Medical Definition of American dog tick

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

American dog tick: The tick most commonly responsible for transmitting R. rickettsii, the agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This tick is widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains and also occurs in limited areas on the Pacific Coast. Dogs and medium-sized mammals are the preferred hosts of this tick, although it feeds readily on other large mammals, including humans. The scientific name for the American dog tick is Dermacentor variabilis.

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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