they are good masters, keep it up because they will know that there is someone who loves them too much, those who are not attentive I ask you, I beg you, take care of them and protect them because when they are not BOTH YOU WILL SUFFER A GREAT PAIN
Since June 26 my life is different I am not the same I do things that even I do not tolerate, it is a very strong pain, please believe me
Thank you very much, for your attention, that both have a GREAT DAY, AND A FAITHFUL LIFE

In these moments after a battle of many days ... I'm going to sacrifice my puppy.And reading once more about the disease I found your story.There is no replacement for when we open it to a being our heart.I understand every moment lived. I speak from Venezuela Margarita Island.

If they have a pet, take care of it and love it.

What a penny Emilio. . . My little one also has a heirloom and just thinking that she is no longer with me, I feel a deep sadness, now my little dog is under medical treatment and it is true, take care, protect, give a lot of love to your pets, cure them in time, they are our own children. My deepest condolences 🙁

It is true if your dog has diarrhea and if he wants to eat, take him to the vet and have a complete blood count to save him from any disease because I had two puppies. One of them died because of the disease of the tick. It was wrong, I didn't know he died and I left his My boy, who was also infected, is now in treatment to see if he heals, hopefully, if he now eats well, plays and jumps, I hope God still leaves me for years to come.

Hello my dog ​​has a heirloom and take her to doc! She was vomiting a whole early morning so I took her again, she might not tolerate the pill and found stomach pain due to the same pill and vomiting in treatment with injections. Someone Laos hit him the same way and complains

I found an abandoned dog a week ago, in very bad conditions and taking her to the vet turned out to be an erlquia, she sent me an antibiotic treatment for a month and, it gave me the impression that antibiotics hurt her, if I give her a protector which is called omeprazole and I see that it tolerates it better

Hi. My boxer dog has anaplasma and does not tolerate doxycycline. Is there an alternative antibiotic?
What I can do?

Hi José, my dog ​​is taking the same medication and she crushed it and put it in the home cooked food. So neither does the pill take you?

You can spread that disease to puppies. see athenea was a pitbull dog gave 08 puppies and died a week and according to comments was due to the anaplasma of the next day 2 puppies died and I do not know what to do since 2 days of treatment will recover? or what?