UKVDL Map of the Month: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

UKVDL Map of the Month: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Photo: University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Equine ehrlichiosis, the cause of rocky mountain spotted fever, is an infectious disease typically seen in late fall to early spring. It is transmitted by deer ticks and can affect horses of any age.

The tick transmit bacteria that attack the horse’s infection-fighting white blood cells. Clinical signs typically appear suddenly, though the tick bite usually occurs 10-20 days before signs develop. Affected horses can show mild colic signs and jaundice. Other clinical signs can include fever, depression, mild limb edema (fluid swelling), and ataxia (incoordination). Signs can persist for up to 14 days after severe illness. Occasionally, horses can develop subclinical infection.

Photo: University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

See each month’s featured map at vdl.uky.edu/FeaturedMap.

Individuals with questions or concerns about disease outbreaks can contact University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UKVDL) at 859/257-8283.

Jacqueline Smith, PhD, MSc, BSc, Dipl. AVES, UKVDL epidemiologist and adjunct professor of epidemiology at Lincoln Memorial University, is the founder of the UKVDL Disease Mapping Initiative, a database designed to record all infectious disease cases submitted to the UKVDL.


Want more articles like this? Sign up for the Bluegrass Equine Digest e-Newsletter.

More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK Ag Equine Programs.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More