Canine Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a kennel epizootic.

E. B. Breitschwerdt, D. J. Meuten, David Walker, M. Levy, K. Kennedy, M. King, B. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Within a period of 5 consecutive days after the initial observation of illness was made, 7 of 12 Siberian Husky dogs developed clinical signs of Rickettsia rickettsii infection. One dog died and was necropsied. Clinical signs of infection consisted of lethargy, anorexia, ocular and nasal discharges, and neurologic disorder (incoordination and rolling). Scleral blood vessel injection, fever, lymphadenomegaly, splenomegaly, and increased bronchovesicular lung sounds were prominent findings. Clinical laboratory test results identified decreased platelet numbers, variable neutrophil counts, increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity, hyponatremia, hypokalemia, and bilirubinuria. Diagnosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever was confirmed by serologic evaluation of acute and convalescent sera, using the micro-immunofluorescence technique, and R rickettsii antigen was determined by demonstration of intracellular rickettsial organisms in vascular endothelial cells of brain and lung (stained with carbol-basic fuchsin and aqueous malachite green) and by demonstration of spotted fever-group rickettsiae in tissues by direct fluorescent antibody technique. Near-simultaneous naturally occurring tick-borne infection of 7 dogs with R rickettsii documents an unreported occurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2124-2128
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1985
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

Breitschwerdt, E. B., Meuten, D. J., Walker, D., Levy, M., Kennedy, K., King, M., & Curtis, B. (1985). Canine Rocky Mountain spotted fever: a kennel epizootic. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 46(10), 2124-2128.