Summer is the time for lounging by the pool, naps in the hammock, and outdoor games with the family. Hiding amid these many delights is a tiny, blood-sucking villain: the tick. Ticks carry harmful diseases that affect both humans and pets. By simply applying a tick-repelling product like Frontline Plus, your companion can be protected from the dangerous illnesses often caused by a single tick bite.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-transmitted disease that can be fatal. Carried by the American Dog tick and the Rocky Mountain spotted fever tick, this disease is prevalent in the eastern United States. An infected tick must be attached to your animal for a minimum of five hours to transmit the Rickettsia rickettsii organism, which is neither a bacteria nor a virus.

Once infected, animals display symptoms as early as two days after the infectious bite. Symptoms resemble those of many other diseases, and it’s imperative to visit your veterinarian if your animal presents any of the warning signs. Rocky Mountain spotted fever can kill quickly. Look for loss of appetite, swelling of the lymph nodes, face, and legs, fever, arthritic pain, and depression or lethargy. Many dogs display neurological indicators like dizziness, occurrences of a dream-like state, and seizures. Anemia and festering sores of the mucous membranes are less common.

Your veterinarian will draw blood and look for elevated antibodies specific to this disease. Strong antibiotics given over 14 days will eradicate this disease and help your dog recover, but some don’t recover completely. If Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated within a few days of its onset, your dog will fully recover. Some dogs with acute Rocky Mountain spotted fever may have damage to their nervous systems that is untreatable. Tick control with Frontline Plus is an easy, inexpensive, and painless way to prevent this disease from striking your beloved family member.